How to Devein Tiger Prawns

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Tiger prawns have gray-striped shells and can be deveined with the shell on or off.
Tiger prawns have gray-striped shells and can be deveined with the shell on or off. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The tiger prawn -- Penaeus monodon -- is characterized by its large size and gray-striped shell, which turns pinkish-orange when cooked. This type of succulent shrimp is raised in tropical habitats from India and Thailand to Australia and South Africa. It is served throughout the U.S., breaded, sauteed or cooked and chilled with a side of cocktail sauce for dipping. The tiger prawn's digestive tract -- also called a vein -- runs down its back. It's black, and while edible, can be removed before cooking. This process is called deveining.

Things You'll Need

  • Paring knife
  • Bamboo skewer

Shell Off

Grasp the prawn tail and pull it off. Slide your thumb or finger down the belly of the prawn to pry the shell open. Slide the shell off.

Run the tip of a paring knife down the back of the black vein on the prawn, from top to bottom, slicing about 1/8-inch deep into the flesh.

Use the bamboo skewer tip to pull the vein out of the prawn. Rinse to remove grit left behind.

Shell On

Grasp the tiger prawn in the middle, with the curved back of the prawn facing up.

Run the tip of a paring knife, lengthwise, down the middle of the shell, piercing the shell deep enough to cut through the shell and into the prawn's flesh.

Rinse the prawn to remove the black vein.

Tips & Warnings

  • Specialty kitchen stores sell prawn deveiners, which can be used instead of a paring knife.

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