You know what the East Coast is missing besides In-N-Out? Boiling Crab! What’s not to love about eating with your bare hands in the most savage manner possible? Somehow, this shrimp boil phenomenon has yet to reach this coast. I just don’t understand.
In any case, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this West Coast chain, Boiling Crab offers all sorts of shellfish in a beautiful harmony of garlic, butter, lemon and Southern seasonings. The fun restaurant is always an open space with walls decorated in signatures and writing from every human being that has walked through its doors. You order your shellfish in pounds with a choice of different sauces and sides. Then, your order is served in a plastic bag. Once that bag hits the table, the debauchery begins. Everyone gets down and dirty, peeling away and emptying their bags. The aftermath is always an impressive landscape of shell mounds. What’s magical is that the mess completely vanishes when the waiters pull up the paper tablecloths, roll it up and toss it in the bin. Voila! It’s like no one has to know that you were just tearing away in complete disregard for civility. Oh, how I miss Boiling Crab!
Well, after some research and several attempts, I am happy to share this shrimp boil recipe! Try it out for your 4th of July celebration!
Shrimp Boil Recipe (for 3-4 people)
- 4 lbs shrimp or other shellfish
- 1 lemon
- 3 heads of garlic (minced)
- 4 sticks of unsalted butter
- 4 tbs Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tbs paprika
- 2 tbs cayenne pepper
- 2 tbs lemon pepper or 1 tbs regular pepper
- 2 tbs Louisiana hot sauce
- 2 tbs sugar
- Optional sides: corn, chorizo
- For more spice, add 1 tbs pepper and/or more Louisiana hot sauce
- For each individual, 2-3 limes, salt and pepper
- 4 potatoes
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Gallon food storage bags (1 for each person)
- Newspaper or masking paper (to cover your table)
NOTE: Pictures show double the recipe serving size — 7 lbs of shrimp for 6 people.
First, combine and mix the Old Bay seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper and lemon pepper in a small bowl.
Next, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. (Note: as you can probably already tell, this is definitely not the healthiest recipe by any means… but, it will most certainly be delicious!) Stir in the minced garlic and spices. After the garlic has cooked for a bit, add in the Louisiana hot sauce and sugar. Keep the mixture on low heat until the cooked shrimp and sides are ready.
In the meantime, quarter the lemon and place into a large boiling pot of water. This is also a good time to have someone cover the dining table with newspaper. Once the water is boiling, cook all the shrimp for roughly 2-3 minutes (this can be done in batches by scooping out the cooked shrimp with a slotted spoon or a similar utensil). Be very careful of overcooking the shrimp since the shell will be virtually impossible to peel off if cooked for too long. You can use the same broth to cook the corn and chorizo. For individual portions, break the corn into smaller pieces and slice the cooked chorizo. Put all the cooked shrimp, corn and chorizo into a large mixing bowl.
If you are making fries, cut the potatoes. We put them into a deep fryer, but you can also bake them as a healthier alternative. Toss the fries in the Old Bay seasoning and garlic salt.
After everything is ready, pour the sauce over the shrimp, corn and chorizo. Mix until everything is covered. Then, fill each gallon bag with roughly a pound of shrimp for each person. I usually distribute the leftover sauce into the bags evenly at the end.
Each person should have a small bowl to mix their own concoction of freshly squeezed limes, salt and pepper to dip their shrimp in. This is entirely optional and is dependent on each person’s taste. Once all the bags have been prepared, it’s time to get sloppy!
This is what success looks like:
And, the best part? Just rolling up that paper and tossing it into a garbage bag!
By popular demand, my friends and I have made this a regular dinner event. Try it out and let us know how it goes!