What’s Considered a Shrimp Serving?

Nutrition information for shrimp depends on the size grade and preparation method, the shrimp serving may vary.

Q: What’s considered a shrimp serving (boiled or fried) and does it make a difference?

By Mary Parsons, MS, RD

A: 4 oz. is a standard serving size for protein-based foods; depending on the size grade of your shrimp, this translates to the following approximate shrimp serving sizes:

  • Jumbo (21/25 count per pound): 5-6 shrimp
  • Large (31/35 count per pound): 8-9 shrimp
  • Medium (41/50 count per pound): 10-11 shrimp

As for the question of boiled vs. fried, there is a significant difference in the nutrition profile of shrimp based on preparation method. Due to the addition of breading ingredients and the absorption of oil from the fryer, a serving of fried shrimp has about 200-300 calories and 10-20 grams of fat, whereas the same serving size of boiled shrimp has only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

Grilling or sautéing will offer more flavor than boiling, while adding fewer calories than deep-frying would. Just watch out for the buttery sauces that often accompany these preparations in restaurants; ask your server to keep any sauces on the side so you’ll have the freedom to top your portion with just the right amount.