Is it Necessary to Devein Shrimp?

by Charlie
Shrimp veins

Shrimps are one of the most popular decapod crustacean seafood many people favor because they are tender and tasty when cooked. But preparing a shrimp can be a demanding job as you may have to remove the shell. Apart from removing the shell, you may also have to devein the shrimp (this is where the real job comes in).

This is because people think that deveining the shrimp is a better way to keep it in ideal condition for use. Hence, many people choose to devein their shrimps before eating them, even though the job can be demanding. But, do you need to go through the trouble of deveining the shrimp? 

Is it necessary to devein shrimp? The answer is no. But not deveining them a slightly unusual taste. Like shellfish, shrimps are popular bottom-feeders. So they will have a muddy-taste when eaten because of their veins. But, some of these crustaceans, like the small shrimps do not even have the black lines. Hence, skipping the process on them wouldn’t make a difference. 

However, if you prefer going through this method to get your shrimp ready, then why not? Deveining the shrimp is based on preference and should be your decision to make. 

What Happens If You Don’t Devein Shrimps?

There is no adverse effect of not deveining shrimps. The only possible effect is that your seafood will not have its usual taste. Instead, it will have an unpleasant and slightly bitter taste that may not appease your taste bud.

Thus, deveining the shrimp is not necessary as the risks of developing any side effect are rare. You will only miss the tasty flavor of a well-washed shrimp.

What Happens If You Eat Shrimps That Are Not Deveined?

Like everything that has an intestine, the shrimp’s intestine houses a host of bacteria that may be lethal. But this does not mean you cannot eat this seafood when it is not deveined.

Eating shrimps with its vein won’t kill you, nor will you fall sick as long as you cook the shrimp properly. It is because when cooked, the bacteria in the shrimp die as they are placed on heat.

However, when not deveined and eaten raw, it could cause harm as the bacteria in them are still active. Though most commercially trained shrimps may not have much grit in their digestive tract, the wild-caught shrimps are more susceptible to this. 

Do You Devein the Top and Bottom of Shrimps?

Shrimps have two veins, the white and black veins, which are located on different parts of its body. The white vein is on its bottom or underside and is slightly thin. This white vein is called so because it signifies that the shrimp has clear blood. Thus, the vein is its blood vessel. It does not contain any harmful substance nor does it have any grit, poop or bacteria. Hence, deveining this vein is not necessary. 

So, if you’re wondering what part of your shrimp to devein, the answer is the bottom, where the digestive tract is. To devein the shrimp, you either use a small knife or a skewer. 

On the other hand, it has a main vein that runs along its upper body, known as the alimentary canal. In essence, it is the digestive tract or intestine of the shrimp. This vein appears as a dark line under the shrimp, but sometimes, it takes a brownish color as opposed to its known black. It holds the waste also called poop and serves as a filter for particles like sand and grit. But one thing is for certain; no one would like to eat this as it may contain harmful substances. 

However, deveining this vein is not compulsory because the possibility of contacting a disease from eating it is minute and can only happen when you do not cook it. The only reason one might want to take this part off is because of its unappetizing flavor it may give and to avoid biting on sand particles.

Is It Okay to Eat the Shell of a Shrimp?

Eating the shell of a shrimp may not seem appealing to you because of its slightly hard and crunchy exterior. However, many people do enjoy eating this part, but some do not. So, is it okay to eat the shrimp shell? 

Of course! Shrimp shells are edible and are not harmful. Instead, they are pleasant and have various health benefits. Research shows that this shell has a chemical called chitosan, which can fight against high cholesterol levels and obesity. It also improves joint health by strengthening the cartilage that protects the long bones in the joint.

Final Thoughts

  • Deveining shrimps is based on preference. Whether you choose to do so or not, you should note that it is necessary to devein shrimps. 
  • When you do not devein shrimps, it does not have any effect on your health. The only possible outcome is that you may not like the taste of your seafood.  
  • Eating shrimps with their digestive tract does no harm. However, when eaten raw, it could eventually harm you. This is because the shrimps are bottom eaters and feed on decayed animals. Thus, a lot of bacteria hide in the digestive tract and only when you cook them will you get rid of the germs. 
  • The shrimp has two veins, the white vein, which is its blood vessel and the black vein, its digestive tract. The white vein is located on its bottom while the black vein can be found on its upper body. 
  • When deveining shrimps, you only do so with the black vein, which is on its upper body. This is because not doing so may change the flavor of your dish and may also add a damaging ingredient such as sand and grit to your food.
  • There are two basic ways to devein shrimps; using a small knife or a skewer. 
  • Shrimp shells are healthy as they have a chemical called chitosan, which fights against excess fat, obesity and improves joint health. 

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