7 Types of Shrimp: Which One Tastes the Best?

Although taste is subjective, we recommend one shrimp type that everyone should absolutely try if they want to taste the full potential of shrimp. The Spot Shrimp is one of the most delicious. juicy, and rich shrimp types, and is often considered the tastiest of them all.

Shrimps are one of the most highly eaten and savored seafoods all over the world. These crustaceans with curved, puny bodies and tails actually taste delectable. Whether battered and fried, baked, grilled, or steamed and topped with sauces- shrimps give you a rich taste of the underwater world. They are succulent and juicy along with being crispy -which makes them all the more appealing. 

This delicious seafood can be incorporated into every menu. You can enjoy grand entrees comprising entirely of shrimps or you can enjoy them in salads, soups, rice, noodles, pasta, or in any way you could think of. With shrimps, the possibilities are endless.

So far, 2000 different types of shrimp have been discovered. But a small number of them are available for commercial use. Still, you can find a huge variety of shrimps in the marketplace.

Whether you just got introduced to shrimps, or you’re a shrimp aficionado- you would be interested to know the different types of shrimps and their varying tastes and sizes. You may also want to know which one tastes best. 

Harvesting Shrimp: Farmed vs. Wild

Before you go on and decide which type of shrimp you want to try, you should know one important piece of information. While browsing through stores, you should always ask if the shrimp were caught in the wild or farmed. The vast majority of shrimp available in markets is generally farmed.

If it was caught in the wild, you should ensure that it is responsibly-caught shrimp. You could do so by asking for a certification from the Marine Stewardship Council. Or, the shrimp should be listed as “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” on Seafood Watch.

In the case of farmed shrimp, you would want to know that it is certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Naturland, or Whole Foods Responsibly Farmed. 

This will simply assure you that the shrimp you are eating is safe and was brought to you in an eco-friendly way.

What is a Standard Shrimp Size?

If you’re buying shrimps for the first time, you should know that there isn’t a standard size designation for them. You can however, easily figure out how many shrimps to expect in a packet. There is a ‘count per pound’ that is labelled on the packaging.

How Much Shrimp is in One Pound?

For instance, if the frozen shrimp packet reads 21/25, it means it will contain 21 to 25 shrimps in one pound. Similarly, if it reads U/10, there will be less than 10 shrimps per pound. The important information to remember here is that the lower per pound shrimp count, the larger in size they will be. 

You can easily check this table for sizes and the count per pound you can normally expect:

Extra ColossalU/10
Super ColossalU/12
Extra Jumbo16/20
Extra Large26/30
Large 31/40
Salad style71+

Different Types of Shrimp: how do they taste?

White Shrimp

The white shrimp is an umbrella term for a variety of shrimp species. However, the Chiese White, Gulf White, Pacific White Shrimp or Whiteleg Shrimp are the most commonly enjoyed species that fall under the white shrimp.

The white shrimp is mainly identified by its’ translucent blue-green hue when raw. When cooked, it becomes pink. These shrimps can grow up to 8 inches long. Considered as a ‘classic’ shrimp type, chefs often like using the white shrimp in many of their recipes. It has a tender texture and is easy to peel and clean.

The white shrimp can be cooked, boiled, baked steamed, fried or stuffed. The flavor you would get is of classic shrimp- on the sweet side with nutty notes. 

Pink Shrimp

Originating from the West Coast of Florida, the pink shrimp is a wildly popular type of shrimps. It is characterized by its’ pink color when raw. Sometimes, they can have white or grey hues as well. 

One other property of the pink shrimp is its’ small size, which gives it another name- the ‘salad shrimp’. The pink shrimp has a mild and somewhat sweet flavor that tastes quite nice in shrimp salads.

Brown Shrimp

The brown shrimp is one of the most common wild-caught shrimp. Originating from Gulf of Mexico, these shrimps have fascinating reddish-brown shells and dark green and red tail fans. Once cooked, they get a pink hue. Other names for the brown shrimp are ‘golden’, ‘redtail’ or ‘summer’ shrimp. 

