How to Devein Shrimp [year] |By 5 of the Best Ways

Have you ever wondered how to devein shrimp without getting your hand hurt? The simple answer is using the right tools.

We all love to get our prawns cleaned and deveined from any black veins that may ruin the taste of your delicious plate.

This black vein is the digestive tract of the shrimps. Although it is not harmful to eat. some of us prefer to pull it out. This process of removing is called deveining.

For an easy deveining, follow these simple steps to devein shrimp and get your prawns cleaned and ready to be cooked.

All you have to worry about is the cooking recipe you need to follow, no more, no less.

If you are having a seafood party and you are doing some oysters beside your shrimps check this article for the best oyster knives

If you want a complete set, you can also combine your oyster knife with a pair of gloves.

Should I devein all the shrimp or not?

Should I devein all the shrimp or not

The process itself is a personal decision, as some people believe it will ruin the taste of your shrimp.

However, other people think that it always depends on the size of the shrimps. Large shrimps are easy to be deveined by a paring knife. Nevertheless, medium and small shrimps tend to be much more difficult.

Some people find that cleaning small shrimps is an impossible process that may take a longer time than the actual cooking. That is why it is always preferable if you want to buy a small deveined shrimp, search for an already frozen deveined shrimp.

 How to devein shrimp without peeling?

how to devein shrimp without peeling

You may get up with a recipe of boiled shrimps or grilled one, in which your shrimps are safely kept in their shells. If you want to clean your prawn and keep your shells on, you may need to do the following method.

Method 1 How to devein shrimp with a toothpick

This way of getting the digestive tract outside without peeling is considered to be the easiest one.

All the tools you will need in this method are at your house. There is no need to buy extra tools or equipment. The method aims at keeping the shell and removing the vein.

The Required Tools:

  • Toothpick
  • Sharp cutting blade

Step 1 Split the shrimp’s top

Use your own hands to make just a small split in the top of the prawn’s shell.

  • Be sure not to pull any of the shells out during the splitting process.

Step 2 Use your knife in a linear shape

Grasp your blade and move it straightly to the back of your shrimps. Then, make a small cut at the back of the shrimp

Step 3 Use the toothpick to get out the vein

When you see the place of the black vein in the shrimps, then, it is the time to get your toothpick to pull it out.

Step 3 Repeat the process

Apply the same steps to the rest of your shrimp.

Step 4 Wash the shrimp

After you finish, do not forget to wash your shrimp and the counter after the process to be ready for the rest of the recipe.

  • For further instructions, you can watch this video:

Method 2 How to devein shrimp with a knife

 If you are just not good at using multiple tools and you still need to get you shrimp be deveined without peeling.

This method is perfect for you, as you will only need a knife. This way of cleaning is away like the previous one but with one tool.

The Required Tools:

  • A paring knife

Step 1 Get you shrimp’s back

Start by slightly moving one of the shells backward or forward. However, make sure you do not pull it out completely.

Step 2 Make a small cut

Using your blade, dig a small hole into the back of the shrimp

Step 3 Use the knife’s tip to remove the black vein

After making the small hole, use the tip of the knife to extract the black vein.

  • You can utilize any blade, whether the one you cut your meat with or any other one.

Step 4 Wash the shrimp

When you finish deveining your shrimp, get a bowl of potato starch, and wash your shrimp in it.

  • The potato starch will eliminate any bad smell from your shrimp.

 How to peel and devein shrimp?

how to peel and devein shrimp

In this situation, you do not care about the shell anymore. If you want to fry some shrimps or you are making some Nigiri sushi, then you need to get your shrimp peeled.

This type of cleaning is easier when you are removing the shell because you do not have to care anymore about the shape of the outer layer.

If you want to get a peeled and deveined shrimp, look at these following methods

Method 1 How to peel and devein a shrimp with a fork?

Step 1 Start with the heads

Get the knife and cut the head of your shrimp

  • You can keep the heads to make them in another recipe if you want.

