Do You Need to Devein the Underside of Your Shrimp?

When preparing a shrimp to cook, there are two veins to watch out for, there’s the white or bluish vein that supplies blood to the shrimp and then the black vein which is used for digestive purposes. Deveining the underside of your shrimp can mean removing one or both of these veins, although, the dark vein is often removed because it contains sand and other particles.

Deveining the underside of your shrimp is not generally accepted as some people do not see the need to, while others insist that it improves the taste and presentation of the shrimp. So, undergoing this process depends on which opinion you’re okay with.

Do You Need to Devein the Underside of your Shrimp?

No, you don’t need to devein the underside of shrimp. Although most individuals and restaurants devein the underside of the shrimp, removing the dark vein that contains sand and other gritty substances, remains a matter of choice. The removal of this vein also makes the shrimp look pleasant to the eye and ensures that a grainy texture is not part of your meal.

Do You Need to Devein Both Sides of Shrimp?

No, you do not need to devein both sides of the shrimp. However, if you must devein your shrimp, what is most important for removal is the black vein that is the intestinal tract because it contains dirt and bacteria, the other vein which is used for blood circulation in the shrimp does not need to be removed as it doesn’t affect the appearance of the shrimp when it is served, neither does it contain any worrying substance.

Is It Okay Not to Devein Shrimp?

Yes, it is okay not to devein shrimp if that’s what you want but ensure that your shrimps are cooked before you consume it, this is because it is harmful to eat a non-deveined shrimp that has not been cooked. You can also prepare your shrimp with or without its shells

Is Poop on The Top or Bottom of Shrimp?

The dark vein which contains poop is at the top of the shrimp and it is called this because it is the alimentary canal of the shrimp and so contains fecal matter as well as various types of bacteria, this vein is in most cases removed from the shrimp. The other vein which can be white or have a tinge of blue is used for the circulation of blood in the shrimp. 

Can You Eat the Veins in Shrimp?

Yes, you can eat the veins in shrimp but note that there’s only one actual vein, the other one is used for digestion and is often removed by people who don’t like the sight of it and are not enthusiastic about the grainy texture that it adds to the meal, the white vein used to transport blood is harmless and does not add or take anything away from your shrimp dish. 

What Is the Black and Blue Line on The Bottom of The Shrimp?

The black line at the bottom of the shrimp is the one that contains food waste and should be removed, there might be also a separate blue or white line, this is the main vein of the shrimp and it is used as the blood supply for the shrimp, it doesn’t contain any sandy substance and can be left alone, if you don’t find them pleasing to see, you can remove both of them from the shrimp.

Can You Devein Shrimp and Leave the Shell On?

Yes, you can devein the shrimp with the shell on if you are a fan of eating the shell alongside the shrimp, if you do not like the taste of both of them together, remove the shell and then go ahead to devein your shrimp with a sharp knife or deveiner. 

The shells which are also nutritious should not be discarded without being implemented into a meal, they can be frozen, dried to a crisp, and crumbled as a topping or used for additional shrimp flavor by boiling it to form a seafood stock which is used as an accompaniment to many dishes.

Read also: Do Restaurants Devein Shrimp?

Why Do Restaurants Leave the Tails on Shrimp? 

Restaurants leave the tails on shrimp because it looks better for presentation and on the plate, it adds a classy feel to the dish and is better for the overall aesthetic of the meal, the tails are also a tasty part of the shrimp and can be used as a handle to grip the shrimp while you eat its other parts. 

How to Tell If Your Shrimp Is Cooked?

After deveining your shrimp, the cooking time is very fast as you do not want your shrimp to decompose or harbor any bacteria, the cooking time for shrimp is often 3-4 minutes and you have to monitor it well to ensure that it does not overcook.

 Preparing shrimps of the same size would make the process easier and you can use a large pan to do it so that the time to cook would be much faster and you won’t leave any shrimp lying around, Claire for the Sun-Sentinel offers a tip that would make it easy to tell when your shrimp is cooked, the suggestion states that when the shrimp forms the shape of a c, it is already cooked but when it forms the shape of an o, it is overcooked. 

Read also: Does Shrimp Smell Like Ammonia?


Opting to devein your shrimp yourself is a self-rewarding experience because you are completely sure of what you are consuming and are in control of the entire process from start to finish. Deveining your first set of shrimps might take time but as you continue to undergo the process, it would start getting easier.

And even if you believe that you do not need to devein the underside of your shrimp, ensure that it is clean and washed with salt and water to remove any dirt and slime before you start to prepare your shrimp.

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By Johny

Meet Johny, our exceptionally talented bartender at Bourbono. With an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an innate ability to mix the perfect drink, Johny is the heart and soul of our establishment’s bar. In addition to his skillful bartending, he also contributes to the Bourbono blog, sharing his love for all things food-related but with a particular passion for beverages and the art of bartending.

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