shrimp on a plate on white background
Should You Clean Frozen Shrimp Prior To Cooking Them?
By C.A. Pinkham
Frozen shrimp is convenient and cost-effective; plus, it doesn't need to be cleaned. Cleaning this crustacean is ultimately a matter of personal preference more than necessity.
In general, properly stored seafood isn't as susceptible to bacteria like salmonella as something like chicken, which is why you can eat raw fish without serious health risks.
You shouldn't eat raw shrimp, but you also don't need to worry about washing it. It's ready to use right out of the package, but you might want to peel off the shell.
The black vein running along a shrimp's back is the shrimp's digestive tract. While it's safe to eat, it can look unappealing and have a gritty texture, so you should remove it.
If you want to clean your shrimp, remove the heads (if they're still on), then the shell and legs, unless you plan on grilling them. Removing the tails is a matter of preference.
When washing, use cold water, as hot water can essentially par-cook them. If you're applying direct heat using a pan sear or a grill, be sure to dry them afterward.