What are the differences between shrimp sizes?  

Spicy Grilled Jumbo Shrimpenlarge
Becky Luigart-Stayner

About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

The difference between large and jumbo shrimp depends entirely on where you buy them. The terms describing the size of shrimp like "small", "medium", "large" and "jumbo" are not regulated, and vary from store to store. The way to truly know the size of shrimp you are buying is by the number–called "count"–with which they are labeled.

The count gives you the number of shrimp you can expect to get in one pound. The fewer shrimp per pound, the larger and more expensive they are.

Some of the standard sizes you'll find are:

61-70, 51-60 Really small shrimp, often used for shrimp salad. Often labeled Tiny, Extra Small and Small

43-50, 36-42 Labeled medium or medium large. I'd use these in pasta or mixed seafood dishes

31-35, 26-30 These are readily available, often labeled large, and my go-to size when budget is a consideration

21-25, 16-20 Often labeled jumbo, these are my choice when shrimp, prepared with few other ingredients, are the main course. When serving grilled shrimp or simple sautéed shrimp for dinner, each diner might get 4-6 of these.

10-15, usually 10 These are a treat; an indulgence as expensive as they are impressive looking. They may be referred to as colossal.

For recipes using shrimp of various sizes, see our collection of Shrimp Recipes.

Recipe: Spicy Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

Marge Perry
Aug, 2011
1
advertisement
  1. Enter at least one ingredient