How to quickly peel and deveine fresh shrimp and store them safely


Let’s be honest: shrimp are great when you don’t have to face them in their raw glory. All those little legs and shells and veins – who wants to play with that slippery thing?

Fortunately, cleaning up fresh shrimp is a lot easier than most of us do. This week, we’re going to teach you the fastest way to do it and explore how to store shrimp safely if you aren’t cooking them right away.

Forget about the careful peeling of the shells by hand and carefully run a paring knife through the back of the shrimp to rip out the vein – technically the shrimp’s digestive tract and not a vein at all – in a process that can take a long time. eternity if you have more than one. book to prepare.

The easiest and fastest way to peel and devein a shrimp in one quick motion is as easy as grabbing a fork from your utensil drawer. There is no need to buy specialized tools or sharpen your knives.

Here’s how it works: Hold the shrimp – this only works if the heads are already removed, as most fresh shrimp are sold in stores – in one hand with the back of the shrimp facing your hand. With your other hand, place the lower prong of the fork under the shell just where the vein appears.

Fresh shrimp are easy to peel and devein with a fork.

Nora Carol Photography, Contributor / Getty Images

Now, just gently push the shrimp along the fork, which will simultaneously clear the vein and sauté the shells, leaving a quickly cleaned shrimp ready for the pan, okra pot, or however you use them. There may be a few spots left from the vein, but they will be easy to spot or rinse off under cold water.

There are good reasons to clean the shrimp yourself. For starters, you’ll save a dollar or two per pound if you’re up for the job. Also, leftover shells can be simmered in extremely tasty shrimp broth, perfect for a batch of paella, risotto, fideo, seafood stew, or just about any place you’d like an intense taste of the sea. .

Fresh shrimp are very perishable and require special attention if you don’t cook them right away. For starters, the United States Food and Drug Administration says it’s only safe to store them in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days, and they should be in a refrigerator set to 40 degrees or less.

Fresh shrimp should be kept on ice in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

Fresh shrimp should be kept on ice in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

Staff Photographer File Photo

To be sure, fill a colander with ice and place it in a large bowl. Place the shrimp on ice and cover them lightly with wax or parchment paper and place the bowl in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Be sure to periodically drain the melted ice out of the bowl as you don’t want the shrimp to stay in the water while they melt. Shrimp can be kept in the freezer, but at a cost. Even when packed tightly in plastic bags, they will lose moisture and their texture will suffer when thawed.

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