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Old 09-16-2006, 09:59 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, 10:15 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, 10:17 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, 10:56 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, 11:04 AM   #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, 01:15 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, 02:02 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, 07:10 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, 07:34 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, 07:54 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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Old 09-17-2006, 10:11 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot everyone for your swift replies.
I'll put my CC in a safe place take a few euro in the wallet and go visit some kitchen appliances stores. I like your gadget fryboy, but the shipping prices of the site are a bit hefty for a 5$ tool.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:15 AM   #12
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@ halfbaked:



(taken from http://www.bblackandsons.com/store/product4.html)

A seam ripper. You stick it inbetween two stitched pieces of fabric, and the sharp bit between the teeth cuts the yarns without damaging the fabrics.
Not that i'm into sewing, but my mom was a seemstress in her young and innocent years
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:00 AM   #13
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You all would be very surprised at how many restaurants don't devein shrimp -- especially if they aren't peeling them.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:50 AM   #14
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You could get me in a lot of trouble with my good wife Hades.

You're right June, I peel my shrimp green [raw] for cutlets. Pinch the top part of the head upwards, then pinch the legs downwards and the stomach ball usually remains on the body, pull that and the poop track usually comes with it. If not, I don't bother unless it's full. The realy dark soft heavy vein in some shrimp means it's a female and that's the row which will go pink when cooked. I don't butterfly our shrimp.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:47 PM   #15
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Here is a trick that I saw once for removing the sand vein and leaving the shell intact. Work a toothpick, or some other small pointed skewer type object, between a couple of the rings of shell just below the vein and about in the middle of the length of the shrimp ... gently lift up until it pulls through the back of the shrimp - this should pull the sand vein up where you grab it with your fingers and pull it out in one piece. I tried it on a few shrimp and it worked just like on TV!
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:31 PM   #16
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toothpicks work well. thanks mifwt, i was just pondering how to decribe doing it, but i see you've done the job succinctly.
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:35 PM   #17
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The seam ripper looks like it would really work well, too. Thanks Hades.
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
Holy mackerel, Clive! That's over 1/4 pound each! You sure those aren't lobsters?
Yep. I didn't believe it either, but it's a Wholesaler I use from time to time.
I bought a kilo just to see.

Bloody things growled at me when I took them out of the packet...
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