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Eight Different Types of Shrimp to Enjoy for Dinner

Learn about the different sizes and types of shrimp for yoru next meal.

Are you looking to make a quick dinner for your family and think seafood is the best choice? If so, then you’ll want to consider the different types of shrimp and sizes you can include with your meal. 

shrimp lo mein in a wok

If you live by the seaside, you won’t get bored with a tasty seafood boil with shrimp, crab, and corn on the cob. You can also enjoy a paella with shrimp, sausage, and rice. Even a simple toast with shrimp can become a perfect lunch.

This article will outline multiple dishes, including white shrimp, rock shrimp, brown shrimp, pink shrimp, and tiger shrimp. 

I will also detail tasty dishes using blue shrimp, red cherry shrimp, and spot shrimp. You’ll learn about all the ingredients you need. Lastly, I’ll go over the different sizes of shrimp available and how they’re measured. 

Are you ready to find the perfect seafood dinner? Then, let’s get started!

Types of Shrimp

  1. White Shrimp
  2. Brown Shrimp
  3. Rock Shrimp
  4. Pink Shrimp
  5. Tiger Shrimp
  6. Spot Shrimp 
  7. Red Cherry Shrimp
  8. Blue Shrimp

Learn more about these types of shrimp, including where to find them, how to eat them, and popular dishes in which they’re featured!

White Shrimp

White shrimp is one type of shrimp you can buy at a typical grocery store.

When trying to cook with white shrimp, you’ll want to mince some garlic and add cocktail sauce and butter.

First, you’ll want to rinse the white shrimp under the sink. Then, you’ll want to peel the shrimp’s shell entirely off. You can also remove the shrimp’s vein under running water. 

Now, you can saute some chopped garlic with butter in a pan before adding the shrimp as well.

You can use some salt and your favorite seasonings on the white shrimp. Use some broth to steam the shrimp as well. Now, serve the meal with cocktail sauce.


Brown Shrimp

When you get brown shrimp from a fishmonger, you’ll likely find the shrimp already cooked.

Since they are pre-cooked, you’ll only need to cook them for about one minute and not any longer. Add them to a pan of salted boiling water.

You can add lemon juice, capers, and parsley to brown shrimp. Also, you can serve the brown shrimp with some delicious white fish.

You can even try making a simple brown shrimp on toast dish for a quick lunch at home. This dish is actually one of my favorites of all time. 

All you need to do is melt some butter in a pan at medium heat and add the shrimp. Boil some cider on top and season with pepper. Toast the bread and top it with the brown shrimp. You’ll love it!


Rock Shrimp

Rock shrimp have a nice and sweet flavor. It even has the texture of lobster.

However, the shells of these shrimp are hard as a rock, so you’ll likely have trouble getting out the meat inside. You’ll probably need kitchen shears to remove the shell.

Rock shrimp can be cooked via:

  • Boiling
  • Frying
  • Sauteeing
  • Steaming 
  • Grilling

I like a rock shrimp dish that involves making a scampi. A grilled shrimp scampi recipe is an excellent choice for dinner.

The recipe requires shrimp, butter, olive oil, white wine, chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley for garnish.


Pink Shrimp

Pink shrimp is one of the most common types of shrimp you’ll find when grocery shopping.

A great recipe you can try is the Florida Keys pink shrimp salad. This dish is easily my favorite seafood dish out of all the salads available.

The Florida Keys shrimp straight from a fishmonger are truly succulent and sweet compared to the type you may find at a small grocery store elsewhere. This recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • One pound of Florida Keys shrimp
  • One lemon
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Fresh dill or parsley
  • Celery
  • Mayonnaise
  • Minced red onion
  • Salt and pepper

Tiger Shrimp

Tiger prawns are unique and have a somewhat sweet and mild flavor.

Black Tiger prawns, however, have a more bold flavor. A delicious dish that includes tiger shrimp includes the Blackened Tiger Shrimp recipe. 

The recipe requires tiger shrimp, unsalted butter, paprika, dried thyme, ginger, garlic powder, a mix of seasonings, and lemon juice.

You’ll have to peel and devein the shrimp. Then, wash them under cold water and dry them on a paper towel. 

Season the shrimp with the relevant ingredients. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the shrimp for two minutes per side.

Now add some lemon juice to the skillet and cook the tiger shrimp for one more minute.


Spot Shrimp 

Spot prawns or shrimp are the types you’d find in a seafood boil, usually made during the summers.

You’ll likely get reminded of Louisiana or Florida lunches or dinners by the seaside. More specifically, spot shrimp come from California.  

Spot shrimp have a delicate and soft texture. They taste incredibly sweet as compared to other types of shrimp. You’ll see that they taste like lobster and soft butter.

You can use spot prawns to make sushi or cook the shrimp by grilling, boiling, frying, steaming, or sauteing. You can use spot shrimp to make delicious paella. 


Red Cherry Shrimp

The red cherry shrimp has a very bright color. The bold red makes it a great addition to an aquarium as well as a seafood gumbo. 

If you’re looking to add the red cherry shrimp to dinner, try making a shrimp and sausage gumbo.

For this recipe, you’ll need all-purpose flour, oil, one red bell pepper, one green bell pepper, garlic cloves, sweet onion, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken broth, and rice. 


Blue Shrimp

When you buy blue prawns or shrimp from the market, then you may want to consider making some grilled blue prawns to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party with your friends or family.

This grilled blue prawns recipe includes a pea salad and a tomato fondue.

Some of the ingredients you’ll need include olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, blue shrimp, a shallot, garlic, tomatoes, chili flakes, basil, sugar snap peas, and mint.


Sizes of Shrimp

Different sizes of shrimp are positioned into various groups based on numbers and measurements. If you find a U in the shrimp size, you should understand that the U stands for under. As such, U/20 means there are less than 20 shrimp per pound. 

You’ll also find different sizes like jumbo or large when purchasing shrimp. Further, some of the most giant shrimp are usually called colossal or extra jumbo. However, the ultimate sizes get categorized as extra colossal and super colossal.

For smaller sizes, shrimp are measured and put into extra small and tiny sizes. In addition, you can also buy shrimp that are medium in size. You’ll find that shrimp get measured based on size and count, which entails the average number of shrimp per pound. 

However, when shrimp get defrosted, they can lose up to 10 or 20 percent of their overall weight. Additionally, when the shrimp are peeled and deveined, the seafood items also lose about one size or more per pound. 

Buying shrimp by the count is usually for the best since it lets you figure out how many shrimp each person will eat at dinner or lunch.

If you’re making a shrimp cocktail, pick out the most giant shrimp you can find—purchase medium-sized shrimp for other meals like a shrimp scampi or a seafood boil.


Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned all about eight different types of shrimp to cook and the size to purchase at the market, you should know what type of seafood or shrimp dinner to make tonight. You can cook with white shrimp, brown shrimp, tiger shrimp, or rock shrimp.

You won’t regret making a shrimp and sausage gumbo, a tasty paella, shrimp scampi, or a pink shrimp salad for the next week of dinners. Your family will rave about how delicious your meals are. Enjoy the compliments!

Find these shrimp in dishes at your favorite seafood chains or local fish markets!

Want to learn more about seafood? Check out the best fish to use for sashimi

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.