I'm not very good at peeling shrimp, but I've been practicing lately with raw shrimp. I have the theory that raw shrimp are peeled more easily than cooked.

Every time I try to peel a cooked shrimp, the flesh sticks to the skin. Is there a way to peel cooked shrimp easily?

As for method, I guess it's the same for cooked as for raw.

  • Take the head off.
  • Take the tail between thumb and index finger and peel the legs off.
  • Take the tail and the first section and 'break' the next section lose.
  • Take the tail off.
  • Take the first section of the body between the palm and little finger and with the index finger peel the back off the shrimp.


Do you use the same method as I? Should I apply another method for cooked shrimp?

Edit I've had no luck with another batch of shrimp. This time no method of mine worked, as the skin would stick to the flesh. Is this a problem of freshness (too fresh or not fresh enough)? (Should I post this edit in another question?)

1 Answer 1


I was always taught to take the head and tail between your fingers of each hand, pull it out straight, push together slightly, then pull apart. That should pull the whole carapace back off the body. Then you can pull off the head (and legs if they're still there) and you're done.

However, I've seldom gotten it to work when raw, and less so when cooked.

I agree, cooked shrimp are harder to peel, and just add an unwanted challenge to the diner when included in most dishes.

  • Wow, that does seem to be far more efficient. Next time I'll try. Jul 6, 2011 at 23:21
  • It drives me crazy when cooks leave the tails on shrimp in dishes, especially in stews or soups. It means to ingest the morsel, it must first be fished boiling hot out of the liquid then peeled with unprotected fingers. Apparently the tails are left on for presentation purposes.
    – Doug
    Jul 7, 2011 at 2:15
  • 1
    @Doug That's what chopsticks are for. :-)
    – talon8
    Jul 7, 2011 at 15:52
  • 1
    @talon8 I defy you to locate chopsticks in a portugese seafood restaurant!
    – Doug
    Jul 13, 2011 at 18:05
  • @Doug Always be prepared? amzn.to/niaAbF
    – talon8
    Jul 20, 2011 at 17:43

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