How Many Shrimp Do You Really Need For Your Party Hors D'oeuvres?

Although "hors d'oeuvres" is the French term for appetizer, they aren't exactly the same thing. Both are served before a meal to ready a diner's taste buds, but appetizer recipes generally mark the beginning of the meal whereas hors d'oeuvres are simply small bites that are snacked on before the meal begins, Encore Catering explains. Hors d'oeuvres are usually smaller, sharable, and hand-eaten as well as useful for passing around while making conversation.

Per Homebody Eats, hors d'oeuvres should be flavorful yet not filling, complementary but not repetitive, and attractively displayed on a platter or similar dish. Seafood, including cold or hot shrimp, is normally accepted as an hors d'oeuvre. According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the New York City-based Cookshop restaurant is known for a seafood-based tasting platter. This finger-food dish includes swordfish meatballs, caramelized sea bass, and spicy shrimp with avocado canapé. 

If you're creating your own platter with shrimp involved, it may be hard to estimate a proper portion size. But when you get the hang of it, you'll realize it's not so confusing after all.

Estimating how many shrimp you need for hors d'oeuvres

One of the most important things about throwing house parties is to be an accommodating host, often meaning there's enough food for everybody in attendance. When preparing hors d'oeuvres, overserving can be as big of a problem as underserving, because you don't want guests to be too full when the main meal is ready. If you were prepping an entrée, a pound of shrimp would feed four people, as explained by Food Republic. So, as a result, hors d'oeuvres require less. Basically speaking, if you purchase medium-sized shrimp, 30 to 35 pieces will suffice, and for large shrimp, 20 to 25 pieces will do. This allows eight medium shrimp or six large shrimp apiece.

Because quality is as important as quantity, you'll be glad to discover how good of an addition shrimp is to your tasting platter. Via Seafood Source, the average American consumed 5 pounds of shrimp annually. As of 2018, the countrywide value of the crustacean reached $496.1 million (per NOAA Fisheries). These numbers prove without a doubt that cooking shrimp (or serving it in cocktail form) won't be a menu miss.