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Choose fresh or frozen shrimp. Most markets carry both fresh and frozen shrimp.If you choose fresh shrimp, the flesh should be translucent white and the shell should be light grey. Be sure the shrimp is not leaking liquid.Frozen shrimp comes either precooked or uncooked. These cooking methods are for uncooked shrimp.
Choose shrimp with or without shells. Fresh shrimp are often sold pre-peeled. If you buy shrimp with shells, you will have to peel them yourself.Shrimp can be peeled either before or after cooking. Many find it easier to peel cooked shrimp. Cooking with the shells on also helps preserve the flavor.To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and tear them off. Open the shell along the inner curve of the body and remove it.Shrimp shells can be used to make shrimp stock.
Devein the shrimp. Devein the shrimp after they have been peeled. It's easier to devein shrimp before they are cooked.Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit along the outer curve of the shrimp's body. The cut will reveal a dark brown or black vein, the shrimp's digestive tract. Use your fingers, a fork or the paring knife to lift it out of the shrimp and discard it.The vein is not unhealthy to eat, but many people prefer not to.