Louisiana shrimp boil

Shrimp make an excellent appetizer, first course, main dish and/or dessert

I love steamed shrimp and have been known to eat them so quickly that a pound could disappear from the bowl before someone could blink. When eating, the shell can be removed or, for the true shrimp enthusiast, eaten along with the meat for a crunchy spice filled addition.

When steaming shrimp the most important thing to remember is not to overcook them. The easiest way to do this is to half cook them over the heat, then let the pan sit still covered and cook the rest of the way off the stove. Just don’t peek to keep the steam in. Any combination of spices can be used but remember to strain and save the cooking the cooking liquid to dunk toasted crusts of bread in while eating the shrimp.

Butter on the toast always helps as well

 Shrimp Boil

  • 2-5 lbs shrimp deveined shell still on (16-20 count)
  • 2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried dill or 2 tbsp fresh
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 rib celery chopped into large chunks
  • 1 jalapeno quartered
  • 1/2 red onion chopped medium
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • 2 cups shrimp or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Toss raw shrimp in olive oil and squeeze juice of half a lemon over. Add Old Bay, oregano, dill, salt and pepper and marinate in bowl for 30 minutes. In a large stock pot, melt two tablespoons butter and fry onion, celery and jalapeno over medium heat until softened. Add wine, juice of half lemon, both lemon halves and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer broth until reduced by one fourth then add shrimp and stir well. Cover pan and steam for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit covered until shrimp is pink and begins to curl, about 15 minutes more. Strain broth into a bowl and sift cooked shrimp out of leftover vegetable matter. In strainer, press remaining liquid from vegetables over shrimp, and stir in parsley. Serve immediately with toasted bread as a side.

About the bread: The restaurants we went to in New Orleans only had one portion size, huge, and the good ones liked to feed you bread, not just a little roll or basket, but a decent-sized loaf. A friend who was in NOLA the same weekend and also dined at Commander’s Palace said there was a debate at his table about whether to take the bread home. No such debate at ours. Two waiters tried to take it off our hands, but we carried our untouched second loaf home, toasted the day-old bread with butter and some ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend (Thanks Jen!) and ate it with our shrimp.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Recipes, Seafood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Louisiana shrimp boil

  1. ceciliag says:

    Ok this is good, i shall try this on the weekend, oh that is tomorrow, i shall try this tomorrow, I have no history of cooking shrimp so i am delighted to have this recipe..and i have bread.. thank you celi

  2. Yuri says:

    This reminds me of a boiled shrimp dish my dad always ordered at his favorite Chinese restaurant. You peeled them with your hands and at the end they gave you a big bowl of tea to soak your hands and get rid of the shrimp smell.

    That buttered toast reminds me of the toast I had the other day: chef dipped bread in melted goat butter then baked it. It was so rich I had just one bite, couldn’t stop thinking of the calories on that piece of bread hehe

  3. Carol Ann says:

    Oh Yuri we cannot be thinking calories when we are talking about dipping it in shrimp juice and butter, its pure food porn just enjoy. Never thought of the tea to get rid of the smell I always used lemon juice and a stainless steal bar, same remedy for garlic I don’t know why the stainless steal works but i do believe it does, Anyone know the chemical reason? If Im at a friends house and they dont have a bar I use any stainless steal items they have including the water spout.

  4. Carol Ann says:

    Oh and definitely take the bread its not like they can use it again.

  5. Michelle says:

    Yes, I’d love that … if only somebody would drive me some good fresh shrimp up from the Gulf in a cooler!

  6. I have always mucked up shrimp dishes and I know they can be just amazing. I love the seasonings in this and now I have a trick up my sleeve for not creating rubberized bits of shellfish! Thank you:) Now please send those here right now… I’m sooo hungry!

  7. eva626 says:

    this looks ultra ‘too die for’. its like midnight here and i want shrimp.

    i used to eat tons and tons of shrimp…someone scared me when they said shrimp has to much cholesterol. (but they are so tiny!) lol

  8. This is my favorite way to eat shrimp!

  9. I just love shrimp and try to eat it in most dishes when I can because I don’t eat it often. I love it steamed, sometimes fried, and pan seared with butter and garlic. So I adore your steamed shrimp.. they look amazing.

