What does it mean when a recipe calls for medium, large, or extra large shrimp? What’s the difference between extra large and jumbo shrimp? How important are shrimp sizes in recipes, and how do you know what to buy? Let’s take a closer look at shrimp sizes and clear up any confusion!
In the United States seafood industry, shrimp are sold by count per pound. This quantity per pound will either consist of a range of numbers or a single number and the letter U. If you see a “U” on the label, this means “under” or “less than.”
Let’s look at some examples from the chart below. Colossal shrimp are designated as “U/15.” This means you’re getting less than 15 shrimp per pound. Meanwhile, jumbo shrimp are designated as “21/25, ” which means you’re getting between 21-25 shrimp per pound.
Buy Shrimp By Count, Not Size
Here’s the catch- in terms of marketing, these sizes aren’t standardized. One grocery store’s “extra large” shrimp might be another store’s jumbo shrimp. This is why it’s a much better idea to ultimately pay attention to the count per pound.
Use shrimp sizes as a guide, but ultimately shop according to the numbers instead of the size designations.
Shrimp Sizes and Counts Per Pound
Here’s a general list of shrimp size designations. Again, please keep in mind that you’ll see discrepancies in the names of the sizing at various stores.
|Shrimp Size||Count Per Pound|
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