A seafood boil is great way to put a lot of seafood meats into the same dish quickly and easily without a lot of fuss. You can toss together lobster, crab, shrimp, and more in your seafood boil and cook them all at once.
They will all combine nicely and can all cook in the same sauce, making for a homogenous meal that is fairly simple to put together.
It all starts with a quality seafood boil sauce, which is a combination of ingredients that makes for a flavorful base for your dish and that helps to permeate each of the seafood meats with flavor. This is what your seafood will cook in, heating up in the juices of the seafood boil and becoming more tender and succulent.
How to make seafood boil sauce? I’ll show you my method that uses wholesome, tasty ingredients to create a sauce you will want to use over and over again. It works well with a variety of seafood items as well, so it is versatile enough to be modified to fit whatever seafood you have on hand and want to cook up.
How to Make Sauce for Seafood Boil
The seafood boil is something you can make in a stock pot on the stove, however, you can also make it in the oven if you want to bake it. I always use a large pot for this dish, because I like to make a lot of seafood boil at once.
It’s a good dish to split up throughout the week and modify slightly to enjoy a different version each day of the week. Get the most out of your cooking and make a large portion initially that you can use it later on for other meals in the week.
The seasoning for the seafood boil can be made by hand with fresh ingredients, or you can simply use a pre made seafood seasoning that you buy at the grocery. It’s up to you how much work you want to put into this dish.
How to Make Sauce for Seafood Boil
- 1 pound of shell on trim
- 1 pound of crawfish
- 1 pound of Manila clams
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 lemon, sliced in half
- 2 tbsp sliced in half
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 heads of minced and peeled garlic
- 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
- 2 ½ tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of smoked paprika
- 4 tbsp of old Bay seasoning
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- For how to make seafood boil sauce, start by rinsing your seafood with water. For the shrimp, cut off the legs and mustache with scissors and set the shrimp to the side. Allow the crawfish to soak in some water and rinse it until the water is no longer dirty. Rinse your clams as well and allow them to drain and then set them to the side.
- Mixed together the garlic, sugar, paprika, black pepper, old Bay seasoning, and butter in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set your seasoning to the side.
- Fill a large pot with water about halfway full and bring the water to a boil. Add in your lemon halves, crawfish, corn, shrimp, and Manila clams. Cover the pot and cook your corn and seafood until they are cooked all the way through and have turned red, which should be around 2 minutes.
- Drain the water out of the seafood and corn and get rid of the lemon and then set the seafood in corn aside.
- Using a big skillet on medium heat, cook together mince garlic and butter. Allow the garlic to sauté for about a minute but don't let it get brown. Add in your seafood boil seasoning as well as the hot sauce. Stir them together to create a spicy butter sauce and then cut the heat.
- Move the corn and seafood into the spicy sauce and stir together. For smaller skillets, you may have to mix the sauce and seafood in a couple of batches.
Modifying Your Seafood Boil
This version for how to make garlic butter sauce for seafood boil and the seafood boil itself is a spicier version than the traditional one. You can completely leave out the hot sauce if you want. You can change up the seasonings as well, making the dish savoury or as plain as you like.
If you’re making the dish for a family, you may want to put some of the seasoning into the butter sauce separate from the rest of the food, because kids may not like all that seasoning.
A lot of people will make their seafood boil with smoked sausage and boiled potatoes. These are great additions that add a lot of texture and flavour to your dish, but they are not necessary. It’s up to you if you want to include them or other similar foods that can fill out the dish more.
I think the more ingredients you have in your seafood boil, the easier it is to make it a full meal and not have to supplement it with any additional foods.
There are a number of ways how to make butter sauce for seafood boil, and I think the most important modifications you can make are to the butter itself. You can use a garlic butter that’s already pre-made and save yourself a little bit of time.
You can also use a variety of different butters to give the sauce various flavours suit your needs.
There is also a lot of other seafood you can add into this dish. The dish works well with mussels, crab legs, Dungeness crabs ,and whatever other seafood you like. I find that squid may be a little too tough and stringy for the dish, but it is up to you if you want to include something like that for added texture.
If you want to skip the butter sauce for whatever reason, you can simply use oil instead. It will give the seafood the same saucy texture but without the dairy.
If you’re cooking this dish on the stove, you can cook everything together. Your seafood boil can be stored in the fridge for several days and can be kept in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers.
I would suggest reheating in a pot on the stove rather than using the microwave, as this will preserve the flavour and texture of your food.