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Old 11-30-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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Question regarding shrimp

Hey guys

I can't help but notice the annoyance of picking the black-spine thing out of fresh shrimp everytime and it's getting annoying using knives and picking them out one by one...

Anybody know a better way? I don't usually buy frozen shrimps...

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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I use a small skewer, go in just under it and lift it out without the whole knife cut
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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What part of the USA do you live in that fresh shrimp is regularly available?
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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I guess what you are talking about is the so-called vein, which is actually the intestine, and the black stuff is.... well, what you would expect in intestine.

No I thought of about 15 creative ways to refer to the stuff but this is a family cooking site, and besides auntdot is polite. Sometimes. When she is sober. OK, enough about me.

I have purchased a number of those different tools for removing the vein and really don't like them very much. Prefer just using a knife, slitting the back, and removing it under running water.

But this can get very tedious with three or four lbs of even large shrimp so will often sigh, dig out one of those reamers, and let fly.

Would kill, OK, auntdot will not kill but would think about it, for fresh shrimp. But do find the vein filled even in frozen shrimp. Seems to vary from batch to batch.

Where I am going on this I have no idea, so will close. Take care, y'all.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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Regarding the vein on the shrimp which is actually the intestine which is black I would split the whole thing open and then run it under water.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:42 PM   #6
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I have lived in Florida and then near the coast of Texas for over 30 years. I used to have shrimp traps in my yard. I love them.

The absolute best way to deal with the "vein" is the plastic shrimp de-veiner. Costs about $2.00. Look in the seafood department of the grocery store. It is usually red. Overall length is maybe 10 inches. The skinny end is curved down and is pointy on the last few inches.

Hold the de-headed, raw shrimp in one hand and slide the de-veiner under the skin and push it in. As the tool gets wider it fulcrums off the skin and the vein in one easy motion.

The result is one clean shrimp.

Now, if you should be lucky enough to get heads on shrimp... hold the body in one hand the head in the other... twist and pull- headless.

Use the heads and or skins/veins to boil in water with onion, celery salt, pepper maybe a few carrots- makes a great seafood stock/base.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:53 PM   #7
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Hopz has it exactly right. These are the shrimp shellers that the seafood markets along the SE coast use for massive amounts of shrimp cleaning.
They are probably a dollar! They don't tear up the shrimp.
Brown the shrimp shells a bit, add some water and simmer for a stock.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Actually I dont get fresh shrimp regularly, it's just when I get them I get ALOT of them and I'm usually the one "de-veining" them. It get's to be such as hassel that when ever I look at the huge bowl-full of shrimps I just want to puke ...But they still taste good, better than frozen ones anyway. I live in CT

Thanks about that little gadget, I'll pick one up this weekend.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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Here's a little trick that usually works for me. With larger shrimp, at least (30/lb and up), just grab the vein where it used to be attached to the head and pull. Almost always the whole thing pulls right out intact. If not, I operate. But, generally, the work goes quickly and painlessly.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:58 PM   #10
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Derg,

I'm also in CT. What is it about frozen shrimp that you don't like? Where do you get the fresh ones?

I typically have 4-10 lbs of frozen shrimp in my freezer so I'm ready to make Bang Bang Shrimp whenever I get a request for it!

Got a new recipe from Top Secret Recipes this week for Ruby Tuesday's Thai Phoon Shrimp that I'm anxious to try.

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Old 11-30-2006, 10:11 PM   #11
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How I despise deveining shrimp. If you get shrimp small enough you shouldn't have to worry about deveining right?

Are there any tricks if the shrimp are still alive? I seem to remember that at least with shellfish you should soak them in a mixture of cornstarch and water to remove the sand from them, not exactly the same thing, but would something like this work for shrimp?
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopz
I used to have shrimp traps in my yard. I love them.
lol, amphibious shrimp? (j/k)

i've found a knife under running water works better than those curved deveiner thingies. yes, it's tedious using a knife, but the deveiners tend to mangle the shrimp if not done correctly, especially when you start getting bored doing a large batch.

i've found most markets by me sell their shrimp previously deveined, shell split but still mostly attached. makes life a whole lot easier.

usually, you can ask the fish mongers to clean the shrimp for you, if they're not busy. dergyll, check out stew leonard's. they have excellent customer service, and oblige many requests such as that.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:50 AM   #13
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If you buy shrimp with the shell on ( as I always do), make a small cut in the top of the shrimp, poke a knife point in there and gently pull out the vein.
Most times? I don't even bother.
If you're squeamish, just think about what pigs eat
Or those multiple microbes on that lettuce leaf

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Old 12-01-2006, 06:36 AM   #14
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Ha! That reminds me of that dish I had in China with the pig intestines, they said it was clean and it tasted really good...

I do it with the knife under water, but I'm gonna try a de-veiner.

