Recipe // The Whole Shabang Shrimp Boil

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

5 from 10 votes

The Whole Shabang Shrimp Boil

Based on The Boiling Crab’s whole shabang sauce, this shrimp boil recipe combines cajun spices, garlic and lemon to produce a real crowd-pleaser!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Keyword boiling crab, boiling crab recipe, cajun, cajun shrimp boil, shrimp boil, shrimp boil recipe, whole shabang receipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author My Linh


  • 4 lbs shrimp (or other shellfish)
  • 1 lemon (halved)
  • 3 heads garlic (minced)
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon pepper (or 1 tbs regular pepper)
  • 2 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Optional ingredients:

  • 2 ears corn (optional, halved)
  • 2 sausages or chorizo (optional, sliced)
  • 1+ tbsp Louisiana hot sauce or pepper (optional, for additional spice)
  • 2-3 limes (per person)
  • salt & pepper (per person)

For fries:

  • 4 small potatoes
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Other supplies:

  • 1 gallon food storage bag (per person)
  • newspaper/masking paper/disposable table cloth



  1. Fill a large stockpot halfway with water and bring to a boil

  2. Cut the potatoes into fries, lemon into halves and chorizo/sausage into small slices

  3. Use a food processor to mince the garlic

Whole shabang sauce:

  1. Meanwhile, combine and mix the Old Bay seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon pepper (or regular pepper) in a small bowl

  2. Melt the butter in a separate pan over medium heat (Note: as you can probably tell, this is definitely not the healthiest recipe by any means… but, it will most certainly be delicious!)

  3. Stir in the minced garlic and spices

  4. After the garlic has cooked for a few minutes, add in the Louisiana hot sauce and sugar

  5. Bring the heat down to low and let it simmer until the cooked shrimp and sides are ready

  6. This is also a good time for someone to cover the dining table with newspaper/masking paper/tablecloth


  1. Cut the lemon in half and add to the stockpot of water

  2. Once the water is boiling, cook the shrimp for roughly 2-3 minutes (this can be done in batches by scooping out the cooked shrimp with a slotted spoon or metal strainer), 

  3. Be very careful of overcooking the shrimp since the shell will be virtually impossible to peel off if cooked for too long

  4. You can use the same broth to cook the corn and sausage/chorizo

  5. Split the cooked shrimp, corn and sausage/chorizo into separate gallon-sized food storage bags for each person


  1. Put the fries into a deep fryer or bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown

  2. Toss the fries in a mixing bowl with the Old Bay seasoning and garlic salt

Final steps:

  1. When everything is cooked, evenly divide the sauce into each pre-portioned gallon bag of shrimp, corn and chorizo/sausage

  2. Zip the gallon bag and shake until everything is mixed and covered with the sauce

  3. Each person should have a small bowl to mix their own concoction of freshly squeezed limes, salt and pepper to dip their shrimp in (optional and dependent on each person’s taste)

  4. Once all the bags have been prepared, it’s time to dig in and get sloppy!

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!


  1. Anonymous

    Can’t wait to try this out! I recently moved to NYC and have been searching for a place like Boiling Crab with absolutely no luck. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think this recipe is pretty much on point. I’ve actually tried it. However, I do also use cajun seasoning.

    • That’s great to hear! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your tip! I’ve also heard that cajun seasoning is a great addition. But, for the life of me, I can’t seem to find cajun seasoning in any market around me. =/

  3. Any substitution recipe for Old Bay seasoning ? I live in Australia and we don’t have Old Bay seasoning or any other crab boil seasoning over here.

    I was thinking of trying this instead
    4 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
    3 tablespoons coriander seeds
    2 tablespoons whole allspice
    2 tablespoons dill seeds
    1 teaspoon whole cloves
    1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
    8 bay leaves
    Salt and cayenne pepper (or liquid hot sauce) to taste

    also is Louisiana hot sauce Frank’s hot sauce?

