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How many jumbo or large prawns in a pound?

I'm sure it's not rocket science (and I could just call the cute guy at my local foo-foo market fish counter and ask him), but does anyone know how many prawns there are in a pound? Jumbo vs. Large?

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  1. There is usually a number associated with small things like shrimp, prawns, scallops. I have some 21/25 shrimp in my freezer, they are of a size that will average 21 to 25 shrimp per pound. I'd say they are medium size. Large are probably 16/20s, or 13/15s. Check for a number on the package or wrapper to see what you have bought.

    1. Depends on what you consider "jumbo".
      Prawns (shrimp) sizes are graded by # per pound. The most common rest "jumbo" I've seen fall into the 21 to 25/lb or 16 to 20/lb category.
      Shrimp in shrimp salads are usually in the 51 to 60/lb.
      You can look at the chart at the bottom of this page:

      2 Replies
      1. re: hannaone

        thank you! so helpful. that chart is cool. only a chowhound could find such a thing!

        1. re: fluffyk67

          That link is currently dead. But here's another: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Shrimp...
          Chowhounds, unite!

      2. hello, ms.babette is on target; a well stocked shrimp monger will actually have two (or even three)more sizes bigger than the 16/20s, the biggest will be U(for 'under')-10 or 12.

        1 Reply
        1. re: moto

          I've seen U6, and I always associated that with prawns for some reason. At least in my neck of the woods.

        2. Jfood likes the 16/20 for grilling for two reasons. First think of the number you have to shell and clean. second they can take the grill heat well fso they do not get overcooked inside. for pasta dishes jfood moves to the next smaller 21/25. these seem to keep a nice ratio of sauce to shrimp so they compliment each other.

          believe it or not costco has the <15 size and these on the grill and then the plate are fantastic. the local grocer sometimes has <9 and these look like they need a leash and you can walk them in the 'hood.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            I've seen U-6 at Costco. Absolutely Beautiful, almost like lobster tails. One could fill you up! Next time I WILL buy them!

            1. re: Kam7185

              There's a restaurant in my area that used to serve U4 shrimp. They looked like they were farmed in a nuclear reactor cooling pond.

              1. re: Kam7185

                I've been told by my regular grocer that if I wanted I could order larger prawns, since they do not normally carry the U6s or even the U15s.

            2. Large are 16-25 per pound. The best and largest I have ever had were in Venezuela on Margarita Island, a dish of 6 grilled shrimp hanging over both sides of a dinner plate that hardly any mortal could eat at one sitting.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                Sebra's Marisquiera in Newark, NJ . These Prawns were the size/length of a one pound Maine Lobster.. These were easily twice the size of any U-4 Prawn I have seen and handled in the past. They served them three for $35.......

                1. re: fourunder

                  It's a bit hard to see from your pic (it's a little dark) but were they freshwater or saltwater prawns/shrimps? [See my post below: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4096... ]

                  1. re: huiray

                    Sorry, I could not tell you....I did not think to ask.

              2. I buy 16-20's all the time. They're my "go-to" shrimp size for pretty much any recipe, but I don't consider them "jumbo" at all. "Large" at best. I'd consider 6-10's or less per pound "jumbo".

                1. It seems to me that in most markets 31/35s are designated large, 26/30s extra large, 21/25s
                  jumbo, 16/20s extra jumbo and larger than that colossal.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ferventfoodie

                    Wow - is that skewed!! 31/35's are TINY!! They're not even "medium. They're like little salad shrimp. And 16-20's "extra jumbo"??? I buy 'em every week & they ain't even jumbo, never mind "extra jumbo". And "most markets" certainly do NOT consider them "extra jumbo". Maybe wherever you live, but definitely not in Virginia.

                  2. Depends on what your definition of jumbo or large prawn. In Asia, the real jumbo one was about 3-4 per pound. Japan's specialty live prawn market demands U10 (Kilo) or under 10 prawn per kilo for jumbo (1 kilo is about 2.2 lbs). In the US, the largest one I found in supermarket was U-10 (lbs) or less than 10 prawns per pound, and it's usually only at Asian Markets (I could be wrong, others may carry these too but I have not seen them at American Markets). The more common one is the 16-20 prawns per pound, which is often called as extra large shrimp/prawn.