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Old 12-01-2006, 06:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBear42
Here's a little trick that usually works for me. With larger shrimp, at least (30/lb and up), just grab the vein where it used to be attached to the head and pull. Almost always the whole thing pulls right out intact. If not, I operate. But, generally, the work goes quickly and painlessly.
Works for me to but I better clear one thing first, shrimp as in salt water shrimp, what we call prawns??
Forgive me but I can't get used to calling prawns, shrimp.
There are female prawns and male prawns, the female have a heavier vein than the male and this is mostly mistaken for the sand vein when in fact it is the egg sack. The sand vein is the same size in both, a very small tube. The best prawn to see this in is a tiger prawn, say U10, which has a dark egg sack and you will easily see the difference between female and male.
Pinch the top of the head between thumb and forefinger and lift up and away, do the same with the legs and pull down. You should be left with a small black and pink ball connected to the sand vein, that is the stomach. Grab that and pull, at the same time pinching the tail to break the rear end connection and the lot should come out leaving the egg sack behind. Don't worry about that because it cooks pink like a crab roe.
It takes a bit of practise but after doing a few hundred KG you should get good at it.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by buckytom
... usually, you can ask the fish mongers to clean the shrimp for you, if they're not busy ...
Where do you live buckytom?!

I just love comments like yours. You and Jamie Oliver, casually suggesting that the butcher lives to French trim. Maybe there, maybe for Jamie. Here in Athens I'll tell you what they'll offer to French trim, and it ain't got much to do with "if they're not busy"!

As for that offending vein, anyone who's had an aquarium knows all too well what it is since the dear little fishies love to put it on display, usually when you're exhibiting your prize fish to visitors. There must be a subsection of Murphy's Law about animals which insist upon Putting On Their Best Company Manners. Nothing like having the boss over and having your cat dislodging a hairball, your dog visiting his leg, and your fish spewing intestines.

Get it out with a little, sharp knife. It's there, fresh, frozen, shell on, shell off, unless by luck the little darling had just ... well, you figure it out. To many of us, it's gross.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:51 AM   #17
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You been dissecting the English cricket team Clive
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:44 AM   #18
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found a knife under running water works better than those curved deveiner thingies.

There are definitely some shrimp deveiners that DO mangle the shrimp but the one with the simple curve of thin plastic does not. You just insert it in the larger end of the shrimp at the vein and push it to the bottom--it breaks the shell and loosens the vein which will either fall out or can be rinsed out. The shrimp is entirely intact without shell and the place where the vein was is splayed open. AND some shrimp are so dirty (and especially large ones) that you would never want to leave the vein.

i've found most markets by me sell their shrimp previously deveined, shell split but still mostly attached. makes life a whole lot easier.

These are usually a specific kind of shrimp--here, usually "tiger shrimp" and are called EZpeel.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:56 AM   #19
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ayrton, i'll try to be nice. gretchen, it's proper when quoting a person to include
their name.

i guess i'm being fooled by giant signs behind the fish counter in almost every non-ethnic supermarket that says "we will clean and steam/broil your fish for free".
AND when the fish monger asks you if you'd like your shrimp or other fish cleaned. that goes for any type of shrimp.

most of the time it has been done already to the shrimp, during the slower times at the fish counter.

the reason why i suggested that you should ask when they're not busy is to be polite.

maybe they don't live for doing this, but here, it's their job.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by buckytom
ayrton, i'll try to be nice. gretchen, it's proper when quoting a person to include
their name.

i guess i'm being fooled by giant signs behind the fish counter in almost every non-ethnic supermarket that says "we will clean and steam/broil your fish for free".
AND when the fish monger asks you if you'd like your shrimp or other fish cleaned. that goes for any type of shrimp.

most of the time it has been done already to the shrimp, during the slower times at the fish counter.

the reason why i suggested that you should ask when they're not busy is to be polite.

maybe they don't live for doing this, but here, it's their job.
Oh no, BuckyTom, once again I must say that no offense meant! I am struck by your comment indeed because it simply would NOT happen where I live (so much so that the idea is ludicrous) however, I doubt you're being fooled nor are you foolish to ask. Just please don't try it here!

Let me switch the example on you: can you where you live go into a furniture store and say "gosh, I like this bed but I'd prefer it to have a couple of drawers underneath and be about 6 inches taller and 5 inches longer" and not get laughed out of the store? If you're in the States, I think you'd have zero chance of getting that modification unless it just happened to be an existing model. However, here in Greece you can still get all your furniture custom built (for reasonable prices), lampshades made, and the like. BUT, you will not get a fishmonger to devein your shrimp, certainly not for free and I doubt at all! My point is that different markets have different pro's and con's.

I wish it were otherwise here, BuckyTom. What you hear is envy, not ridicule!
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