When it comes to lean protein, it’s hard to beat shrimp, and with the countless ways to prepare these bottom-dwelling marvels, they’re among the most versatile of underwater delicacies.
You can grill 'em, fry 'em, boil 'em, broil 'em and saute 'em. In the movie “Forrest Gump,” Forrest’s pal Bubba talked about all the different ways one could prepare these little-legged wonders. But no matter which way you decide to prepare them, removing the digestive tract, sometimes referred to as the sand vein, is a good practice to observe.
In this video, Mercury Pro Team angler Carter Andrews shows how to properly remove both the shell and the digestive tract of a shrimp. How you end up fixing them is entirely up to you!
Begin by grabbing the shrimp with one hand, and pinching the legs with your fingers. While you’ve got ahold of the legs, peel back about half of the shell with your other hand. Next, with the shell peeled back, pinch the tail and remove the shrimp by pulling on the other end. This will release the meat from the shell and tail entirely.
Next, using a sharp straight-edged knife, score the shrimp down the length of its backside. Doing so frees up the shrimp’s digestive tract. Next, using your fingers, grab one end of the digestive tract, carefully remove it from the shrimp, and toss it in the trash along with the shell.
You can also use a device aptly called a shrimp deveiner. The nice thing about using one of these is that it removes the shell, tail and digestive tract in one fell swoop, which makes things go a lot quicker.
To use this tool, grab a shrimp with one hand, and with the other, insert the tip of the deveiner between the meat and the shell on the backside of the shrimp. Next, push the deveiner straight through to the other end of the shrimp, and lift up. By doing so, you’ll be able to cut through the length of the shell while also removing the digestive tract, allowing you to pull out the shrimp meat.
That’s all there is to it. So, whether you’re making scampi, gumbo, or shrimp and grits, you’ll enjoy your meal so much more knowing that the shrimp’s last meal isn’t in the recipe.
For more information about Carter Andrews and “The Obsession of Carter Andrews” TV series, visit TheObsessionofCarterAndrews.com. You can also follow Andrews on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.