Colossal shrimp? huge shrimp? 26/30? What does it all mean? Learn just how to decipher shrimp sizes, recognize what size and how many shrimp you require for your recipe, and get cooking inspo in this reference guide.

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How space Shrimp Sized?

Shrimp sizes are denoted in numbers, such as 21/25 or U/15. As soon as you watch a “U” in the count, it method that there are “under” that number of shrimp in a pound. The slash in between numbers denotes a variety of shrimp in a pound.

So, for example, U/15 shrimp contain fewer 보다 15 shrimp per pound. 21/25’s weigh in at 21 to 25 shrimp come a pound. As the numbers acquire smaller, the shrimp gain bigger.

Sometimes, you’ll view a sizing term alongside the number such together “Large” or “Jumbo”. Because that accuracy once cooking, I prefer to salary closer attention to the number count than the sizing term.

The seafood market doesn’t standardize these terms, therefore while one brand or fishmonger might call 16/20’s “Extra Jumbo,” an additional might contact them “Colossal.” Relying on the shrimp count rather lets friend know specifically how plenty of shrimp you’re getting when planning a recipe.

Shrimp Sizing Chart

Common Sizing ax (Varies)Shrimp count Per PoundApprox. Count Per 3 oz Serving
Extra ColossalU/102-3 shrimp
Super ColossalU/122-3 shrimp
ColossalU/153-4 shrimp
Extra Jumbo16/204-5 shrimp
Jumbo21/255-6 shrimp
Extra Large26/306-7 shrimp
Large31/358-9 shrimp
Medium Large36/409-10 shrimp
Medium41/5010-12 shrimp
Small51/6012-15 shrimp
Extra Small61/7015-17 shrimp
Tiny71+18+ shrimp

Do Head-On or Unpeeled Shrimp influence Shrimp Counts?

According come Louisiana straight Seafood’s Handbook, shrimp are two counts bigger with the head on and 1 count bigger with the shells. So, say you to buy U/15 shrimp v the heads and also shells on. As soon as the heads space removed, they’ll weigh in two actions smaller in ~ 21/25 shrimp every pound, and also when peeled, they’ll it is in 26/30’s.

I really often buy shrimp v the shells on because I uncover that they save the meat juicy once cooking and also give them good flavor. So, once I’m shopping, I arrangement my serving sizes on the next smallest shrimp ~ above the chart from the counting on the label.

How huge is a traditional Shrimp Serving?

The FDA perform the serving dimension for cook seafood, including shrimp, together 3 ounces. I’ve noted the approximate encourage counts per serving in the table above.

As with any guideline, judge it and adjust based on your guests’ appetites and type of food you’re serving. For an appetizer, girlfriend can frequently aim toward the lower finish of the range, especially if you’re serving various other dishes together it. If shrimp room the key course, you can round up.

Honestly, rounding up is usual here. Our love of shrimp is strong!

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Help! mine Recipe simply Says “Raw Shrimp.” What Shrimp Sizes must I Choose?

Most that the time, if there’s no designation, you’ll it is in fine working within the 36/40 come 16/20 range. It’s a goldilocks range; no too big and not too tiny for the bulk of recipes. Save in mind the shrimp chef quickly, and also overcooked shrimp have the right to be tough and also rubbery. You’ll desire to keep your eye top top the timer, particularly when making use of shrimp at the smaller end of the range.

When choosing your shrimp size, likewise consider the cooking method and your an individual preferences because that shrimp sizes. Grilling shrimp and don’t want to skewer them? walk bigger. Do shrimp salad and don’t want to have to reduced the shrimp? go smaller. Desire to do a showstopper impression? any of the colossal sizes make a mainly presentation.

Here’s a list of cooking methods I’ve found best for various shrimp sizes. Be affected by each other in mind the this isn’t a steadfast list, but a general guideline to help with cooking recipes planning.

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Boiled, Broiled, Sautéed, Steamed: AllBaked/Roasted: U10 come 36/40Deep Fried: U10 to 26/30 if butterflying, 31/35 come 70+ if frying totality shrimpGrilled: U10 come 31/35 (consider skewering the smaller sized shrimp in this range)Pastes/Fillings: 51/60 to 71+Popcorn Shrimp: 51/60 to 71+Salads: 16/20 to 71+, relying on the structure you’re in search of in her salad, and whether you desire to reduced the shrimp.Shrimp Cocktail: U/10 to 31/35

Get Cooking: some of Our Most well-known Shrimp Recipes


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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
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Shrimp Lo Mein
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Cajun Grilled Shrimp and also Grits
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Easy Shrimp Scampi
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Bacon sheathe Shrimp through Bourbon Glaze
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Wonton Soup

Hi Ed,Honestly, ns don’t remember ever buying “extra jumbo” shrimp years ago. Also “jumbo” shrimp on restaurant menus back then appeared a bit larger than the count argues now. Together I discussed in the article, the naming device isn’t standardization in the seafood industry. I’m certain it’s shifted throughout the years, just as it deserve to differ through brand. This is why I constantly recommend going with the count rather than the descriptive name. (Many recipes only provide the name, though, for this reason the chart offers a reference suggest for typical current labeling.)