We brought a little beach back; A blue crab and gulf shrimp boil

Four blue crabs and 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp made the adventure home with us from Galveston, Texas. When preparing for a boil, you always want to make sure that the crabs are still alive when you cook them. If they die, they release a toxin that can make you sick (it makes me really sick but actually does not bother the pilot at all). We brought the crabs that we bought at Katie’s Seafood home in a brown paper bag, they suffocate in plastic, and we kept them from direct contact with the ice…if they get to cold they will also die.

What is needed:

2 blue crabs per person

1/2 pound of shrimp per person. Fresh shrimp is much better!

Corn, cut in 1/2


Boil Seasoning (I prefer the powder to the liquid)

Here’s how to do it in the story format:

We wanted to make sure that they were still fresh when we ate them, so we had them for dinner the same night we bought them. Even though I cough and cough when we boil (because the spices are so potent!) on the stove, it was just for the two of us so we did not think we needed to get the propane out and setup the outside boiling pot. As a compromise, I cleaned the crabs and shrimp and the pilot took care of the actual cooking. I rinsed the shrimp but we cooked them in the shell. The shrimp get really rubbery if you shell them before you boil them (according to the shows I like to watch on the cooking channel, there is also a lot of flavor in the head and shell so it is best to boil them whole)…We bought them headless though. These were the jumbo size and they were huge.

I also rinsed the crabs; I used cold water to get the crabs spunky again just to make sure they were still healthy. As soon as the cold water hits them after being on ice, they come back to “life” rather quickly.

Put enough water in the pot to cover all of the shrimp, crab and vegetables along with as much shrimp boil as you like. The more you add the hotter the corn and potatoes are going to make your lips. The pilot and I love the Louisiana Brand Crab Boil. Dumping in the seasoning really helps give the shrimp and crabs a lot of flavor and we like things spicy. The pilot says part of the spicyness is the soak after they boil. This is where you turn off the heat and let them sit. For a milder flavor, pull them out immediately. For hotter flavor, let them sit for 10 minutes after turning off the heat.

There are two methods for cooking crabs. You can boil the water and then put the crabs in or put the crabs in and then bring the water to a boil. I recommend putting the crabs in the water first and then bringing the water to a boil.  When you drop them in the boiling water they tend to expel a white stingy substance and I have a tendency to splash myself and starting with water that is not boiling prevents me from burning myself.

We put the crabs in first, and brought the water to a boil, once it is boiling add the shrimp and potatoes and corn. To make sure that the potatoes and corn can get finished in the few minutes it takes to boil the shrimp I usually put them all in a potato bag in the microwave for 3 minutes before I put them in the water.

We added corn and potatoes (from HEB, our local grocery store) to the boil when we added the shrimp and let them boil for a few minutes, the shrimp will turn bright red when they are ready.

When the shrimp are ready, cut off the fire (or turn off the heat if you are making them inside) and add Okra if you like Okra. We have a garden full of tokra and I love it so we tend to put it in everything…Then let everything sit in the water and rest. Like I mentioned, The longer you let everything sit in the water the spicier they get. We usually let ours sit for about 10 minutes before we take them out. The Okra gets really HOT.

Strain out the water and eat. I usually have to add a little fruit to the meal to help my lips quit burning but it is ready to eat…and not boiling hot. A nice addition is some cocktail sauce to dip the shrimp in. The pilot likes to dip his potatoes in the cocktail sauce as well.

We have also been known to add a few other fun things to the boil:

Whole Small Onions, Mushrooms and Artichokes.

All three of them soak up a lot of water, and spice, so just be careful with how much seasoning you put in and how long you rest your boil.

I love, love, love fresh seafood. I really love a fresh seafood boil. This rates a high 9 for me.The fresh seafood was WONDERFUL. Enjoy the recipe!




  1. Tamara M. Smith says:

    Thank you! It looks like a really good boil meal for us up here in the GREAT LAKES State of Michigan! Fresh seafood, of any kind, is my favorite! We even have crawdad’s here in the deli case of our local Meijers food store! Happy eating my Foodie friend!

    • I am always trying new things in the boil. We love seafood even though we are a pretty good ways from the coast so ours usually has to come from the grocery store as well. Is there anything else that you have tried in the boil that you recommend? We have tried cabbage but it seems to get really hot, usually too hot to eat. The pilot is careful with the mushrooms, they get hot easy too.

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