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A bowl of peeled and deveined shrimp.

How to Clean Shrimp

Learn How to Clean Shrimp just like caterers and culinary professionals everywhere. This quick and easy tutorial for cleaning and deveining shrimp always results in gorgeous, luscious shrimp for all your best recipes.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings (4 oz each)
Calories 113kcal


  • 1 pound shrimp thawed (see note 1)


  • If shrimp are still in the shell, use sharp scissors and cut along the middle back of each shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
  • Using a sharp paring knife, cut along the dark vein on the back of each shrimp and remove it. Rinse out the back of each shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Save shrimp shells in the freezer to make shrimp stock, if desired (see note 3).


  1. How to thaw shrimp in the refrigerator: Let the shrimp thaw overnight in the fridge, placing the bag on a tray or in a bowl in case the bag has a tiny hole.
  2. How to thaw shrimp in the sink: For quicker thawing, open the bag and put them in a bowl of cold (not warm) water. Then turn on the faucet and let a thin trickle of cold water run into the bowl, letting the excess water overflow out of the bowl and down the sink drain. Depending on the amount you are thawing, the shrimp should thaw in a few minutes.
  3. Shrimp stock: Save those shells in your freezer and make a delicious batch of Homemade Shrimp Stock. You’ll need 4 cups of shrimp shells from 2 pounds of shrimp for this recipe. But you can gather it in batches: save uncooked shrimp shells in a plastic bag in your freezer until you have enough. Technically, you can make stock with cooked shells, but the flavor will be weaker.


Serving: 4 oz | Calories: 113kcal | Protein: 23g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 881mg | Potassium: 91mg | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 2mg