They also have a firm texture and a unique flavor similar to iodine. The flavors of brown shrimp usually range in different levels of sweetness and saltiness. Generally, it is simply steamed or boiled so one can enjoy its’ natural flavor. 

Rock Shrimp

The rock shrimp is true to its name, with its signature rock-hard shells.  Infact, in the 1960s’, a special machine was designed to make it easy to peel them. They are mostly sold after being de-shelled and cleaned which is a time-consuming process.

The rock shrimp is often considered an affordable alternative to the expensive lobster This is because this shrimp has a firm texture, sweet flavor and chewy consistency- very similar to that of the spiny lobster. It is a great substitute because you get the taste of lobster combined with the ease of preparation of a shrimp. Fort this reason, it has also earned the title ‘little shrimp with big lobster taste’.

Royal Red Shrimp

This crimson-colored huge shrimp is a must-try for shrimp-lovers. It also known as the ‘crowned jewel of Alabama shrimp.’ The royal red shrimp has a sweet-salty flavor and is famous for its buttery and rich meat. Their natural flavor is considered very similar to that of lobsters and scallops.

Packed with a naturally strong, distinct flavor, it is recommended to boil or steam this shrimp and enjoy it with melted garlic and butter. It is one of the tastiest shrimps you could try. Compared to pink, brown and white shrimp, it only takes half the time to cook the royal red shrimp.

Spot Shrimp

One of the largest shrimp types- the spot shrimp belonging to the jumbo variety, grows up to 12 inches long. This shrimp type is also known as the ‘Lobsters of Alaska’. It is mostly caught wild from the coasts of Alaska, Washington, California and British Columbia.

Spot shrimps have a deep pink, red or orange body, with spikes, and a tail having a pair of two white spots. The shrimp is famous for its’ delicate texture and exotic flavors. They have a sweetness to them, and are tender when cooked. Plus, they’re quite soft, juicy and incredibly enjoyable.

However, as they are delicate, it is easy to break them up in the cleaning and preparing process- if you’re not careful. Considering the rich taste of the spot shrimp, the whole process is worth it.

Tiger Shrimp

Belonging to the Asia and Africa, the tiger shrimp is mostly farmed or caught from the wild in Vietnam. Thailand, India, and Philippines. They are easy to identify due to the tell-tale tiger stripes on their body.

The tiger shrimp has a firm texture and a mild flavor- making it a good option for beginners in shrimp-cooking. Plus they have the classic shrimp flavor that everyone loves. Also among the jumbo variety, the tiger shrimp can grow up to 10-12 inches long.

What are Popular Shrimp Recipes & Dips?

So, these are the top shrimp types that are famous all over the world. All shrimp types will taste quite similar, with varying levels of sweet, salty, and different textures and sizes. We believe all of these types of shimp are worth-trying and cooking. 

You can always enjoy the richer shrimp varieties such as Tiger, Spot, and the Royal Red on their own, after simply steaming them. Or you can experiment in the kitchen and whip up mouth-watering sauces or sides to go with your shrimps. 

We recommend you to try different dipping sauces to go with a big bucket of fried shrimps. Thousand Island sauce is one of the most neutral yet tastiest sauces that also lets the flavor of shrimps shine through.

You can also try a cocktail sauce or tartar sauce if you like tangy, savoury flavors. For some more fun, the thai sweet chilli lime sauce is great for making your juicy shrimps even more finger-licking good.

If you’re a beginner, there is one shrimp recipe with many variations that you should absolutely try or even cook in your own kitchen. Lemon garlic butter shrimp is easily the most popular and easy recipe with a terrific flavor. You can also make creamy garlic shrimps and you won’t go wrong with them.

As you explore shrimps, you will learn that there are endless recipes that you could try. After all, shrimps complement almost everything you pair them with.

We hope this guide helped you learn more about different types of shrimp and which one you should absolutely try. Enjoy your delicious shrimp!


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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