Shrimp is one of the most popular and beloved seafoods consumed in the U.S., and for good reason. They are versatile and can be used in salads, appetizers, entrees and main dishes, and can be baked, sauteed, grilled and fried. They can be just one of the ingredients in a recipe, or the main star of the show.
However, as shrimp come in different sizes, it can be confusing to shop for them and figure out exactly how much you need. Thankfully, in the U.S., shrimp are sold by number of individual shrimp per pound, and whether you need the measurement in weight or in number of shrimp, everything you need to know is found on the label of each package of shrimp.
How Many Shrimp is 3 Oz?
For typical-sized shrimp that can be used for most recipes, there are anywhere between 16/25 shrimps per pound, or around 3-5 shrimp per 3 oz.
How Do I Know How Many Shrimp are in 3 Oz?
In the U.S., shrimp are generally sold by the number of pieces per pound. If you need a specific weight for your recipe, it is important to know how many pieces of shrimp make up one pound to successfully get to your required weight in oz, and hence your required number of pieces.
Each shrimp package will tell you exactly what you need to know, but it is important to know how to read them.
One pound is equivalent to 16 oz, so if your shrimp package states a 16/25 count, it means there are around 3 to 5 shrimp in 3 oz.
Hold On… What Do the Numbers Mean on Shrimp Labels?
Okay so before we can compute our serving sizes, we first have to learn how to read the numbers on the labels.
So you go and shop for your shrimp and you notice that you are greeted by some strange-looking numbers on the shrimp package. Things like 16/25, 26/40, U10-12 – what do they mean? Is it some secret code or something?
It’s understandable to feel intimidated but thankfully it’s pretty easy to decipher.
Number of Pieces in A Range
The numbers on the package actually denote how many pieces of shrimp are in a pound. The “/” denotes a range, and the numbers on the left denote the lower end, and the number on the right, the higher end of the range.
So for a package that is labeled “16/25”, it means that there are 16-25 pieces of shrimp per pound. Similarly, “26/40” means there is a range of 26-40 pieces of shrimp in one pound.
In general, the higher the numbers that you see, the smaller the shrimp are in the package. So for packages that are labeled with smaller numbers, it means the package contains less shrimp because the shrimp are actually bigger in size. Conversely, bigger numbers mean smaller-sized shrimp.
The Meaning of “U”
Sometimes you will see a “U” before the number. This letter means “under”. If you see U-10 on the package of shrimp that is labeled Colossal, it means there are under 10 Colossal shrimp in one pound.
All About Shrimp Sizes
So now that we know how to read shrimp count per pound, we can bring our attention on to shrimp sizes.
Shrimp comes in many different sizes as we all know, and each size has its recommended uses. For example, small shrimp would be great for popcorn shrimp or added to fried rice or soups, and large or jumbo shrimp would be good for grilling or sauteing.
Knowing what you will use them for is a great first step to figuring out which size of shrimp you may want to get.
Unfortunately, there is no standard sizing available across the industry, and labeling varies from seller to seller. For example, what is labeled as “Jumbo” shrimp for one producer may be “Large” shrimp for another.
Labeling is also not regulated, so there is no “one size fits all label” that will apply to all shrimp packages.
Small 51-60 or greater
Recipes would usually specify what type of shrimp you would need but again because there is no standardized meaning for what these sizes are in terms of exact measurement, it may be harder to pin down.
In general, though, Large and Jumbo shrimp as seen in the chart above would be the average-sized shrimp that you would need for most recipes.
You can also get an idea of what you would need depending on what you are making. If you are making dumplings or adding shrimp to soups and stews, or making popcorn shrimp, you may do better by getting a smaller variety.
If you are grilling your shrimp or baking them with fillings inside, larger shrimp would work best.
Really, it depends on the recipe and what you may prefer, but in general, large to jumbo-sized shrimps would be the more versatile of all the given sizes.
A general guide that you can use including the shrimp count per pound and the number of shrimp per 3 oz serving can be found below.
