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How to Butterfly Shrimp

Fine Cooking Issue 96
Photos: Scott Phillips
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Editor at large Susie Middleton uses an unusual technique for preparing the shrimp in her Crab & Scallion Stuffed Shrimp: she butterflies them from underneath. This way, she’s able to flip the tails up on the shrimp before baking, giving them a jaunty look. The technique is simple, but it’s a good idea to buy a few extra shrimp in case you rip one or two while getting the hang of it. Be careful not to buy “easy-peel” shrimp, because they’ve already been deveined from the top side and won’t work for this technique. Start by rinsing the shrimp and peeling them down to the section closest to the tail. Then follow the directions below.

With a paring knife, slit the underside of a shrimp down the middle, cutting almost but not all the way through to expose the vein that runs along the top of the shrimp.
Open the shrimp like a book and use the knife to lift out the vein.


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