  10. Gorgeous, delicious, wonderful! I do need to get my hands on some Old Bay Seasoning though! And I would definitely have taken the bread too 🙂 I´ve heard that in shrimp. the cholesterol is concentrated in the head – so if you´re eating peeled ones and not (excuse the expression) sucking the head…then the cholesterol issue is not so serious. Anyway, who cares every now and then!

  11. I never bother to think of calories when I’m eating a shrimp dish (unless it’s fried). Shrimp is just too delicious to worry about such petty things. =D

  12. These would do me for starters, mains and pudding,.
    🙂 Mandy

  13. Great cooking instructions – it’s so easy to overcook shrimp.
    If you’re going to eat them chilled – like for a holiday party – drain them and plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. It’s soooo much tastier than thawing out a bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp!

  14. ChgoJohn says:

    I’m with you, Greg, and could devour a platter of freshly cooked shrimp in minutes. It’s posts like this one I find the hardest to photograph. It goes against my instincts to have camera in hand and not those tantalizing shrimp. Great post!

  15. Lea Ann says:

    The recipe indicated 16-20 count? Those must be very large shrimp? This recipe sounds really good and I will give it a try one of these days. Never heard of eating the shell. I’m like you, I can eat alot of these in a short amount of time. But not sure I’m ready for that crunchy shell.

  16. Kristy says:

    I’m with you – I could eat shrimp anytime of day and for any meal. This looks delicious! You’re seriously pushing New Orleans up on the already short list. 🙂 Now I just have to find babysitters for a weekend. LOL.

  17. I wouldn’t want to wrestle about the bread with you guys, two serious foodies! I love steamed shrimp, and your spices sound good. I’ve heard of Old Bay Seasoning, but haven’t tried it…yet. Too bad you can’t tell what’s really in it. What does it taste like?

  18. nrhatch says:

    Great photos and recipe! Old Bay Seasoning is so good with seafood.

  19. The dunking liquid is the best 🙂 Yum.

  20. Karen says:

    I love to serve this in the summer time out around a picnic table. Yummy.

  21. spree says:

    This looks/sounds so wonderful! I’m thinking breakfast. and then maybe lunch.

  22. Courtney says:

    I agree that shrimp is appropriate any time of day. 🙂 (and do people really eat the shell??)

  23. trixfred30 says:

    You can eat the shell? I’ve never tried that…

  24. peasepudding says:

    I too can eat shrimp till I pop, I have never steamed them though so will try your method in future, probably best for large quantities

  25. We used to boil shrimp once in awhile, cover the table with newspaper and go to town. It was simple and fun and broke the rules for normal family dining, which was rather formal at our house.
    Your recipe brought this back to me.

  26. I don’t think 5 lbs of these shrimps would be enough for me.

  27. rsmacaalay says:

    I wont stop munching on those shrimps if they were served in our table.

  28. I may be able to give you a run for your money when it comes to steamed shrimp. One of my very favorite things!

  29. Sissi says:

    Your shrimp and toasted bread look divine! Steaming is something I have never made with shrimps. Thanks for the idea.

  30. jolynccc says:


  31. Mama Lisa says:

    Shrimp are good for breakfast too! Not that we ever have any of them left over. Never tried the shells – they would get stuck in my teeth for sure.

  32. spicegirlfla says:

    Great tip on not overcooking the shrimp. This is my son’s only way to eat shrimp! He doesn’t like any sauces. He’ll be very happy you posted this recipe!!

  33. niasunset says:

    Photographs seem so beautiful and so delicious… But as I told before, I don’t know why but I don’t like to eat shrimps… But I think now, can I taste it because of your photograp, dear Rufus. The bread fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

  34. Stefanie says:

    Looks great!! Gotta love a good shrimp boil! Adding some kick from jalapeno seems like a great idea!

  35. zestybeandog says:

    I love old bay shrimp! It’s so simple yet so good!

  36. Charles says:

    Oh God, there’s ain’t much better than a massive plate of shrimps cooked to perfection like these 😀

  37. SimpleP says:

    Old Bay baby! Way to sneak a little Maryland in that Louisiana shrimp boil!

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  39. Stefanie says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!! And way to take the bread 🙂 I usually try to take it, too, if I really liked it!

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