Can You Eat Shrimp Tails?

Are you a seafood lover? Do you ever wonder, “can you eat shrimp tails?” Some restaurants leave them on when serving a dish, but many remove the tails first. So, if you have never eaten shrimp tails, you may wonder if they are even edible.

You can eat shrimp tails safely if you are not allergic to shellfish. They are edible, but many people don’t eat them. Restaurants usually keep them on the shrimp for presentation. In many parts of the world, eating shrimp tails is popular and is considered to add flavor and texture to a seafood dish.

Do you love eating shrimp? Just thinking of shrimp’s delicious buttery taste makes my mouth water! Perhaps your family considers it a luxury that you enjoy on special occasions? It is terrific when cooked carefully, but what about eating the tail? Is it even possible to eat the shrimp tails, and are there any benefits to eating them? What about safety? Let us find out more about shrimp tails.

Are Shrimp Tails Fine To Eat?

Have you ever been at a restaurant where you’ve been served a beautifully presented seafood platter? And then you notice the tails have been left on the shrimp. You love seafood and are always up to trying something new but are unsure about eating the shrimp tails. Is it even safe to eat the shrimp tails? And what about the all-important factor: the taste?

Unless you are allergic to seafood and wouldn’t be eating it anyway, you can eat shrimp tails. Anyone who enjoys seafood can safely eat them. However, why would you eat the tails? Do they taste good, and are there any nutritional benefits to eating them?

In many parts of the world, people enjoy the crunch factor shrimp tails offer and are said to add to the flavor. You can eat shrimp tails without problems if you are a seafood lover. Who knows, you may never want to eat them any other way!

Are Shrimp Tails Safe To Eat?

Other than being allergic or personal preference, you can safely eat shrimp tails. For anyone who enjoys seafood, there is no reason from a safety point of view not to eat them. They may be a bit crunchy, needing to be chewed more thoroughly than eating shrimp without the tails. Otherwise, they are pretty safe to eat.

Besides allergies, the only real danger of eating shrimp tails is possible choking. But in case you didn’t know, smaller shrimp have softer shells making them easier to chew. It is not recommended to eat the tails of big shrimp such as langoustines.

What Do Shrimp Tails Taste Like?

Shrimp prepared with the tails still on is rather delicious. The shrimp tails have an enhanced seafood taste without being overwhelmingly fishy. Shrimp tails add a nice crunch and chewy texture to the dish. Leaving the tails on intensifies and deepens the seafood flavor. They should be coated in corn flour and then deep-fried or grilled.

Thai and Chinese cuisine typically leave the tails on, with the shrimp being eaten whole. The shrimp tails add not only to the dish’s presentation but to the overall flavor too. They also keep the shrimp from getting tough.

Many seafood lovers who do not eat the shrimp tail boil them to extract a rich seafood-flavored stock but discard the shells once cooked.

Can We Digest Shrimp Tails?

Once you’ve decided to try eating shrimp tails, you may wonder if you can even digest them because they are part of the shrimp shell.

Well, the smaller the shrimp, the softer the tail will be. Like other seafood, such as lobster, shrimp have an exoskeleton that forms the tail. The shrimp tails are made from cartilage that protects the shrimp while still alive.

So yes, just like any other food, our digestive juices will break down the shrimp shell in our digestive tract, providing us with some nutritional benefits.

 As a side note, trying to eat large shrimp tails, such as langoustine, is not recommended. The shells are just too hard. Eating the tails from langoustine will be difficult and unpleasant as they will be a problem to chew.

Are Shrimp Tails Beneficial To Your Health?

Now that you have learned that it’s ok to eat shrimp tails unless you are allergic to seafood, is there any nutritional value to eating them?

Shrimp tails are formed from a hard exoskeleton made up of a substance called chitin and protein. Chitin is similar to keratin, the stuff our hair and nails are made of. They also contain zinc, calcium, selenium, phosphorous, and vitamin b12. Like most seafood, they also have a fair amount of iodine, which is good for your thyroid gland.

Shrimp, including the tail, is very low in calories. It also contains no carbohydrates, so it’s perfect for people on low-carb diets. Shrimp, along with the tail, are pretty healthy food.

shutterstock 2142903053

How Would You Prepare Shrimp Tails?

Now that you know that you don’t need to remove the shrimp tails, how do you prepare them with the tails left on?

The easiest way is to take sharp kitchen scissors and cut the shrimp through the shell along the back from top to bottom. You can see a dark vein running down the back, which you must remove. Once cut open, lift out the vein.

After that, you can cook the whole shrimp according to your recipe. The most popular way to cook shrimp with intact tails is by grilling or deep frying. They can also be marinated and dipped in batter.

Once cooked with the tail still on, it forms a sort of handle, making the shrimp more manageable to eat as “finger food. “

If you still decide not to eat the tail, the shell can be pulled off once cooked. Instead of throwing them away, boil the shrimp tails to make a seafood stock or broth, which makes a delicious base for other dishes.

Is your mouth watering yet? You are probably ready to buy some shrimp and cook up a storm!


Cooking and eating shrimp is a treat; if you enjoy them, eating shrimp tails is ok to eat along with the rest of the shrimp. Shrimp tails add flavor and a chewy texture to your dish. They also make the appearance of a shrimp dish better. However, all this talk about shrimp might have made you hungry! So, try cooking your next shrimp dish leaving the tails on. You might never eat them any other way! Bon Appetit!