Colossal shrimp? huge shrimp? 26/30? What walk it every mean? Learn how to decipher shrimp sizes, recognize what size and also how countless shrimp you need for her recipe, and also get food preparation 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 watch a “U” in the count, it means that there space “under” that variety of shrimp in a pound. The slash 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 sweet in in ~ 21 to 25 shrimp come a pound. Together the numbers acquire smaller, the shrimp get bigger.

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

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

Shrimp Sizing Chart

Common Sizing ax (Varies)Shrimp count 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 influence Shrimp Counts?

According come Louisiana straight Seafood’s Handbook, shrimp space two counts larger with the head on and also 1 count bigger with the shells. So, to speak you to buy U/15 shrimp through the heads and shells on. Once the heads room removed, they’ll sweet in two procedures smaller in ~ 21/25 shrimp per pound, and when peeled, they’ll be 26/30’s.

I an extremely often buy shrimp with the shells on since I discover that they store the meat juicy when cooking and give them good flavor. So, when I’m shopping, I arrangement my serving sizes on the next smallest shrimp on the chart from the counting on the label.

How large is a traditional Shrimp Serving?

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

As with any guideline, referee it and change based on your guests’ appetites and kind of dish you’re serving. Because that an appetizer, you can often aim toward the lower end of the range, specifically if you’re serving other dishes alongside it. If shrimp room the main course, you can round up.

Honestly, rounding up is common here. Ours love the shrimp is strong!

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

Most that the time, if there’s no designation, you’ll be fine working within the 36/40 come 16/20 range. It’s a goldilocks range; no too huge and not too small for the mass of recipes. Save in mind that shrimp chef quickly, and overcooked shrimp have the right to be tough and also rubbery. You’ll want to store your eye ~ above the timer, especially when making use of shrimp in ~ the smaller finish of the range.

When selecting your shrimp size, additionally consider the cooking method and your an individual preferences because that shrimp sizes. Grilling shrimp and also don’t want to skewer them? go bigger. Do shrimp salad and don’t want to have to cut the shrimp? go smaller. Want to make a showstopper impression? any kind of of the colossal sizes make a mainly presentation.

Here’s a list of cooking methods I’ve found ideal for various shrimp sizes. Be afflicted with in mind the this isn’t a steadfast list, however a basic guideline to assist 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 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 come 71+, depending on the texture you’re in search of in her salad, and also whether you want to cut the shrimp.Shrimp Cocktail: U/10 to 31/35

Get Cooking: several 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 covering Shrimp v Bourbon Glaze
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Wonton Soup

Hi Ed,Honestly, i don’t remember ever buying “extra jumbo” shrimp year ago. Also “jumbo” shrimp on restaurant menus ago then appeared a bit bigger than the count argues now. As I pointed out in the article, the naming device isn’t standardized in the seafood industry. I’m sure it’s shifted across the years, just as it have the right to differ by brand. This is why I always recommend going with the count rather than the descriptive name. (Many recipes only administer the name, though, for this reason the chart provides a reference suggest for usual current labeling.)