Boil Cajun Crab Recipe


The great southern crab boil is both a way to cook crabs and also a great social occasion, usually they are together. Whilst a tad messy the congeniality of a crab boil is well worth it. Of course to start with you need a supply of high quality fresh crab. In some cases they might boil other seafood such as shrimp, lobsters, crawfish, clams and mussels.

The typical crab boil involves adding special seasonings to the boiling water before adding in the crabs. Boil seasoning is usually spicy, and what comes out of the pot is piled on a great big platter for all to enjoy. Boiled seafood in southern Louisiana is usually spicier than most other places.

Down south you can by ready made boiling spices to drop in the cooking pot. Many of my southern friends have old family recipes and make up their own spice blends and use herbs as well. The main accompaniments are lemons, herbed butter and cocktail sauce.


To get started get your fresh live crabs and keep in a cooler until ready. Get the largest pot you can with a strainer and fill with fresh water. Bring to the boil and then add in your spices. Allow to boil for 10 minutes, and you will see the water change color and smell a delicious spicy scent

You then add your ingredients, always put the longer cooking foods in the strainer first. Then add your crabs. Crabs typically take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

If you don’t want to use the store bought spices then try this simple mix

Two teaspoons black peppercorns

Two teaspoons mustard seeds,

Two teaspoons dill seeds

Two teaspoons coriander seeds

Two teaspoons whole cloves

Two tablespoons of salt

8 crushed dried bay leaves

Two teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

Place the spices into a cheesecloth bag and discard after use.

Many family and homemade crab boil recipes call for large quantities of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, bay leaf, lemon, and garlic. Mustard seeds, coriander seeds and allspice are popular optional extra.

Its a lot easier to use commercial crab boil products and supplement it as you wish. The market leader is Zatarain's. They have spices in a mesh bag with seasonings or they have a liquid concentrate to add directly to the water. Other well known brands include Tony Chachere's, and Rex Crab Boil. Maryland crabs are boiled using Chesapeake Bay crab seasoning such as Old Bay and then steaming over, but not in vinegared water, some even add beer to the steaming water). Also you can buy McCormick Shrimp & Crab Boil Spice Bags.



6 gallons water

1 1/2 cups salt

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

4 packages dry crab boil

2 tablespoons Tabasco Sauce

16 red-skinned potatoes

3 large artichokes

8 ears of corn shucked

12 bratwurst sausages

5 lemons cut them in half

4 medium-sized yellow onions peeled and quartered

4 heads garlic halved horizontally

3 pounds fresh asparagus

1 bunch celery washed and the tops sliced off

24 scallions trimmed

5 pounds fresh whole shrimp

5 pounds crab legs


Step One Put the large pot with basket insert on a high heat. Cover and then bring to the boil. Add in your boil seasonings

Step Two Start adding in the vegetables, start with those that take longest to cook, such as the potatoes and artichokes.

Step Three Cover the pot and bring back to the boil and cook for 7 minutes.

Step Four Add the corn, bratwursts, lemons, onions, garlic, celery and scallions. Cover and boil for a further 7 minutes. It is good idea to precook the bratwurst so you get a nice caramelized appearance. This also reduces grease in the boiling pot

Step Five 4 Add in the asparagus, crab legs and the shrimp.

Step Six Make sure the ingredients are stirred well down into the stock

Step Seven Cover the pot and the stock returns to the boil and the shrimp turn pink, turn off the heat.

Step Eight Remove the crabs and other ingredients and serve immediately.



36 live crabs

3 x 24 oz. Seasoning bags

1/2 cup Tony Chachere's seasoning

6 lemons cut in half

2 onions

2 lb potatoes about two per serving works best

12 cobs corn


Step One Empty the crabs into an ice chest.

Step Two Sprinkle salt over the crabs.

Step Three Add water to cover crabs and allow to stand for 5 minutes

Step Four Drain and the repeat the process

Step Five Fill the pot half full with water. Add in the halved lemons.

Step Six Put the lid on and bring the water to a boil. Add in your the crab boil seasoning. Let the water boil for 5 minutes to allow the seasoning to dissolve and mix.

Step Seven Add in the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes.

Step Eight Add the crab and gently stir. Cover the pot and return to the boil for five minutes.

Step Nine Gently stir the crab and other seasonings and then turn off the heat and then allow to soak for 15 minutes. Add in the corn.

There are many Crab Boil Cakes Recipes

Boil Cajun Crab Recipe