    • Oh no! I unfortunately do not have any substitute for Old Bay seasoning, but did have time to look into it. I’m sure you’re not the first person that hasn’t had Old Bay readily available. From my understanding, it is a concoction derived from a homemade recipe anyway. This recipe seems like a popular hit: Some reviewers called for more celery salt. I’m not sure if all those ingredients are available to you, but hope it helps!

      The Louisiana hot sauce that I use is this one: Though, I’m sure any hot sauce will add good flavor.

  4. We don’t have a Boiling Crab, but we have something close. It’s called The Boil. It’s more or less the same thing, down to the plastic bags full of seafood. It’s in Chinatown in NYC and it’s AMAZING!!

  5. Just wanna say thank you for sharing this super delicious recipe..we all loved it..

    • YAY!! Happy to share this recipe and glad it turned out well for your group! Hope there is another shrimp boil planned in the near future. πŸ™‚

  6. Great recipe, I tried this and it came pretty close! Just wish a disgruntled employee would just leak the recipe

    • Hahaha, I think we’re all hoping for the same thing. But, in the meantime, glad the recipe worked out for you! πŸ™‚

  7. This tastes pretty close for me. Delicious! Most awesome/accurate recipe I found on the internet πŸ˜€

  8. Since you’re Viet I trust that you did legit homework to find this recipe. So, cam on!

    Question: what spice level is your “whole shebang” recipe?

    • KhΓ΄ng cΓ³ gΓ¬. Haha, I love that I get so much credit for just being Viet! It took some homework, but a lot more trial and error. I made this recipe 5 different times to get it just right. x_X I would have to say that the spice level is at the border of mild and medium. I originally thought it was mild, but one of my friends who doesn’t normally eat spicy foods could barely handle it so… I guess it’s not meant for the fair tongue. =P

      • I’ve made this 2x now, in a span of 2 weeks:) Both parties LOVED it! I like that you said to add more Louisiana Hot Sauce for a spicier taste. The 2nd time I made it, I added 1 more tablespoon of the hot sauce and it was a good level of spice! Thanks again!

        • This is awesome to hear! Glad it was such a big hit and hope there are plenty more planned in the future! πŸ™‚

  9. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for the recipe! Made it tonight and everyone loved it!

  10. cheesehead

    Real quick question on your measurements. For the spices you used tbsp or tsp??

    • The spices are measured in tbsp. Sorry for the confusion! And, hope it turns out delicious! πŸ™‚

  11. So yeah….this recipe was awesome. My hands certainly have that same boiling crab smell..

    • I would say the recipe is a medium level spiciness. To carefully control your level of spice, I recommend adding the hot spices and Louisiana hot sauce a little at a time and tasting the sauce to check. Also, I should note that the shrimp will be sitting in this sauce in the bag so it tends to absorb more of the spice over time.

  12. Do you know how to make the sauce a little bit thicker? My sauce came out a thin. Thank you btw for this awesome recipe…..

  13. Pingback: 10 Easy Recipes to Keep You Warm This Winter - Cultural Chromatics

    • Hi Lupe, more Louisiana hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper should do the trick. πŸ™‚ Let us know how it turns out and thanks for trying our recipe!

    • Hi Ralph, I’m not quite sure what you mean by the sauce or butter breaking. Did the butter dissolve properly into the mixture?

  14. I am soo EXCITED to find this recipe and will be trying it!!! I have a few in my house that does NOT any spice what so ever. They usually order the garlic sauce, do you have the recipe for this garlic sauce??

  15. I am so EXCITED to have found this, I will be making it soon. However, I do have a few people in my family who do not like spice what so ever. Would you happen to know the garlic recipe?

    • Hi Palino5,

      We’re excited for you to try this recipe out!

      I imagine cutting out the paprika, cayenne and Louisiana hot sauce will immediately make this sauce really mild. However, the tricky part is the Old Bay Seasoning – it contains a tad of spice, but it’s really more salty than anything else. I recommend either cutting the Old Bay seasoning out to make a purely garlic and butter sauce, or making your own version of Old Bay without any of the hot spices (pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes):

      If your family can handle a little spice, it also may be worth testing just a 1/2 tbsp of Old Bay seasoning at a time and tasting the sauce to see if it’s acceptable for their taste.

