Deveining and Shelling Prawns

Deveining prawns/ shrimp is actually quite new to me. We're Filipinos! We have guts of steel! Hahaha We just steam or boil the things and take the vein out later on. Or we just swallow up the whole thing!

But some say that vein is where the allergens can mostly be found. I actually used to have a strong allergic reaction to shrimp/prawns/crustaceans in general- but I overcame it, thankfully.

So, fine, let the deveining commence!

Some online tutorials say that you slice the back of the shrimp. I tried it a couple of times but it felt too dangerous because the blade might slip and you might slice through your finger instead.

So I suggest that you turn the knife over, pierce the prawn's back shell with the tip of the blade, and slowly make your way through the whole back curve with the blade going the other direction. Away from your body!

Once you're done with that, turn the knife over again and gingerly slice through the flesh of the prawns to reveal its digestive tract. 

Remove the digestive tract or the "sand vein". Sometimes it's black or gray, but sometimes it's just clear (which means that the prawn already cleaned its system). Just pull out the thin, gooey strip, rinse the prawns in cold water and you're good to go.

Now, if you want the prawns completely shelled, this is what you do:

Take off the head. Store it for other uses like making seafood stock. It will definitely add a rich, delicious flavor to soup and other dishes.

Pinch and pull off the legs.

Then take off the shell. It'll easily come off. You can leave the tails or you can take them off, too.

Then you devein the prawn. Same instructions as above. Carefully slice through the back of the prawn so you can see the "sand vein".

Take out the sand vein. Rinse the prawn in cold water and you are good to go!

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