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 20 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!


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