      Best of luck and let us know how it turns out!

      • Hello; I made them both when I posted this, the whole SHABANG for a few of us and the butter garlic for the others. EVERYONE loved it and said I hit it spot on. I am making it again tonight for “Good Friday”. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  16. I am very excited to try this recipe out. By the way have you tried KICKIN CRAB? It’s just like boiling crab but just a little better!!! Try it out one day!! I’ll let you know how this one comes out!

    • Kickin Crab is definitely going on the must-try list when we’re in the area!! Best of luck on the recipe and let us know how it turns out! πŸ™‚

      • It turned out ok.hahaha I’m no chef at all so I’m put the blame on me. I think I’m going to try your recipe again but with half the spice measurements called for. I had a lot of spices sitting at the bottom of the oil. And I feel I needed to make the sauce a little thicker would flour work? But yes definitely try KICKIN crab all of my friends I have introduced to KICKIN crab have never gone back to boiling crab since:)

        • Oh no~ so sorry to hear that! Don’t discredit yourself as a chef now – I believe someone else had also mentioned that their sauce came out thinner than expected, too, so you’re not alone! I have a feeling that it has to do with the butter. The one I use starts to solidify more as the temperature cools, but we usually scoop the sauce into the shrimp before it gets to that stage. Since your sauce is coming out thinner, I definitely agree on using flour to thicken. Hope the next go round is better!!

  17. My boyfriend and I recently paid a visit to our local Boiling Crab, and low and behold they changed their “whole shabang” recipe. It was completely bland and flavorless. I thought our seafood adventures were completely over until I saw this recipe. It was amazing and so much like the original Boiling Crab recipe. I’m never going back to boiling crab! Thank you so much! My belly and wallet both thank you!
    ** note: I accidentally used salted butter, instead of the called recipe. It was on the saltier side, but I used the water I boiled the shrimp to dilute the sauce. It was perfect!

    • Try KICKIN CRAB!! You won’t be disappointed!! Oh and order the garlic noodles too!

    • Oh no! That’s so sad to hear about Boiling Crab. πŸ™ But, glad this recipe saved the day and worked out well for you! I will have to take Brian’s suggestion above when I’m back in California, too.

  18. I tried this and it was spot on except it was too hot for my taste. But other than that it tastes like boiling crab in Dallas πŸ™‚

    • My Linh

      Ahh, glad it was still a positive experience despite the extra spice!

  19. Head-on shrimp are the best! I just bought a 4.4 lb box of IQF 36/40s for 15.99. That’s 3.63/lb. From Ecuador. The market I go to sells large boxes of IQF frozen seafood at a discount and live blue crab, sometimes crawfish and other live goodies.

    Might have to have a shrimp boil! Also love making NOLA BBQ shrimp. That’s messy but delicious and fun! So’s a nice crab or crawfish boil.


    • Agreed! That’s a really great deal – hope you got a chance to make a delicious shrimp/crab/crawfish boil!

  20. Anonymous

    I love kickin crab I go every week for the sauce . Now I’m going to be making it at home twice a week πŸ™‚ thank you for your dedication and sharing the recipe. My first time came out buttery watery, 2nd time I added a little bit corn starch to make the sauce thicker how I like it:)

  21. Anonymous

    Perfect! Made it for Momma Kim for mother’s day. She is still talking about it today.

    • YAY! Glad we didn’t disappoint Momma Kim and happy to hear she had a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!

  22. claudia dietz

    Hi! so i tried the recipe but i keep screwing up i guess because it’s very salty like VERY salty but every recipe i have seen is the same amount of old bay. I’ve even cut the amount of spices in half and my sauce still looks like a bunch of spices in a oily mix(and salty). What could i do to fix it? how long do you let the sauce simmer? everyone loves your recipe and i refuse to give up on trying it!!

