Brilliant Technique to Devein a Prawn in Seconds

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Love cooking prawns! Whether it’s a garlic prawn pasta or a simple grilled prawn dish, there’s something about these little critters that can elevate a meal from good to gourmet. But, as many of us have discovered, prepping them can be a bit…icky, especially when it comes to deveining. That dark vein running down the back? It’s not a vein but the prawn’s digestive tract, and while it’s not harmful to eat, it’s not exactly appetizing either. So, we clean, and until recently, I thought the process was as good as it was going to get. That was until I stumbled upon the toothpick method. Yes, you read that right. A toothpick. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Like many kitchen eureka moments, I found out about this technique quite by accident. I was at a friend’s house for a cookout, and we were in the midst of a prawn-peeling session, a task I approached with the enthusiasm of a child heading to the dentist. That’s when my friend pulled out a box of toothpicks and declared, “This is going to change your life.” I was skeptical. After years of fiddling with knives and deveining tools, could a simple toothpick really make a difference? Oh, but it did.

source: Pexels

The process is disarmingly simple and takes mere seconds per prawn. Here’s how it’s done:

Locate the Vein: Hold the prawn so the back is facing you, and locate the dark line that runs down its length. This is what you’re aiming to remove.

Pierce with a Toothpick: About a quarter-inch from the tail, pierce the shell and the vein with a toothpick, going in at a slight angle.

Lift and Pull: Gently lift the toothpick upwards, and you’ll see the vein hook onto it. With a steady hand, pull the vein out in one smooth motion. If you’ve hit the sweet spot, it’ll come out whole, leaving you with a perfectly clean prawn.

Rinse and Repeat: Give the prawn a quick rinse under cold water, and move on to the next one. You’ll be through your pile of prawns in no time, wondering why you ever did it any other way.


This makes cleaning prawns so much easier! And less risk with handling sharp objects using the usual way… #placesinsydney #kitchenhack #kitchenhacks #hacks #prawn #deveiningshrimp #devein #kitchen

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The first time I tried it, I was amazed. Not only was it quick, but it was also strangely satisfying. Each vein came out cleanly, leaving no mess behind. It was a game-changer. I’ve deveined prawns for curries, barbecues, and fancy dinners, and each time, I marvel at how efficient the process has become. It’s become a bit of a party trick, too. Whenever I’m cooking prawns with someone new, I whip out the toothpicks and watch their skepticism turn to surprise.

What makes this method stand out, aside from its simplicity, is how it keeps the prawn intact. Traditional methods often involve slicing the back open, which can lead to the prawn losing its shape or becoming too exposed to the cooking process, altering its texture. The toothpick technique is minimally invasive; it maintains the prawn’s integrity, ensuring it cooks evenly and retains its succulent juiciness.

source: Pexels

Since discovering this technique, I’ve shared it with friends, family, and anyone willing to listen. The response is always the same: disbelief followed by utter amazement. It’s not just about the speed or the efficiency; it’s about how such a small change can transform a task from tedious to almost therapeutic. There’s a rhythm to it, a simplicity that harks back to cooking’s most basic joys.

But perhaps the best part of this method is its accessibility. There’s no need for specialized tools or equipment. A box of toothpicks, which most of us have lying around in a drawer somewhere, is all it takes to turn a chore into an act of culinary finesse. Well, sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective, and that innovation in the kitchen doesn’t always mean high-tech gadgets or fancy techniques.

source: Pexels

The next time you find yourself facing down a pile of prawns, dreading the deveining process, remember the toothpick method. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it might just change the way you prepare prawns forever. Trust me, give it a try, and you’ll never look back. It’s not just about making the task easier; it’s about rediscovering the pleasure in preparing food, one prawn at a time.