11/04/2011 10:59 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Peel And De-Vein Shrimp

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to peel and de-vein shrimp without cutting too deeply.

Video Transcript

I'm Chef Corky Clark from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you these kitchen basics: peeling and deveining shrimp.

There are a lot of ways to do this. I feel the best way is to start at the feet and peel around to remove the shell. Often, you will see the last shell segment and tail left on. That's perfectly fine to do; if you're going to do that, I would recommend removing the center fin - it's very sharp. But I sort of think it's a good idea, many times, to peel the entire shrimp.

It's very important with all fish products to keep them extremely cold. It lengthens the shelf life and ensures quality. You see I'm keeping my shrimp on ice when I'm not handling them.

When we devein, we're going to start right at the head and come down, slicing open the back slightly - then use just the side of our knife and wipe the vein out. Some shrimp are going to have a good bit of vein and other shrimp very little, but you want to do every one, ensuring that you don't cut deep - that could actually butterfly the shrimp, which is not what you want. You notice that as soon as I get them done, I'm going to put them on ice again, to keep them as cold as possible.

And that's how we peel and devein a shrimp.