  23. claudia dietz

    i just remembered i didn’t add te hot sauce. i will for the next time i do it. how much does the hot sauce help?

    • Hi Claudia,

      I’m really sorry to hear that this sauce has been a disappointment so far. Hope we can get to the bottom of it so you can enjoy the recipe!

      First, I don’t believe the hot sauce will help with the saltiness; it will just add another dimension of flavor to your sauce.

      Second, have you been using unsalted butter instead of salted? If you have been using unsalted, and it’s still turning out salty, my next suggestion would be to try adding more sugar until the sauce is palatable to your taste.

      Lastly, the mixture is definitely oily/runny at first and will thicken as the temperature cools down. I’d recommend mixing the sauce with the shrimp in its runny state and then putting it into the bags where it will continue to cool down and thicken. Of course, if you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add flour little by little into the mixture to thicken it up a bit.

      Hope this helps!! Please let us know how the next try goes. Fingers crossed that it will turn out awesome!

  24. Anonymous

    Hi My Linh! Thank you so much for replying. I’ll definitely try adding flour, i didn’t think about that. Also, i do use unsalted butter. I’ll try adding more sugar and see how that comes out. I’ll let you know how it turns out!!

  25. Can’t wait to try this! Thank you! I love how you’ve measured each of the spices. I’ve looked at other recipes and it was more of keep adding stuff til it’s right or to your liking. . So I didn’t know how much of spices I should put in my garlic butter mixture. My husband still loved it but it wasn’t boiling crab standard. More lemon peppery. Haha…Definitely will try this. Thank you!

  26. Hi My Linh

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering if it mattered whether or not the shrimp still had the skin on? I am planning to make this but without the skin still intact. What are you thoughts? Also, if I get only 2lbs of shrimp I probably should cut the measurements in half right

    • Hey Jay,

      Great question! I typically use shrimp with the skin and head still on, but I don’t think it will make a huge difference either way since all the flavors will still be there. If you’re using headless shrimp, I’d recommend using 1/2 – 2/3 of the amount of shrimp. Hope this helps and can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  27. Try clarifying your butter first if your sauce is thin. Ensure sauce doesn’t boil and only simmers while cooking seafood.

  28. Hi! I am so glad I found this recipe as I’ve become addicted to my local Boiling Crab!
    I’m wondering, what kind of shrimp do you use and where do you buy it? I live in Las Vegas and the shrimp from my local grocery stores just isn’t the same. I’ve done countless searches trying to find out what kind of shrimp Boiling Crab uses. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Melissa, glad you found our recipe as well! I honestly just buy the lowest priced shrimp with the head on at my nearest Asian supermarket. I don’t believe the type of shrimp will matter as much since the sauce will be the key flavor. But, I can see folks having a preference for the size of shrimp. It really is up to your preference on this front. πŸ™‚ Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    • Hi EJ,

      So sorry for the late reply! I just realized that my original response never posted. To make more sauce, I’d make sure to increase the amount of every ingredient by the same proportion. So, if you’re adding more butter, also add more spices. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!

  29. I agree with the salty comment. It’s way too salty. It’s the Lemon Pepper which has salt as the first ingredient. Spot on other than that! Next time I may leave it out and taste adding a little at a time as needed. Thanks for this!

  30. Pingback: Cajun/Creole Shrimp (Boiling Crab “The Whole Shabang” Copycat Recipe) – Kirsten's Kitchen

  31. Anonymous

    I’m definitely going to try this my family loves boiling crab! A little tip we do is a small bowl of white rice and add the shrimp and sauce to it mmmmmm mouth watering lol

  32. It was devastating leaving LA and coming home to the UK after I’d pretty much had Boiling Crab every day when I was over there! (I was only there for 4 days don’t worry) There’s nothing even close to the deliciousness that is 1lb shrimp with the Whole Shabang over here in the UK so I was delighted when I came across this recipe. Long story short, I’ve made this recipe twice now and it blows everyone’s minds including my own as it was virtually identical to the real thing. Cheers!

