How to Effortlessly Shell and De-vein Prawns
If you’ve ever recoiled at the thought of cleaning your own prawns, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But cleaning prawns does not need to be an odious task at all. With a few simple techniques and some practice you can be a pro at prepping your prawns!
Step 1 - Wash your prawns
- Rinse the prawns through with cool water to remove any debris or gunk stuck on the body.
- This will make the next steps feel cleaner and easier to do.
Step 2 - Remove the heads
- Hold the prawns body in one hand and grasp the head with the fingers of the other hand.
- Twist the head and pull away from the body.
- You may see some gooey substance come from the portion. Don’t worry, this is normal. This will get cleaned when we re-wash our prawns.
- Prawn head are perfectly edible and are eaten by tons of people. If you wish to be adventurous and eat them you can find many recipes online. They have a great crunch when deep fried!
- These are also used to make seafood stock. So when you make the prawns it’s a great idea to make a stock and keep it ready to use for a curry or soup the next day!
Step 3 - Remove the shell
- Turn your prawn over so it is belly side up.
- Now using your fingers prise open the shell starting at the side of the head.
- As you open up the shell the legs should come off along with it. If a few do not then simply pluck them out.
- You can remove the tail or keep it depending on your preference.
- If the prawns are small it would be good to take off the tail as they will be easier to eat. For larger sized prawns you can leave the tail on as it can be used to hold the prawn in a dry dish.
- Tails are also eaten and are perfectly crispy when fried!
- Shells can also be used in the making of stock. So make sure you keep them for that.
Step 4 - De-vein
- On the backside of the prawn make an incision with a sharp knife.
- The incision should go only to the centre of the prawn. Make sure you don’t accidentally slice through the prawn.
- Now open up the flesh up till the middle and locate the dark black line of the prawn’s vein.
- This is the digestive tract of the prawn. That basically means it’s where the prawns poop is stored. So naturally, it must be removed.
- With the tip of your knife hook the prawn’s vein and remove it. This should be discarded.
- Removing the vein is the most crucial part of the prawn prep because eating this can make you sick. So be careful!
Step 4 - Wash again!
- Before using them in your recipe make sure you since the prawns thoroughly with cool water.
- Once you’re done washing you’re ready to cook!