It has been long since the pandemic stopped people from taking summer vacations and bathing under the sun. What’s most frustrating is that you cannot eat the fresh seafood that comes with these vacations planned long before.
Although home delivery options are always available, ordering online can become costly, yet it still cannot provide authentic seafood flavors. So, crave no more! Here is a simple recipe that includes a complete guide on how to make seafood boil sauce.
What is Seafood Boil?
A seafood boil is one of the best dishes for lovers of the flavors of the sea. This recipe will give you the luxury of tasting all your favorite seafood in one bowl. A seafood boil is a mixture of shrimp, crawfish, clams, crab legs, and any other seafood you can think of, tossed in a flavorful and spicy sauce. This dish’s other popular sauces include the creamy garlic sauce for seafood and the lemon garlic butter sauce for seafood.
This massive food is a finger-licking collective meal. Here, we will guide you on how to pick the perfect ingredients. We also made you an easy-to-follow guide on how to make a perfect seafood boil, including one of the best ingredients – how to make seafood boil sauce.
First, you need to select and prepare the best ingredients. Organize what you need before cooking to make your work faster and easier. Seafood is a bit expensive so you must decide how many extenders you are going to use. Here are some common and popular choices.
- Seafood: King crab legs, shrimp, squid rings, clamp, and any other seafood you like. It’s best to buy fresh, but you can also use frozen seafood, which is more accessible. When buying seafood, rinse everything well. You can brush the crab legs and clamps to get rid of those sticky things. You can slice the lobster into two for better cleaning. Check the label if you bought it frozen. Some of them are precooked, so they will lessen the cooking time. You may leave the shrimp skin to give additional flavor.
- Sausages: The most common sausage that is used for seafood boil is kielbasa or andouille. You can opt not to include this, but you can also use any sausages you like, like chicken or pork.
- Potatoes: Red potatoes, regular potatoes, or any potatoes that are available in your locality. If you are using a softer and smaller potato, be sure that it is cooked last.
- Corn on the cob: You can use yellow, white, or any corn available. Slice the corn into 4 parts.
- Herbs and seasoning: The usual seasoning used for a seafood boil are smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, hot sauce, and thyme. If you are not sure of the proper combination of these herbs, you can create your own cajun seasoning which is a mixture of all these herbs mentioned above. There are pros and cons to using cajun seasoning. It makes your cooking easier, but it will be hard to adjust the flavor according to your taste.
- Old Bay seasoning
- Salt and sugar
- 1 cup of lemon juice
- Unsalted butter
- Garlic and onion
- Optional extenders: boiled eggs, mushrooms, and other veggies. Do not be afraid to be creative!
How to Make Seafood Sauce
Basically, a seafood boil is just simply boiling the ingredients altogether. But some prefer cooking through the oven by mixing the raw ingredients with the sauce in a sheet pan. For this recipe on how to make seafood boil sauce, we want to do it the traditional way.
Cooking Procedure of Seafood Boil
- Choose a large enough pot to accommodate all the ingredients.
- Fill the pot with enough water to boil all the ingredients.
- Add the herbs and seasoning. These commonly include the seasoning that we listed above – cajun seasoning or smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, hot sauce, and sugar. For more flavor, you may also add Old Bay seasoning, lemon, garlic, and onion.
- The amount of seasoning is based on your desired flavor. Bring it to boil.
- Place the potatoes and corn first since they need a longer time to cook. Keep the pot boiling for about 10 minutes. Then, add the extenders if you will be using any.
- Take out all the ingredients once they are cooked to avoid overcooking and to give space for the seafood and sausage.
- Put the remaining ingredients one by one according to the time needed to be cooked. For example, crab legs are larger and harder, so you want it to go first, and shrimp needs a shorter time to cook so it can go last.
- Drain the water and transfer everything to a serving dish. Set aside.
Seafood Boil Sauce
First, gather these ingredients.
- 2 bars Unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- 1 whole Onion, diced
- 1 whole Garlic, diced
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp.) Old Bay seasoning
- 3 tbsp. Paprika
- 1 tbsp. Cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. Red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. Thyme
- Salt and sugar
- Broth cubes (optional)
- Chopped parsley
Next, follow this procedure.
- First, measure two tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. In a pan, melt these ingredients over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic.
- Add all the seasoning. Taste and adjust the sauce until you reach the spiciness that you want.
- Stir well, then add all the remaining butter until it melts and forms a consistent texture.
- Pour in your seafood and mix well. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
You don’t want to eat mushy and rubbery seafood. To avoid this, you must make sure you cook your seafood based on their different cooking times. Also, refer to this additional guide for choosing what to put first and the last to be cooked. If you are using other seafood aside from this, you can check the label.
Here is a brief guide on the cooking time per seafood.
- Crab legs require the longest time—twenty minutes for raw and half the time for frozen, pre-cooked crab.
- Lobster needs 8-12 minutes. Slicing it into two will shorten the time.
- You must cook clams for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Shrimp is the easiest to cook. You should cook it in 2-3 minutes.
You don’t need a complicated recipe to learn how to make seafood boil sauce. Just follow the guide on how seafood is properly cooked and be sure to add the flavor little by little, so it will not get overcooked or over flavored. It’s easier to add flavor rather than try to remedy an over flavored dish.
You can match this with side dishes, green salad, bread, green beans, coleslaw, or potato salad. This communal dish is best for informal gatherings, camping, or team-building activities over cold beer or wine. Learn more amazing tips about seafoods here.