    • YAYY!! Believe me, I experienced the same devastation when I first moved to NYC. Glad we both can experience a little of California while we’re away. πŸ˜‰

  33. I live in LA and have a boiling crab not too far from me; but I’ve always wanted to make it on my own.

    This recipe is amazing. So delicious and too easy. Love it!!!

  34. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I followed it to a t and it turned out AMAZING! Better than The Boiling Crab! Cheers!

  35. Nice post! I am confused by the crab boil hasn’t “made it to the east coast” concept though. OldBay originated in Baltimore just for steaming or boiling crab. I am from the mid Atlantic and seafood boils are pervasive. Are you saying not in NYC? The West Coast style boil you speak actually originated in Houston.

  36. ah I misread. You meant Boiling Crab, the chain, not general crab boils. My apologies.

    • Ahaha, no worries. There does seem to be quite a number of seafood boils across the country — hoping that I get the chance to try them all!

  37. I’m making 50LBS of Shrimp and Crab Legs. The 4 sticks of butter. Are they 1LB of butter for the 4 sticks. This recipe would call for 50 Sticks. Probably $35 in butter alone!

    • Go to kickin crab and order a ton of food and a ton of extra sauce and just use that you can’t go wrong!

      • Haha, definitely not opposed to that idea. Now I’m wondering if we can convince the NYC equivalent (The Boil) to give us tons of extra sauce…

    • Hi there, so sorry for the delayed reply! Generally, I’d recommend 1 stick of butter for every 1-1.5 lbs. of shrimp. If you were doing 50 lbs. of only shrimp (which would feed ~50 people), that would be around 33-50 sticks of butter… However, if you’re adding crab legs, you’ll be adding more weight, but not volume. The crab shells are heavier than shrimp. I’m not quite sure how to translate the recipe for crab legs, but I’d estimate that the same amount of sauce for 1 lb. of shrimp would probably cover 10 crab legs? It might be worth testing out a batch. Sorry I can’t be of more help here, but hope it works out!

  38. Hahah if you are making 50 lbs I would figure out a better game plan so you don’t waste all that food!!

    • Hey Erika,

      I don’t see any issues with making the sauce ahead of time since there aren’t many perishable ingredients except the garlic. If I had to guess, I’d say a week is probably the longest you could make it in advance. Chopped garlic’s shelf life is around 5-7 days in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer (according to Hope this helps!

  39. Thanks for this recipe and all the tips! I’m near Dallas, have tried boils at 5 other restaurants and none match the great flavor of the Boiling Crab!!! I love their XXX heat and would like to know the ingredient(s) to add that will give this sauce the same heat? Also, where can I buy the sausage they use-it’s awesome!!!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      To turn up the heat, you can add more Louisiana hot sauce and cayenne pepper. That should do the trick! As for the type of sausage, I’m honestly not sure, so I can’t be of much help there. πŸ™

  40. Making this tonight. Found a dry version of this but wanted the wet. Wish me luck!!

    • Hi Rochelle,

      Sorry for the incredibly late reply! I think that the shelf life in the refrigerator is likely dependent on the garlic, since that’s the only raw ingredient in the sauce. Minced garlic has a shelf life of 5-7 days in the fridge and 10-12 months in the freezer. If you’re hoping to keep the sauce longer than a week, I’d go ahead and freeze it. Hope this helps!

