Monday, August 24, 2009

Absolutely Perfect Shrimp and Crab Boil

A nicely seasoned boil mix for shrimp or crabs.

Shrimp and Crab Boil

Seriously. This is the absolute perfect shrimp and crab boil recipe. I swear! Well, I think it is anyway. Now first, let me get this out of the way - this is more about the boil seasoning, than it is about the boiling. You can boil the tiniest of shrimp, or the super colossal ones with this same boil. The mixture here will do somewhere between 3 to 5 pounds of the larger shrimp, a larger quantity of the smaller, but the soaking time will vary accordingly. So test your shrimp and remove them when they are done.

For extra punch, add 1/2 a bag of a loose crab boil, like Slap Ya Mama, to the boil water; sprinkle some of the remaining crab boil all over the seafood before serving.

Recipe: Shrimp and Crab Boil

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 extra large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 2 large lemons, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of liquid crab boil, or to taste
  • 1/2 of a 1 pound bag of loose crab boil seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), divided, optional
  • 1 pound of andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 3-inch sections
  • About 10 new potatoes or very small red potatoes
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned, cut into thirds
  • 3 to 5 pounds of large (16 - 20 count) raw shrimp, shells and heads intact
  • 1 cup of kosher salt

Rinse the shrimp. Fill a large 6-quart stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil. You'll want roughly 1 quart of water for every pound of shrimp. Add the first nine ingredients and return the water to a boil. Add the crab boil, including 1/2 bag of the loose seasoning if using, sausage and potatoes; boil for about 10 minutes. Add the corn, boil for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and immediately remove the pot from the heat. Add the salt and stir well to dissolve. Cover the pot and allow to soak - amount of soaking time is dependent on the size shrimp you are using. For small it can be as little as 3 to 5 minutes, for jumbos 10 to 15 or longer, or somewhere in between, for medium sized shrimp. For crabs, drop the crabs in, cover and bring up to a boil, uncover and boil for about 15 to 18 minutes, then test for doneness.

If using shrimp for shrimp cocktail or for use in a recipe, remove and plunge immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process. Otherwise, drain them, or use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp, potatoes and sausage to a platter. Can also boil the potatoes, corn and sausage separately from the shrimp. Reserve the water after removing the shrimp, if cooking separately.

Tip: Try to avoid adding ice to the boiling water when you add the shrimp as this will drop the water temperature.

Cook's Notes: Once you drain the shrimp, sprinkle some of the remaining boil over the shrimp. These directions are written with a larger sized shrimp, 16 - 20 count or smaller, in mind. You can still use a larger quantity of smaller shrimp, but you'll need to adjust your soaking time down to avoid overcooking them. Can also increase batch ingredients for larger batches. When cooking fresh caught crabs or crawfish, remember they must be alive when you boil them and you'll want to purge them first before boiling. Simply add them to a large tub and soak in clean, fresh, salty water. If the water gets very muddy, drain and repeat as needed, then proceed with the recipe, adding in one (16 ounce) jar of sliced, pickled jalapenos, with their juices.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on August 24, 2009

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  1. Is the cup of salt right?

    1. Yes, the recipe is correct. Remember, it's a boil, so the seafood is simply soaking in the salted water for a short period of time.

  2. I hosted a shrimp boil for 30 people using this recipe and the flavors were absolutely perfect. I did have to substitute Old Bay for Slap Ya Mama in order to keep the "heat" level down for my Midwestern guests but otherwise I followed as directed. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    1. You are so welcome Moira and thanks so much for stopping back by to let everybody know!!

  3. Replies
    1. Yes Michael, ketchup! Try it, you might like it. Or, you can leave it out, but I don't!!

  4. Can you do shrimp and crab at the same time?

    1. Hi Jennifer! You can. Do the crabs first, bring them up to a boil then cook them about 10 minutes before you add your shrimp. Depending on the size of the shrimp, you'll go another few minutes until the shrimp are cooked though.

    2. Thank you so much! We did this yesterday and it was perfect! I usually just do the liquid boil, Old Bay and beer...this took it to the next level.

    3. It really does! Thanks so much for stopping back to share y'all enjoyed it Jennifer - that really means a lot to me!

  5. I’m visiting in the northeastern region for the first time and can’t access fresh corn... can I use frozen high quality ears?


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