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Old 09-16-2006, 10:59 AM   #1
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Help cleaning scampi?

On a cooking programme I saw a tv chef extensively explaining how to make a cut in the scampi to take out the black gut. The reason given was that the gut gives the scampi a foul taste. So, always following on good advise, I painstakingly cut open my scampi to remove said gut before dipping them in a batter and deep frying them.
But now I realised that the other method I sometimes use to prepare them is to just remove the legs and the hard tail bit and pan-fry them in the shell.
So following the logic of said chef my shell fried scampi should taste foul, but they don't. So either I don't notice the foul taste or the basic theory for gutting the scami is flawed. Or am I missing something?

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Old 09-16-2006, 11:15 AM   #2
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It's not flawed. Also, it's not always noticeable. It all depends on how 'dirty' the gut is.

That being said, you can degut (or devein) the scampi with the shell still on. Cut the shell along the outside of the curve. Make the cut deep enough to expose the vein and devein.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:17 AM   #3
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Well, I don't think it looks attractive and sometimes it is very gritty.

I have a shrimp deveiner that works very well and costs about a dollar or 2.

I just read somewhere that a seam ripper (I think it is used in sewing, which I don't) is easy to use also.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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I'm with Half Baked. Just the plastic shrimp deveiner. And it does depend entirely on how large the shrimp are and how dirty they are. But it can just be unpleasant.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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I tried a small metal crochet hook once, but went back to the knife and fingers method.
The sandvein doesn't bother my husband, but I prefer to remove it, if only for appearance' sake.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:15 PM   #6
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I've had one of these cheap plastic things for years. It does a good job, easier and better than a knife:



I found it here, but you can probably get one at a fish market or any well-stocked kitchen store.

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Old 09-16-2006, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hades
On a cooking programme I saw a tv chef extensively explaining how to make a cut in the scampi to take out the black gut. The reason given was that the gut gives the scampi a foul taste. So, always following on good advise, I painstakingly cut open my scampi to remove said gut before dipping them in a batter and deep frying them.
But now I realised that the other method I sometimes use to prepare them is to just remove the legs and the hard tail bit and pan-fry them in the shell.
So following the logic of said chef my shell fried scampi should taste foul, but they don't. So either I don't notice the foul taste or the basic theory for gutting the scami is flawed. Or am I missing something?
Hades, the method you're referring to is called deveining the shrimp. I don't bother on the small shrimp, as you will have nothing left - i.e. hacked-up shrimp. I do, however, devein large shrimp and prawns. I bought a deveining tool, but found it easier, to slit the back (curve), run it under cold water & remove the string by hand.

I always remove the legs, shells, etc., but one of the Chinese restaurants I like, just pan fried them, shells and all. The recipe (if I could only get it from the chef) was delish, but peeling and eating the dish was very messy. If you dipped them in batter and deep fried, my guess is you probably wouldn't notice a bad/foul taste - unless the shrimp was bad.

When I prepare a shrimp dish like scampi, I do remove the vein.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hades
On a cooking programme I saw a tv chef extensively explaining how to make a cut in the scampi to take out the black gut...
Sometimes I do, most times I don't. The gut contains sand and grit, but so little it's almost unnoticeable, UNLESS the shrimp is really big. For example, I bought some "8-12" prawns the other day. 8-12 per KILO over here, so the vein is pretty big. If I were going to grill them, I'd leave the whole thing in, because I grill them shell, legs and all. If I were going to, for example, butterfly them - definitely vein OUT. The thing is, peeling shrimp is a painstaking process; if you then have to remove the vein, it makes the process even longer. Up to you, I'd say.

I personally use a sharp knife to cut into the shell, the flick out the vein with the point.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
...I bought some "8-12" prawns the other day. 8-12 per KILO over here, so the vein is pretty big.
Holy mackerel, Clive! That's over 1/4 pound each! You sure those aren't lobsters?
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:54 PM   #10
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I finally found a use for my tournet knife. It makes a great shrimp P&Der.

Ciao,
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