Monday, June 20, 2016

There's a Tool for That

One of my very favorite foods is fresh caught shrimp.  One of my very least favorite cooking chores is peeling and deveining said shrimp.  Several weeks ago I was talking on the phone with our daughter.  I had just finished the dreaded peeling and deveining task and lamented how much I hated doing it.  My daughter asked, "Isn't there a tool for that?"  It had never entered my mind that there might be a gadget to help with this job.

I immediately went Online and watched some very clever videos about shrimp peeling tools.  Most of them were plastic and the reviews indicated they were great except that the tip tended to break and thus render the tool useless.

Clever daughter looked on her favorite cooking Website, "Cook's Illustrated" and sent a link to their evaluation of various shrimp tools.  By far, the highest recommendation was for a stainless steel product called RSVP International Endurance Seafood Scissors.  [Disclaimer:  I have no relationship to the company whatsoever.]

I immediately ordered the tool which was  less than fifteen dollars.  It came within a few days and I couldn't wait to try it.

Here's the multi-purpose tool
(Sorry, I had already used it before taking the photograph)
A good photographer would have cleaned it before shooting the picture.

 To use the tool, I inserted the curving blade just under the shell at the top of the shrimp shell.

 Thread it a little further and then snip with the scissors

 I was impressed.  The shell lay open with the vein exposed and easily removed.

 It worked!

Even with the new tool, peeling and deveining is not exactly a fun job.  But it is far easier and more pleasant than the process of removing the shell and then slitting the shrimp to remove the vein.  And the chore is completed in less than half the time.

I'm sure you folks living near the coastal areas scoff at someone needing a tool to devein shrimp.  But this mountain woman is delighted to have this great kitchen gadget.  We'll be having shrimp more often as main dishes and appetizers (think Ina Garten's roasted shrimp cocktail which you can find HERE).

Thanks to our daughter.  Without her I never would have thought to look for a tool.


robin andrea said...

Looks like the perfect new tool to for that job!

Connie said...

There is nothing like having the right tool for the job, and it looks like you found it for preparing shrimp. I'm not a shrimp eater myself (have always been squeamish about shrimp, clams, oysters, snails) but I'm glad you found this tool that makes the job easier for you.

Carolina Linthead said...

It's amazing what a difference a proper tool can make in doing an unpleasant task. In our household, The Bug has been expanding her food preparation horizons by making vegetarian dishes from fresh ingredients. She initially struggled with all the knife work she was doing. Then we remembered a knife I had bought from a friend trying to liquidate excessive chef supplies. I had liked the look and feel of it, but then I put it in a drawer and, well, we all know how that goes. So we kept using our old chef's knife, more of a French design that suits me but not her. Now she is using her more Asian style knife and loving it! It's the little things, isn't it?

Carolina Linthead said...

A variation of the Japanese Santoku is The Bug's new favorite knife...I had a mental blank above. I still prefer the more German/French's in my DNA.

Arkansas Patti said...

Oh my. I really could have used that years ago. I worked in a New England Lobster house while going to college and one of our slow time jobs was pealing shrimp. You are right, it is a nasty job. Glad you found such a neat helper.

KB Bear said...

Wow - there's a gadget for everything these days!!! I'm glad that your favorite food will be easier to eat.

I used to love shrimp until I started having bad reactions to it. My doc thinks it may actually be an allergy to the sulfites they put on shrimp and some other seafood to keep it look pink and fresh! I miss shrimp - I wish I could use your new gadget!

Vicki Lane said...

Ingenious! I always just use my fingers and a little knife -- or my thumbnail, if it's long enough.Shrimp salad is a big summer favorite here.

Ms. A said...

Glad you found something that works well!

I live right near the Gulf and miss eating shrimp. Most of our seafood places use farmed shrimp, can you believe that??? I don't want farmed! I also don't want the task of cleaning and preparing it.

Mary Lee said...

Cool! I hate peeling shrimp. May have to order one of these. I love Cook's Illustrated. (Wonder if I still subscribe. . . ?!) I have some of their cookbooks. Never thought about checking their site for equipment.