Seafood of the Month

North Carolina Shrimp

Wild American Shrimp
fresh shrimp

Did You Know?

  • Shrimp ranks number one in volume among seafood's consumed in the United States. Each American eats about 4.1 pounds of shrimp per year.
  • Shrimp consumption in the U. S. crosses all geographic and demographic boundaries and is equally popular in homes and restaurants.
  • North Carolina harvested 9.42 million pounds of shrimp in 2008, valued at $19.2 million.
  • North Carolina shrimp ranks second of NC commercially harvested species, both in pounds and in value.

How to Buy Shrimp

  • Shrimp are sold by count per pound.
  • Counts are expressed as a range. For example, 26/30 means the shrimp are of such a size that 26 to 30 of them make up one pound. The smaller the size, the higher the counts.
  • Because of the differentials between one grade and the next are often substantial, getting the correct grade is crucial. Counts within a given range should be as uniform in size as possible. The ideal is shrimp that are all exactly the same size.
  • Counts are occasionally expressed in names rather than numbers, such as "colossal," "jumbos," and "extra large." Since these appellations are not universally defined and regulated, the numbers system works bests. Thus, the figures we give below may vary slightly:

Number of Shrimp per Pound

Colossal or Jumbo - 8 to 10
Large - 10 to 25
Medium - 26 to 40
Small - 41 to 60

  • A good rule of thumb is that 2 pounds of shrimp in their shells will yield about 1 1/4 pounds when peeled.
  • Allow about 3/4 pound headless shrimp in the shell per person; if the shrimp are shelled, figure about 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person.

Shrimp Recipes

steamed shrimp

Steamed Shrimp

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound of North Carolina shrimp

In a saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Add shrimp and stir gently. Cook for about 4 minutes or until tender. Drain and remove shells and veins on back.

shrimp pilau

Shrimp Pilau

  • 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined North Carolina shrimp
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme

In a 2-quart saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and cook green pepper and onion in bacon fat until tender. Add water and tomatoes and bring it to a boil. Stir in rice and seasonings. Now reduce the heat. Cover and cook rice mixture over low heat for 10 to 20 minutes. Mix in shrimp, cover and continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes or until shrimp are tender. Do not overcook the shrimp. Garnish with bacon. Makes 6 servings.

shrimp salad
Shrimp Salad
  • 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined North Carolina shrimp
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) cut green beans, drained
  • 1 cup sliced raw cauliflower
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pimento
  • Marinade (see recipe below)
  • Salad Greens

In a medium sized pot bringing the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the shrimp and seafood seasoning. Let shrimp simmer in the water for 4 minutes or until tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain the shrimp and discard the water.

Combine all ingredients except salad greens. Cover and marinade in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Drain. Serve on salad greens. Makes 6 servings.


  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Makes approximately 3/4 cup marinade.

More Shrimp recipes can be found by clicking here.

Freshness From North Carolina Waters
Look for this symbol on quality products
packed or processed in North Carolina