Colossal shrimp? huge shrimp? 26/30? What go it all mean? Learn just how to decipher shrimp sizes, identify what size and also how countless shrimp you need for your recipe, and also get cooking inspo in this reference guide.

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How are Shrimp Sized?

Shrimp sizes space denoted in numbers, such together 21/25 or U/15. Once you check out 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 selection of shrimp in a pound.

So, because that example, U/15 shrimp save fewer 보다 15 shrimp per pound. 21/25’s weigh in in ~ 21 to 25 shrimp to a pound. As the numbers gain smaller, the shrimp get bigger.

Sometimes, you’ll watch a sizing term together the number such together “Large” or “Jumbo”. For accuracy once cooking, I prefer to pay closer fist to the number count than the sizing term.

The seafood market doesn’t standardize these terms, so while one brand or fishmonger might speak to 16/20’s “Extra Jumbo,” another might call them “Colossal.” Relying on the shrimp count rather lets you know exactly how countless shrimp you’re gaining when planning a recipe.

Shrimp Sizing Chart

Common Sizing hatchet (Varies)Shrimp counting Per PoundApprox. Counting 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 affect Shrimp Counts?

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

I really often buy shrimp with the shells on due to the fact that I find that they save the meat juicy once cooking and give them great flavor. So, when I’m shopping, I plan my serving sizes on the next smallest shrimp top top the chart from the count on the label.

How huge is a typical Shrimp Serving?

The FDA list the serving dimension for cooking seafood, consisting of shrimp, together 3 ounces. I’ve detailed the approximate recommended counts every serving in the table above.

As with any type of guideline, judge it and adjust based on her guests’ appetites and form of dish you’re serving. For an appetizer, you can frequently aim toward the lower finish of the range, specifically if you’re serving various other dishes together it. If shrimp are the main course, you could round up.

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

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

Most of the time, if there’s no designation, you’ll be fine functioning within the 36/40 come 16/20 range. It’s a goldilocks range; not too big and no too little for the bulk of recipes. Keep in mind that shrimp chef quickly, and also overcooked shrimp can be tough and also rubbery. You’ll desire to save your eye ~ above the timer, specifically when making use of shrimp in ~ the smaller finish of the range.

When choosing your shrimp size, also consider the cooking technique and your personal preferences for shrimp sizes. Grilling shrimp and don’t want to skewer them? walk bigger. Making shrimp salad and don’t want to have to cut the shrimp? walk smaller. Desire to make a showstopper impression? any of the colossal sizes make a mainly presentation.

Here’s a perform 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 basic guideline to aid with recipe planning.

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

Get Cooking: few of Our Most renowned Shrimp Recipes


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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
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Shrimp Lo Mein
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Cajun Grilled Shrimp and Grits
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Easy Shrimp Scampi
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Bacon wrapped Shrimp v Bourbon Glaze
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Wonton Soup

Hi Ed,Honestly, i don’t remember ever buying “extra jumbo” shrimp years ago. Also “jumbo” shrimp on restaurant menus ago then seemed a bit larger than the count says now. As I pointed out in the article, the naming mechanism isn’t standardization in the seafood industry. I’m sure it’s shifted throughout the years, just as it deserve to differ by brand. This is why I constantly recommend going with the count rather than the descriptive name. (Many recipes only administer the name, though, so the chart provides a reference suggest for common current labeling.)