Learn How to Peel and Devein shrimp in this step-by-step guide. Also included is a video tutorial for even more visuals. 

For some of my favorite recipes using shrimp, I recommend this Shrimp Cocktail and Shrimp Cocktail Sauce, Grandma’s Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Shrimp Scampi PastaHawaiian Food Truck Garlic Shrimp, and Bang Bang Shrimp

A knife taking out the vein of a shrimp.

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

Unless you grew up in Louisiana or some other place where fresh shrimp was at your disposal and ate it all the time, you might not know how to peel and devein shrimp. 

The concept seems overwhelming, but it is relatively easy with some easy directions and a little practice. First, peel the shrimp and remove the black string. Easy peasy!

No need to feel intimidated by this process or feel that only a professional chef can do this! I have created a video and step-by-step pictures to show you exactly how to devein your shrimp.

A hand holding a shrimp and a knife cutting into the back of the shrimp.

Is it necessary to devein shrimp?

It is not necessary to devein shrimp. It is perfectly safe to eat the shrimp with the vein attached. Many people leave the vein in, especially in smaller shrimp, as it can take hours to devein small shrimp. However, with giant shrimp, many people decide to devein them for taste and aesthetics. 

Is the vein in shrimp poop? 

The intestinal tract, or the little black string, is the black vein that runs along the back of a shrimp. It is full of grit and is safe to eat. 

How do you devein shrimp easily?

STEP ONE: First, remove the shell of the shrimp. Leave the tail section attached. 

STEP TWO: Next, hold the shrimp in your hand. Make a shallow cut down the back of the shrimp. 

STEP THREE: Lastly, using the tip of the knife, remove the vein. 

A picture collage of How to Peel and Devein Shrimp.

Cook’s Tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Prep bowl
A knife slicing into the back of a shrimp that has been peeled.

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

Learn How to Peel and Devein Shrimp in this step-by-step guide. Also included is a video tutorial for even more visuals.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: how-to
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shrimp
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 pound


  • 1 pound shrimp thawed if previously frozen


  • Remove the shell, leaving the tail section intact.
  • Hold the shrimp in your hand with the inside of the curve facing down.
  • Make a shallow cut with a paring knife down the back of the shrimp.
  • Use the tip of the knife or a toothpick to remove the vein.


Tried this recipe?Follow me @FoodFolksandFun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. This was so helpful! Thank you for the tips! Can’t wait to show my daughter this!

  2. So helpful! Always looking for easier ways to devein shrimp

  3. What a great how-to. Everything was easily shown and explained. Thank you for this helpful info!

  4. This was so helpful! So many great tips for shrimp that I know will come in handy! Very easy to follow.

  5. I’ve never done this before so thanks for walking me through it!