It’s summertime and I’ve had a crab boil on my mind for weeks now. Not sure why, since I’ve never actually done one myself, but the idea of a spicy cauldron of yummy crustaceans and sweet corn has been on my mind for a few weeks.
Luckily, I have a good friend with a boil rig consisting of a large pot with steamer insert and a propane gas stand who was happy to help me out. This weekend, we embarked on the crab feast adventure and I learned a few things:
1. Do not assume the asian markets will have crab in stock even if you ALWAYS see them when you are NOT hosting a party. After calling about 10 places, I found a small supply of blue crab at 99 Ranch in Plano and ended up forking the extra $ for the huge and delicious Dungeness crabs which is not the worst problem to have…
2. After the crab is done cooking and you’ve checked one claw to verify, quickly ice down the pot to prevent further cooking and then let the crabs & veggies soak up all the good flavor. If you’ve accidentally taken everything out and realized that they aren’t cooked yet, it’s still ok to throw them back in to finish cooking! We did this and it turned out fine!
3. Buy more corn than you think you need. Sweet summer corn + all the spices & flavors from the boil makes for some of the best tasting corn I’ve ever had! Also, do NOT skip the hot sausage!
4. Crab shells make excellent accessories.
Let’s get Crabby!
This recipe is a classic cajun style boil, but I added a spicy garlic butter sauce that you often find at asian crab places for some extra fusion kick! Give it a try, it’s really not that hard once you have the equipment.
- 2-4 crabs per person depending on size & appetite (We had 6 dungeness & a dozen blue)
- 3 lb shrimp
- 6 lbs hot sausage links
- 3 lbs small red potatoes
- 10-12 ears of corn
- 2 lbs of mushrooms
- 2 3 oz packages of Zatarain's Dry Crab Boil
- 1 4 oz bottle of Zatarain's Concentrated Crab Boil Liquid
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1 bag of ice
- Lemons to squeeze at the end
- 3 sticks of butter
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- 1 TB cumin
- 1 TB lemon pepper
- 1 TB paprika
- 1 TB red chili powder
- ½ TB cayenne (or more if you dare)
- Melt butter over low heat in a small pot
- Mince garlic and add to butter
- Cook until translucent 3-5 minutes
- Add spices and stir cooking another 2-3 minutes
- Remove from heat and store in a sealable container for transport
- Fill your pot ¾ full and place on burner on high heat
- Add salt, two dry packages and whole bottle of liquid Zatarains
- While waiting for water to boil, cut corn into thirds & potatoes into havles
- Once boiling, add in the potatoes and cook 5 minutes
- Add corn and cook another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are done (check with a fork)
- Add mushrooms
- Bring water back up to boil if it isn't already
- Add crabs and cook til done (Dungeness 15-20 min, Blue 10-12 min) and check one claw to be sure
- Once done, dump all the ice in the pot to cool down and stop the cooking
- Let everything soak for 15-20 minutes to get all the good flavor in!
- Once ready, scoop out everything into a container, toss with garlic butter sauce and dump onto newspaper lined table with a bunch of lemon wedges for devouring!
Here is a list of useful equipment & ingredients for hosting your own crab boil!
- Crab Pot & Portable Propane Burner
- Long handled skimmer for scooping out crabbies
- Zatarain’s Dry Crab Boil
- Zatarain’s Concentrated Liquid Crab Boil
- Louisiana Crab Boil
- Crab Crackers & Forks (Great deal!)
(Photos by my friends Collin W and Louise S)