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How to Peel and Devein Fresh Shrimp
1. Place the shrimp in a bowl of ice water.
2. Pull or cut off the head and legs if you want.
3. Beginning with the head end, pull off the outer shell. Place shells in a plastic bag, securely close, and either discard or freeze for making shellfish stock. Alternatively, you can leave the shell on and use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut along the outer edge of the shrimp's back, cutting the shell so you can get to the vein. The shells hold a lot of flavor, so there is something to be said for cooking shrimp with their shells on.
4. Using a sharp paring knife, cut along the outer edge of the shrimp's back, about 1/4-inch deep.
5. If you can see it, remove and discard the vein that runs right under the surface of the back, with your fingers or the tip of your knife. If you can't see the vein, don't bother with it.
6. Return the peeled and deveined shrimp to your bowl of ice water until you are ready to cook.
If you decide to freeze your shrimp, make sure to cut the heads off first.
*Fresh Shrimp that has not been cooked is very perishable.
*Shrimp should be used within two days of purchase to ensure optimal taste. *Store Fresh shrimp that will not be cooked immediately in the coolest area of the refrigerator preferably on ice and covered with waxed paper. (The waxed paper allows air to circulate around the shrimp) *Cooked shrimp that is stored in the refrigerator should be eaten within 2-3 days. *Frozen shrimp if packed tightly, will last up to six months in most freezers. *Before freezing shrimp, make sure to remove the heads. *Once defrosted, shrimp should be kept refrigerated and used within three days. Do not refreeze shrimp.