  41. OH MY. Since visiting Vegas 1.5 years ago, I have literally been daydreaming about eating this and telling everyone I know about how scrumptious it is. Your step by step recipe, plus all of the fantastic comments led me to the decision to try and make it at home. I am a fairly good cook, but I am generally one to stay away of trying to replicate favorite foods because I love the idea of treating myself to it every once in a while. However, living on the very east coast if Canada, Boiling Crab or Hot n Juicy are not easily accessible! A week ago I made it with small 1 pound lobsters, loads of shrimp, corn cobs, smoked sausage and tiny potatoes…I invited my sister and brother in law (who have had to endure my repetitive recounting of eating this! Lol), and was so anxious for their own review. Well NOW THEY KNOW!! My sister hasn’t stopped talking about it all week and wants to get together tomorrow night for a “girls night in” feast with our best friend!! This time in addition to the shrimp and lobster, there will be King crab legs and fresh mussels in the shell. We are indoctrinating our friend in the best way possible!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    • This is so lovely to hear and thanks for taking the time to leave such an awesome comment, Roz! I’m so glad you decided to try our recipe and happy that you’re already going for Round 2! You know what they say… Once you go Boiling Crab… you never go back! HAHA. I’m actually making this recipe myself this weekend for a group of 6, so cheers to all!

  42. As I’m writing this I’m making this recipe! I added potatoes and Cajun sausage instead of chorizo. Oh and I’m out of sugar! so I’m skipping the sugar! Lol hopefully it comes out good!

    • Haha, potatoes and Cajun sausage sound like they’d go great with the sauce! Hopefully it turned out well!

  43. this recipe sounds awesome. Can’t wait to try it this weekend. Do I have to use 4 sticks of butter or can I use half fat butter? Will it taste different? Thanks!

    • I think it should be fine to use half the butter, but you might not have enough sauce to cover all the shrimp/shellfish. In that case, I’d recommend creating a starch-water mixture to help increase the volume. Hope this helps and thanks for checking out this recipe!

  44. Hi My Linh,
    Great Recipe thank you!
    I have one question, do you use smoked paprika or regular paprika?
    The tastes are different.

    • Sorry for the late reply – we use regular paprika. Though, it could be interesting to try smoked paprika… that could be a great experiment for our next batch!

  45. I must be missing part of the recipe since everyone else understands it. Where on the recipe are the instructions for cooking the potatoes, shrimp, sausage and corn? I think the back and forth has me confused. I see how the sauce is made too but I can’t tell if I’m adding that (the sauce mix) to the pot of water mentioned or otherwise.

    • Sorry for the confusion! The potatoes, shrimp, sausage and corn have to be cooked separately. Once they’re done, then you can combine the cooked ingredients in a gallon zip-loc bag and pour the sauce over. Seal and shake the bag to mix the potatoes, shrimp, sausage, and corn in the sauce. Hope this helps!

  46. Quick question: when the recipe calls for 3 “heads” of garlic, do you really mean the entire head?! Like the full bulb of garlic? Or do you mean cloves? Thanks, can’t wait to try this! I crave Boiling Crab constantly.

    • I know it sounds hard to believe, but yes, we mean three full bulbs of garlic. But, feel free to modify and decrease the amount of garlic if it’s too much for your liking. πŸ™‚ I’d recommend starting off with one bulb and go from there.

  47. Anonymous

    just wondering will the sauce be runny or will it be more on thick chunckie side

    • When you’re heating the sauce, it will be very runny. However, as the sauce cools down and is mixed with the other ingredients, the butter will begin to solidify and the sauce will become thicker.

  48. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I made it tonight for dinner (3rd time). I think the recipe is pretty spot on, except I do think it requires less sugar. Because I’ve only made it for 2, I basically halve the recipe. I do use 2 heads of garlic for 2 lbs of shrimp as the more garlic chunks there are, the better. And for the sugar I only use about 1/2 tbsp instead of 1 tbsp. I also add a little sprinkle of Accent flavor enhancer (MSG) to make it authentic, haha. My husband and I used to live a block away from The Boiling Crab in Koreatown in LA but had to move away 3 years ago and there’s no place else that we’ve tried that can compete with their flavor! Again, thank you so much for sharing this so that we are able to make this wherever we go!

    • Aw, thank you so much for dropping this comment and glad that this recipe has been able to give you a little piece of your old home in LA. πŸ™‚ And, thanks for sharing your tip! We’ll have to try it out in our next batch.