                    1. 21 to 25 or 16 to 20 are both big enough to be meaty but not to big to be tough. Whats even more important is the kind of shrimp. Generally, the wild caught shrimp will have a firmer texture and a stronger shrimp flavor and cost more. Farm raised shrimp are often softer & much less flavorful. In the case of many South American & Asian farm raised shrimp they are "WET" meaning they have been soaked in a brine solution and contain a lot of water and shrink up pretty good when cooked. Most of the IQF shrimp in the bags are in this category.

                      Ocean Garden farm raised shrimp are the only farm raised shrimp I know of that have a strong shrimp flavor & are not soaked in the brine. They come in a 5 LB box. Ocean Garden also has #1 & #2 grade wild whites, browns and pinks. These are not cheap but the quality is worth it.

                      1. Well, down where I came from, they were shrimp, and not prawns. The ultra-large were so big, that we could only get 8 per dozen. Don't see those much anymore.


                        1. I can see the shrimpers from my back yard...15 to 30 shrimp boats each day; they light up beautifully at night. Shrimp season in the Gulf of Mexico started July 15th and I buy my shrimp fresh off the boat and freeze them individually on cookie sheets. I get the 9-10 per pound which is what they are bringing in right now. Different kinds and sizes are available at different times of the year.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: oktrini

                            Thats FRESH shrimp. Many are predicting a very good shrimp year. I wounder if shutting down operations for a time during the oil spill helped build up the stock?

                            1. re: Tom34

                              Don't know, but I do know that Texas checks on the size of the shrimp before starting a season. I think they go up to 5 miles out. Then the feds start their season. This season started at the same time.for both. The shrimpers come so close to our beach that sometimes I feel as if I could reach out and touch them. My neighbors bragged that they could catch shrimp last week right off the beach. I think I'll try doing that next season to see how true that is. Most of our shrimpers here come out of Palacios, but we have two shrimpers here on the island, one of which docks on the ICW, just across the street from my beach house. While the shrimp are white now, when the bay season starts, they will be brown or pink.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                All I know is that after a week spent in New Orleans at the end of July is that the Gulf Shrimp this year seem to be the sweetest and best flavored shrimp I have ever had, and the texture of the meat this year seems superior as well. I had them several times while there, but the best was when we had a party and got 50 lbs from right off the boat, homemade spice mix for the boil, not too spicy so it didn't overwhelm the shrimp, and the shrimp thrown into the boiling water and then after one minute the heat turned off and the shrimp sat for a few minutes to steep. Heaven! The 50 lbs of blue crabs were very far second place.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  Thats pretty impressive to blow away 50 lbs of Blue Crabs. Can't get the shrimp fresh here but will make a few calls about availability of 5 lb blocks. If the milder whites taste that good I wonder how the big browns will be?

                                2. re: Tom34

                                  Shrimping was not shut down during the spill. Texas had no affects from the spill, but overall in the Gulf the spill did have an impact with less production, but shrimping still went on in many parts of the Gulf. This years Texas bumper crop, where oktrini lives, is because of ideal conditions in the Texas estuaries, good salinity, warm winter and spring, and strong southerly winds. Here a link to Texas A&M Corpus Christi where Gulf studies are done. It links to other newspaper articles about Gulf shrimp,


                              2. Don't get to Wegman's often... not "on the way" for most errands. Was in there one timie and saw MASSIVE shrimp marked 3-4 to a pound... QUARTER lb shrimp! They were something like $25 a lb... didn't end up in my cart!?!

                                1. D'you mean freshwater or saltwater?

                                  Freshwater prawns (commonly found in Asia) are usually larger, also a different species from the saltwater shrimp/prawns commonly available in the USA. Nevertheless, freshwater prawns are also farmed in the US:

                                  Freshwater prawns caught from rivers in Malaysia can be pretty large and are the stars of a highly esteemed (and relatively expensive) dish called "sang har mein". See, e.g.: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/811379 . Or simply steamed - see, e.g.: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/861239 .

                                  Some links to show the size of these things:
                                  http://www.lexphoto.co.uk/blogimages/... (from http://www.lexphoto.co.uk/malaysiascr...)

                                  See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrobra...