How to Clean WHOLE PRAWNS / SHRIMP - ( Cut, Shell, De-vein & Clean )

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Introduction: How to Clean WHOLE PRAWNS / SHRIMP - ( Cut, Shell, De-vein & Clean )

About: Hi, I am the cool-chef behind www.c4cooking.com :). I am not sure if I love cooking.. but I love to cook the ideas that pop up in me :). Some ideas are cool and some sounds strange until you try it :D .. Fol...

Learn how to cut, shell, de-vein and clean WHOLE PRAWNS / SHRIMP in just 5 easy to follow steps.

Step-by-step picture follows..

Step 1: Keep the Head or Discard and Cut Off the Legs

  • If you like to eat the head, cut off the eyes part and cut the sharp spine above the prawn head. To discard the head, just pull away the head part.
  • Next cut off the legs

Step 2: Remove the Shell and Tail

  • To remove the outer-body shell, hold the prawn with its hump facing up, now peel the shell from bottom and then lift up... and all the way to the back... then pull the shell to remove (do the same till you reach near the tail)
  • If you like to keep the tail for frying/tempura, leave the tail part as it is.
  • To remove the tail, press hard at the end of the tail and pull the tail

Step 3: Squeeze the Brain ( If Taking the Head)

Squeeze the brain from the head and discard:

  • To do this, hold the sides of the head with fingers and press to squeeze the brain out. Press couple of times to remove fully.

Step 4: De-vein

  • To de-vein, cut 1/4" deep along the centre of the outer-body and remove the black vein and the yellow membrane ( the yellow/orange membrane may not be visible in tiny prawns / shrimp)

Step 5: Rinse

To rinse:

  • Fill a bowl with cold water
  • add a tbsp of coarse sea salt into the water (optional)
  • rinse the prawn under cold running water and add into the sea-salt-water bowl
  • swirl the prawns in sea-salt-water bowl 5 - 6 times and discard the salt water
  • rinse couple of times in cold water and place on a strainer
Now the prawns are ready to cook :)

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    2 Comments

    Great guide! Just out of curiosity, is there specific reason why you swirl the prawns in the salt water?

    1 reply

    Thank you. Great question :)
    It is always recommended to wash fish, prawn etc. in salt water to maintain freshness and to stop it from spoiling.