  49. 5 stars
    I routinely overextend myself when it comes to cooking for any gathering… and while I’m stressed beyond belief, the reward of watching people enjoy the food is so worth it- that said, we were going camping with friends and our 4 (collective) kids, just before the 4th of July… we live in southern California, where the weather that time of year is dry and hot as hell, and there really is nothing better than sitting around and drinking beer on a hot summer night- yeah, Ca weather, promoting alcoholism between the months of June through October. Anyway, I really wanted to make sure we had a great meal to start off the trip- and might I say, this was THE BEST recipe to tackle when out of my element, while errr… exposed to the elements.
    I prepped everything possible before we left- corn shucked and cut, sausage sliced, potatoes washed and split if size required, and lemons and limes were wedged and ready. pre-measured the spices, pre minced the majority of garlic and brought a bottle of hot sauce and a grip of butter. The only thing I had to do for prep while everything was boiling in the huge pot over the campfire, was prepare the shabang sauce with my pre-made baggies.
    When done, I poured most of the mixture in one turkey size aluminum tin, mixing in the sauce, and a smaller portion ,plain (for the kids) in their own tin- and that was that!
    Our friends raved and we ate like gluttons… and while the Dads tended to entertaining/bedtime duties for the kids after dinner, the moms were able to sit, relaxed and full, yet unable to rationalize letting any of it go to waste, so we just ate and drank and ate some more- we talked for hours with the crackle of the fire and sound of wildlife around us, and it was awesome.
    Thank you for this great recipe- our friends had never had anything like it before… (I know, for shame!) and since July (it’s November now) I’ve made it at least 4 times since… in fact, I’m making it tonight, so I’d better get crackin’!

    • Thanks for sharing this beautiful story – we can picture this incredible scene playing out and it seriously warms our hearts! <3 I've never thought about bringing this recipe to the outdoors, and now we're going to have to try it out!

  50. Amazing. Tried it and its good, just make a little addition with the recipe and it turns out good. I absolutely cook this on thanks giving. HAPPY TUMMY!!!

  51. 5 stars
    That was amazing and spot on. To bring more of the lemon flavor out I added lemon zest and lemon juice. Very good job and hat off to you. I think your recipe is better than Boiling Crab in my opinion . Thank you!

    • Yay~ thanks so much for trying out our recipe in the new year and the awesome tip to bring out that lemon flavor! πŸ™‚ We’re going to have to try this in our next shrimp boil. Happy New Year!

  52. 5 stars
    Hi My Linh

    We’ve been craving for Boiling Crab ever since we moved to Washington from California. We have the Crab Pot here but it’s not like BC. Tried making the sauce but not having much success. Then we found this recipe…..Hurray!!!!
    Had it for dinner last night and didn’t mind being stuck at home isolated because of COVID19.
    Thanks again and stay safe.

    • Thanks, Mae T! Glad you were able to make something special during this very strange time – hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy!

  53. Nicole King

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe ever! I’ve made this numerous times and it never fails

  54. Kimberly


    Should I use Unsalted or Salted butter? I currently have the IMPERIAL butter brand, am I able to utilize this one? Or would it be too salty?

    I would appreciate your response,thank you. πŸ™‚

    • We’d recommend using unsalted butter; otherwise, it may become too salty. The Old Bay seasoning itself is pretty salty, so you could try adjusting the proportions by lowering the amount of Old Bay to accommodate for the added salt in Imperial, and adding more paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to make up for the other spices. Hope this helps!

  55. Daisy V.

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! One question is the sugar added in with the spices?

  56. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Wow!!! This recipe is amazing!!! Definitely a keeper. My family loved it. Thank you flor sharing.

  57. Dolores Lopez

    5 stars
    I made this today! This was amazing! I added sausage, corn & baby potatoes, everyone loved it! Definitely making it again. It was a hit!

  58. Yummm! Just made this for dinner yesterday and it’s so good and just like the Boiling Crab restaurant! My family loves it! So tasty, this will definitely go into my favorite recipes! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

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