Mastering the art of cleaning and deveining prawns: a step-by-step guide

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Prawns—those delectable crustaceans are a true seafood lover’s delight. If you’ve ever wanted to prepare prawns at home but weren’t quite sure how to clean and devein them properly, fear not. 


Allow us to take you through a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of cleaning and deveining Australia prawns like a pro. It’s time to put on your apron, so we can get started!

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Ingredients

Before you embark on your prawn-cleaning adventure, gather the essentials:


  • Fresh prawns – Choose high-quality prawns from your trusted seafood delivery service.
  • A sharp paring knife or kitchen shears – These will make the process much easier.
  • A clean cutting board – Ensure it’s sturdy and easy to work on.
  • A small bowl of water – Use it to rinse the prawns.

Step 2: Rinse the Prawns

Place the prawns in the bowl of water and gently rinse them. This helps remove any dirt or sand clinging to the shells. Remember not to soak the prawns, as they can absorb excess water, affecting the taste and texture.

Step 3: Remove the Head

Hold the prawns firmly with one hand and use the other to twist and pull off the head. Discard the heads or save them to make a flavourful seafood stock.

Step 4: Peel the Shell

Starting from the underside of the prawn, use your fingers to peel off the shell. The shell should come off easily, exposing the tender flesh inside. If you encounter resistance, use the paring knife or kitchen shears to make a small slit along the back to assist in peeling.

Step 5: Devein the Prawns

Locate the dark vein that runs along the back of the prawn. This is the digestive tract, also known as the ‘sand vein.’ Gently lift the vein with the tip of your knife and pull it out with your fingers. Rinse the prawns once more to ensure they are clean and ready to be cooked.

Step 6: Optional: Butterfly the Prawns

For certain recipes, butterflying the prawns can be a great idea. To do this, make a deeper cut along the back of the peeled prawn, but do not cut all the way through. Spread the prawn open like a book, and it’s ready to be seasoned or stuffed.

Step 7: Store or Cook Immediately

Once your prawns are cleaned and deveined, you can either cook them right away or store them properly. To store, place the cleaned prawns in an airtight container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remember, the sooner you cook them, the fresher they’ll taste.

The Culinary Joy of Prawns

Cleaning and deveining Australian prawns may seem daunting especially if you’re trying it for the first time. But now that you know how to do it, you can dive into a world of new culinary delights. From sizzling prawn stir-fries to mouthwatering grilled prawns, the possibilities are endless. Embrace the freshness and flavours of prawns in your home cooking, and you’ll surely impress your family and friends with your seafood expertise.


The next time you receive a batch of fresh prawns from your trusted seafood delivery service, you can confidently prepare them with ease. Enjoy the rich and delicate taste of these ocean treasures, and let your creativity flow as you explore a diverse array of prawn dishes.