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the (ahem) "vein" in shrimp

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I can;t find deveined shrimp here. I would love to make shrimp cocktail and have made the sauce but the shrimp need to be deveined. They call it a "vein" but we all know what it is. I don;t like to eat it and maybe it;s my imagination but i think it gives a bad taste to the shrimp.
I put some shrimp (bought frozen, good quality, uncooked) in a fish pie, but it was such a pain to remove the (ahem) "vein" in them one by one.
Cookbooks i have show someone with a sharp knife pulling out the "vein" but this does not work. You can see by how they're holding the knife that it;s not going to work in the real world. I usually end up getting impatient and using my thumbnail to rip out the vein. When you pull on it, no matter what the cookbooks say, the "vein" just breaks, so I have to scratch the whole length of it out of the shrimp. And in the end i get the "vein" all under my fingernails. bla.

Is there any easier way? It takes so much time and is so tediousi lose my taste for shrimp.

I don;t have any fish store nearby that i would trust to sell me fresh fish where they might be persuaded to do it for me.. The "fresh" fish i'be bought at the supermarkets smelled of bleach, so i dont buy it there.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #2 of 10
>>Is there any easier way?

a stiff brush. think toothbrush....
post #3 of 10
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 10
I have no problem deveining as I butterfly the shrimp.
After a little practice it can be done quickly.
Rinsing under running cold water helps.
It takes me longer to peel them and that doesn't take that long either.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 10
I agree. A sharp knife and running water is really all you need. The secret is to make sure that you're cutting deep enough. The tendency is to want to make a very shallow cut in the shrimp, but that just makes it harder. I go about 1/3 of the way through and pull right where the shrimp curves into the tail. The vein comes out intact everytime.
post #6 of 10
If you're shelling as well as deveining the OXO and it's cheaper, plastic clones work fine. However, they don't work too well without the structure of the shell.

If you're working with shelled shrimp, you can't beat a small knife. Not that it makes a big difference but there's an actual shrimp deveining knife profile -- fairly similar to a bec d'oiseau aka "bird's beak," aka tourne.

Any small knife will do fine. I like my "sheep's foot." Whatever, speed comes with practice.

BDL
post #7 of 10
For shell-on shrimp you don't even need the deveining tool. Just use a fork. Start one tine at the head end and push the shrimp into it from the tail end (basically the same technique as with the Oxo and similar tools). The shell and vein are pushed right off when you do that.

I see no reason why it shouldn't work as well with already shelled shrimp, but have never tried it so can't say for sure.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 10
Some veins will be dark, some veins will be light. It's actually easier when they are dark, you can tell if you've got it all. They do spoil the taste and can even give a bit of unwanted crunch (yum yum)

Small sharp paring knife does the job, slit prawn down the back so you can see the vein, then tuck the tip of the knife under the head end and pull the vein - gently - out in one go. If it doesn't come out, go for rinsing under the tap and scraping it out. Yep, its a bit of work, practice makes perfect :) Don't give up.

If you want to cook them unshelled, de-veining can be done. Best if they are raw. Pop a bamboo skewer into the back just between the head and the body until you can get to the vein, then snag it between your skewer and thumb and pull out in one long slow motion. You'll know when it's all out when the tail flips up a little. If it doesn't look like it's come out totally (going by the length of the vein compared to the length of the prawn), get your skewer in between the part of the shell where you reckon it stopped, and continue. You may have to dig a little.

I really dislike prawns with the vein in too. I won't eat them on a night out, cuz I never know if they've been done right. But I do love doing them at home
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
The shrimp i can find are frozen and shelled but raw (and annoyingly small - the biggest i can find are about an inch long - that's a lot of deveining, to my mind). I'm pretty quick (almost restaurant quick) in everything i do, but I just find this tedious and long to be picking out pieces of remaining veins that have broken and are still lodged in there, and it hardly seems worth the effort. I would never make a shrimp cocktail for guests, for example, since i'd have to stay there deveining all those shrimp when i could be doing something much more fun, like making desert.
I like the idea of the stiff, small brush, dillbert. Will try it next time. With the knife, on such a small shrimp, I would have to use the flat side of the point so i could scrape a v-shaped channel that includes the vein, but my knives are sharp and that would mean holding it by the blade, and the handle becomes unweildy and i risk cutting myself. I find there is a layer of flesh over the vein that needs to be cut or scraped away. In no way does the "stick the point under the vein and the vein will pull out whole" have any relation to the reality of the shrimp i can get. Is it because the stength of the vein's skin is broken down in the freezing process?

And, yes, i could go around town looking for a good fish store and buy them whole and fresh, but i would need to waste half a day just getting them. Not going to happen.

So, anyway, thanks to you all for yuour recommendations.

By the way, i made a great english style fish pie last night, with cod and shrimp and cream and a mashed potato crust. Will try the brush next time.
I never saw oxo anything here.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 10
Ok the pull it out in one go won't work with the small frozen ones. Freezing does seem to make a difference to them, like when you freeze fish it tends to break down the cell walls of the flesh and weakens it. It really only works with fresh big ones. I reckon Dillberts idea sounds preferable for the ones you have there.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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