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With Shrimp, Size Matters

Use this visual when a recipe doesn't call for a specific number of shrimp—it’s the closest thing we’ve found to a standard.

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In the seafood industry, shrimp are sold by their quantity per pound—26 to 30 (26/30) or 16 to 20 (16/20), for example. In the supermarket or in recipes, they’re usually given names like large, extra-large, or jumbo, but these don’t uniformly describe the same count, since there’s no standard for the names. That’s why we always give a count as well as a name in our recipes. If you’re making a recipe from a source that doesn’t give a count, use the following guide—it’s the closest thing we’ve found to a standard.

shrimp sizes


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  • TwirlyGirly | 08/25/2019

    It drives me crazy, because the shrimp sold in my local supermarkets as "extra jumbo" are the largest you can buy, but are far too small for dishes such as baked stuffed shrimp. The "extra jumbo" shrimp are roughly 2" long (not including the tail fins) - which leads me to believe one would need a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers to eat "extra small" shrimp, no?

    I have to go to a specialty market for anything larger than extra jumbo.

    That seems weird to me, because I live in Rhode Island; one of the New England states where seafood reigns supreme!

  • OLEF641 | 06/13/2019

    These are industry-defined terms.
    There is a similar situation with ripe olives, where the sizes are: small, medium, large, extra large, jumbo, colossal😊

  • love2cookbleu | 05/21/2012

    I don't know about you, but to me a 16/20 sure is not extra jumbo, its like a medium, then you have the 8/12s which are very nice, then there are the 6/8, which are my favorite!! The u-10 is very nice too, but expensive!!

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