Peeling shrimp is not an exact science but there are not too many ways to do it. It’s pretty basic once you learn it. The most important thing is to make sure you get all of the shell off the shrimp before cooking or eating it. The shell doesn’t taste that great. I’ve learned how to do it but I’m not always the best at it. Sometimes I end up taking more of the tail off than I want to. But with practice, this can be a very simple process.
Whether you are using frozen or fresh shrimp, soak it in water first. With frozen shrimp, it will take a lot longer to soak before you can peel it. It’s almost impossible to peel the shrimp in it’s frozen state. We usually take the shrimp out of the freezer an hour before we want to eat. That gives us enough time for it to soak in water.
Once the shrimp is thawed and ready for peeling, you will want to get comfortable holding the shrimp. I literally held this shrimp and snapped a picture of it at the same time, so it’s pretty easy to handle. Start at the top of the shrimp or the curve. Open up the shell or fold it over. If the shrimp is thawed all the way, the shell should just come right off.
Then holding the shrimp with two hands, grab the tail end of the shell and simply pull. This is a little harder to do. You want to make sure you pull from the very tip of the shell. Again it should come right off and leave the tail of the shrimp in tact!
I always use a plastic bag when disposing of the shells. These can start to smell if you don’t contain the shells and put at the bottom of your garbage bag. It’s not a good idea to put these into the garbage disposal.
Here are some of my shrimp recipes to go along with these beautifully peeled shrimp.
–Shrimp Diablo with Spicy Cocktail Sauce – Great for any party!
–Shrimp Paella – Also great for a dinner party