SHRIMP SIZE CHART
|COMMON SIZING TERMS (Varies by Seller)
|SHRIMP COUNT PER POUND
|SHRIMP COUNT PER 3 OZ SERVING
|51 / 60 or greater
|10 to 12 shrimp
|41 / 50
|8 to 10 shrimp
|26 / 40
|5 to 8 shrimp
|16 / 25
|3 to 5 shrimp
|U 8 / 12
|1 to 3 shrimp
Shrimp Sizes and Their Common Uses
These large and juicy shrimp are perfect for grilling or barbecuing as they are more resilient to higher temperatures and won’t break apart easily. They are more “meaty” than their smaller counterparts and are perfect and impressive as the main course.
Jumbo shrimp are versatile and can be used pretty much in any recipe that calls for shrimp. Whether in stir-fries or in pasta sauces or pizza, or in risottos, you can’t go wrong with jumbo shrimp. Also, if your recipe doesn’t specify the size of the shrimp you should use, it is likely pertaining to jumbo shrimp.
Large shrimp, like Jumbo shrimp, is also pretty versatile and can pretty much be used in any recipe, although they can be a bit on the smaller side compared to jumbo shrimp. They can be used in things like gambas al ajillo or garlic shrimp, and can also be baked and grilled.
Medium shrimp are excellent for things like soup and stew, and also do well when added to stir-fries. They are small enough to use for fillings, too, and their mild flavor can complement a host of spices and ingredients.
Small shrimp or mini shrimp cook very fast and are perfect to use in things like popcorn shrimp, as well as ground for fillings and pastes.
How Many Ounces of Shrimp Per Person?
One serving size of shrimp would be about 3-4 oz or about ¼ pound, although it depends if you are serving them as an entrée or appetizer, and it depends on the appetite of the people you are serving them to, and also the type of recipe.
As a general rule though, it is recommended to serve 6-8 oz of shrimp per person if serving as an entrée, or 3-4 oz if serving as an appetizer, opting for more if there are no other appetizers on your menu, and adjusting for less if there are other filling ingredients in your recipe, for example, if it is a rice or pasta dish.
I would advise though to err on the side of excess, as it is better to have a little bit extra food than not enough food! You invited people over for shrimp, so it will be awesome if they can not only have a taste but have their fill of it, too. And anyway, they can always bring home the leftovers if there are any!
SUGGESTED SERVING SIZE PER PERSON
|5 to 8 shrimp
How Many Calories Are in 3 Oz Serving of Shrimp?
According to the USDA Food Data Central, there are 84 calories in a 3 oz serving of shrimp, although of course, this could change depending on how your shrimp is cooked and if there are other ingredients added to it.
In general, shrimp is lower in calories compared to other types of protein, and is rich in nutrients like magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Prepared properly, it is a good protein to add to a healthy diet.
Read about if you can eat shrimp with white spots.
Frequently Asked Questions to How Many Shrimp is 3 Oz?
How Many Shrimp is 1 Oz?
Depending on the size, there can be around 1-2 pieces of shrimp in 1 oz.
How Many Calories Are in a 3 Oz Serving of Shrimp?
There are 84 calories in a 3 oz serving of shrimp.
How Many Pounds of Shrimp Per Person?
If serving as an appetizer, opt for ¼ pound per person, and if serving as an entrée, ½ pound. Adjust for extras as it is better to have more food and have some leftovers than not enough food.
Conclusion to How Many Shrimp is 3 Oz?
Shrimp in the U.S. are sold by the number of shrimp per pound, so rather than relying on size labels and marketing terms such as large, jumbo, and colossal, which aren’t standardized or regulated and may vary from seller to seller, it would be better to take note of the numbers written on the package when figuring out how many you need for your recipe.
The specific numbers on the label give a more accurate picture of the size of the shrimp. In general, the higher the number written, the smaller the shrimp in the package. For example, a 16/25 label has smaller shrimp than one with an 8/12 label.