Colossal shrimp? huge shrimp? 26/30? What walk it every mean? Learn exactly how to decipher shrimp sizes, recognize what size and also how many shrimp you need for her recipe, and get cooking inspo in this recommendation guide.

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How room Shrimp Sized?

Shrimp sizes are denoted in numbers, such as 21/25 or U/15. When you see a “U” in the count, it means that there room “under” that variety of shrimp in a pound. The slash between numbers denotes a selection of shrimp in a pound.

So, for example, U/15 shrimp contain fewer than 15 shrimp every pound. 21/25’s sweet in at 21 to 25 shrimp come a pound. Together the numbers acquire smaller, the shrimp gain bigger.

Sometimes, you’ll watch a sizing term alongside the number such as “Large” or “Jumbo”. For accuracy when cooking, I like 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 call them “Colossal.” Relying top top the shrimp count rather lets girlfriend know specifically how numerous shrimp you’re acquiring when planning a recipe.

Shrimp Sizing Chart

Common Sizing term (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 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 buy U/15 shrimp v the heads and shells on. Once the heads are removed, they’ll weigh in two actions smaller at 21/25 shrimp per pound, and also when peeled, they’ll be 26/30’s.

I very often purchase shrimp v the shells on since I discover that they keep the meat juicy when cooking and also give them great flavor. So, when I’m shopping, I plan 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 lists the serving dimension for cooked seafood, consisting of shrimp, as 3 ounces. I’ve noted the approximate recommended counts every serving in the table above.

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

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

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

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

When choosing your shrimp size, likewise consider the cooking technique and your an individual preferences for shrimp sizes. Grilling shrimp and don’t desire to skewer them? go bigger. Make shrimp salad and don’t want to have to cut the shrimp? walk smaller. Want to make a showstopper impression? any type of of the colossal sizes make a stellar presentation.

Here’s a perform of cooking methods I’ve found ideal for miscellaneous shrimp sizes. Be affected by each other in mind the this isn’t a steadfast list, but a general guideline to help with recipe 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 whole shrimpGrilled: U10 come 31/35 (consider skewering the smaller sized shrimp in this range)Pastes/Fillings: 51/60 come 71+Popcorn Shrimp: 51/60 to 71+Salads: 16/20 come 71+, depending upon the structure you’re in search of in your salad, and also whether you want to cut 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 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, ns don’t remember ever before buying “extra jumbo” shrimp year ago. Even “jumbo” shrimp on restaurant menus earlier then appeared a bit bigger than the count says now. As I discussed in the article, the naming device isn’t standardized in the seafood industry. I’m certain it’s shifted across the years, simply as it can differ by brand. This is why I always recommend going with the count fairly than the descriptive name. (Many recipes only carry out the name, though, therefore the chart offers a reference point for usual current labeling.)