Do Restaurants Devein Shrimp: You Really Want To Know This

If you have ever eaten shrimp, then the chances are you have seen a black vein on the shrimp and the important question here is that do restaurants Devin shrimp? We’ll get to that shortly don’t worry!

In this article, I will also teach you about some additional aspects about shrimps and deveining them because many people simply won’t eat shrimp if it isn’t deveined which could lead to costly food waste due to the reason that seafood is so expensive. Therefore it is important to know whether restaurants devein shrimp or not?

In general, most restaurants devein shrimp or buy already deveined ones. However, in a batch of deveined shrimp there usually are some that aren’t deveined because of a mistake or simple laziness. Also, some restaurants don’t devein the smallest shrimps which should always be done regardless of the size.

The point is that if you must have deveined shrimp in 100% certainty, then I wouldn’t order shrimp anywhere but really high-end restaurants, especially Asian-based restaurants where you can find non-deveined shrimps more often, but more on that later. Next, let’s see why restaurants should always devein shrimp and the reasons why some just don’t.

Why should restaurants devein shrimp

As you have probably understood by now that restaurants should always devein shrimp but I haven’t yet revealed why is that? Well, now it’s time to understand the importance of deveining shrimps.


Restaurants should always devein shrimp because it isn’t exactly a beautiful sight to notice non-deveined shrimps on your plate, especially if the shrimps are large. In fact, many people send the dishes back because the shrimps aren’t properly deveined as they should.


If you order a plate of shrimps in a restaurant and notice that the chefs haven’t deveined them or they have bought non-deveined shrimps and cooked them from there, it really, really decreases the restaurant’s branding and reputation in the customer’s eyes.

On the other hand, if the shrimp dish is deveined and of high quality, it can really have a boost on the restaurant’s reputation because after all shrimps are usually one of the most expensive dishes in the restaurant due to the reason on seafood expensive cost and the time it takes to devein and prepare them.

Because it’s gross

Last but not least, eating shrimps that haven’t been deveined is simply gross. If you already didn’t know, the vein that is removed in the deveining process is the shrimp’s intestinal tract and when it is clearly visible and black, it is full of shrimp’s poop. Therefore no restaurant that wants to have a quality reputation shouldn’t leave shrimps un-deveined.

Why don’t some restaurants devein shrimp

Now there are some understandable reasons why restaurants wouldn’t devein shrimps, however, this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done and that it is acceptable by any means. Let’s take a look at what the restaurants are thinking when they decide to serve shrimp that haven’t been deveined.

Time consuming

If the restaurant buys non deveined shrimp then they should devein them. However, deveining hundreds of shrimps is extremely time-consuming which will take time off other tasks, therefore some restaurants just don’t devein them especially if they only serve small shrimps where the intestinal tract aren’t as visible as in large shrimps

Price reasons

Another reason for not deveining shrimp is cost. Restaurants will save money when buying non deveined shrimp instead of deveined ones. However, in quality restaurants, you either choose to spend more money so you can buy deveined ones, or invest the time to devein them yourself.

Buying ships that still have the intestinal tract on them and not investing the time to remove them is certainly cost-efficient and it will save time as well, however, the result is far worse than doing either of these things because it will greatly decrease the restaurants brand reputation.

Do shrimps need to be deveined

Whether eating shrimp that haven’t been deveined isn’t the most enjoyable experience, it isn’t required to be deveined by law, regulations, or health reasons. This is because when shrimp is properly cooked, shrimp that still has its intestinal tract is perfectly safe to eat. Deveining a shrimp is purely done because of looks, taste, and quality reasons and it doesn’t present any health risks.

How to devein shrimp

The easiest way to devein a shrimp is by making a thin slit by the full length of the shrimps back which will reveal the black vein and you can remove it from there. By doing this the shrimp will look and taste better, in addition, if you are making a marinara or a sauce the shrimp will absorb the taste way better!

Check out the video below how to peel and devein a shrimp properly!

Do Chinese restaurants devein shrimp

Many Asian restaurants use farmed shrimp which will enable them to control the shrimp’s intestinal tract better by not feeding them a couple of days before harvesting them. This way the shrimp farms can be more certain that the shrimp’s intestinal tracts don’t contain grit anymore.

However doing this on a large scale like this, there will be mistakes and shrimp’s where the intestinal tracts haven’t had cleansing and they will be full of grit. Therefore many Asian restaurants don’t devein them and there are occasional cases when the shrimps aren’t properly clean from the inside.

Does frozen shrimp come deveined

Whether frozen shrimp comes deveined or not it will be solely the decision of the manufacturer and if you are concerned about which one it is, the packaging will clearly say ”deveined” if they are. The problem here is that you really can’t devein frozen shrimp and it is extremely hard to do after cooking.

Cooking shrimp that is frozen will result in a more delicious texture and taste so you could defrost the shrimps and then devein them, however, the shrimps quality wouldn’t be as good if you were to cook them straight from frozen form.

What is the black line in shrimp

The black line in a shrimp is its intestinal tract. If the line is black and clearly visible it means that the intestinal tract is full of shrimp excrement.


Deveining shrimp is important as a restaurant in order to maintain high-quality standards and providing excellent customer service. Most people don’t enjoy eating shrimp grit so you really shouldn’t provide that to the customers. This article was all about deveining shrimp and I really hope that you got value and new knowledge from this article.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS and while I love working in a busy restaurant, I also enjoy more peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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