Step 2 Adjust your fork at the right place

Place the endpoint of your fork at the beginning of the shrimp; between the shell and the flesh.

Step 3 Move in a straight direction

After you placed your fork at the right position between the flesh and the shell, all you have to do is simply to move your fork in the same direction heading to the tail.

Step 4 Get rid of the shell

After heading to the tail, you be able to get out the shell and the tail, and you will keep only the body.

  • You can use the head and tail of the prawns in cooking a delicious seafood stock.

Step 5 Remove the black vein

Use the endpoint of the fork again the make a small hole, in which you will get the vein out of it.

Step 6 Clean and wash the shrimp

After deveining the shrimp, you need to wash the shrimp from any possible bacteria.

Method 2 How to devein a shrimp with scissors?

how to devein shrimp with scissors

The Required Tools:

  • Scissors

Step 1 Twist off the head

Get the prawns and start twisting off the head by your hand without the use of any knife.

Step 2 Adjust the position of your kitchen scissors

Place the kitchen scissors in the middle of the shrimps’ back.

Step 3 Start by cutting half of the shell

Starting from the middle, you will cut half of the shell heading to the tail.

Step 4 Repeat the process with the other half

After removing one half, start cutting the other one in the same way.

Step 5 Get the shell off easily

After doing this process, you will be able to get the shell out easily, and you can keep the tail. You can use the tail in cooking a delicious seafood stock.

Step 6 Devein the prawns

Dig a knife’s tip to get out the black vein.

  • If you can not find it, you can make a small hole at the shrimps’ back so, you can be able to get it out.


The process of deveining is easier when you do not want the shell, so you do have to worry about the outer layer. The methods given in this particular way of deveining are all easy and will not exert a lot of effort.

  How to devein a shrimp with a deveiner?

how to devein a shrimp with a deveiner

This way of cleaning is easier and will save you a lot of time if you are making a considerable quantity of cooking.

There is a bunch of deveiners out there to clean your shrimps easily. If you want to buy the right tool and you are confused about choosing the best one, read our article the Best Shrimp Deveiner.

It is always better to look for a shrimp-devein tool that has good customer service and to be able to contact them at an email address if you’re in another country in case you have any issue with the tool.

However, this way of deveining shrimp will cost you more money because you will need to get the tool that might not be at your home.

Most of these deveiners will pull the shell out along with the black vein of the shrimps in just one motion.

It will peel and devein shrimp in a smooth way.

The Required Tools:

  • A deveiner tool
  • Knife

Step 1 Pull out the head

Start by removing the head of your shrimp and put them aside.

Step 2 Adjust the position of the tool

place the deveiner right below the shell of the shrimp.

Step 3 Start moving the deveiner

Move the deveiner straight towards the tail so about halfway to three-quarters of the way through a shrimp heading to the tail.

Step 4 Switch the hands

In this step, you have to switch your hand to be on the top side of the shrimp.

Then, move the deveiner towards the tail like the previous step.

  •  Sliding the shrimp towards the other hand will allow you to peel and devein shrimp quickly.


This way of deveining is way better and more comfortable than just regular tools. This tool will peel and devein shrimp at the same time.

However, you may need to make some boiled shrimps, and you need to keep on the shell.

At that time, it is better to look for another method. Using a shrimp deveining tool may cost you more money than just using a regular knife.

It always depends on your personal preference for the way you want to cook your prawns.

Final Thoughts

As they always say, the shrimp is the fruit of the sea, and this really accurate. The vast majority of us love shrimp, whether it is boiled or deep-fried. Undoubtedly, shrimp is delicious with its shell on or without shells at all.

Whether you like to devein and peel your shrimp before cooking or not, it is always important to know how the process is done in more than one way.

If you are wondering about whether it is right to remove it or not, you can have a look at the article “Do I really need to devein shrimp?

Search for good recipes that you like for your next shrimp dish and start cooking.

Feel free to contact us at our email address for any further inquiries.

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