The Top Tip You Need To Butterfly Shrimp

If you're a fan of shellfish then you probably love a golden-brown butterflied fried shrimp. The term butterfly in cooking means to split a shrimp lengthwise so it's still connected by a thin strip or membrane. When the shrimp is spread open, the two sides are symmetrical, making it look like a butterfly, according to Bon Appetit. Incidentally, shrimp aren't the only food you can butterfly. Thick cut steaks and even whole chickens can be butterflied with delicious results.

There are two reasons for why you would want to butterfly your shrimp. First, if you want to streamline your cooking time, butterflying can help those luscious shrimp cook not just quickly but also more evenly, according to De Kooktips. Second, butterflying your shrimp gives you more surface area, which means that each piece will carry more flavor. Whether it's coming straight from the grill or soaking up a delectable sauce like in a scampi, taking the time to complete this simple task will really make a savory difference.

One simple rule

The key to proper butterflying, according to Bon Appetit, is to choose large, shell-on shrimp. Aleka's Get Together agrees, recommending large or jumbo-sized shrimp if you plan to butterfly, as smaller sizes will be much more time consuming. The process of butterflying your shrimp is pretty simple. All you'll need is a sharp paring knife. Hold the shrimp by its tail, with its back to you. Run the paring knife down the shrimp's back, cutting almost all the way through the shrimp and leaving only a thin layer still attached. Remove the vein, spread the two sides apart, and you have a beautifully butterflied shrimp. As an alternative method, you can follow Fine Cooking's instructions for butterflying from underneath. This way the remaining intact layer will keep the shrimp connected along its back.

Once you've completed the butterfly cuts, you can cook the shellfish by any method and in any style. Why not try out a butterfly version of crispy fried triple coconut shrimp? As long as you're using large or jumbo shrimp, it'll be easy to create an impressive and flavorful dish with this technique.