Shrimp Boil Development

6/7/2023 – This test used the leftover seasoning from 5/2/2023 but measured everything. It had the old-time smell of shrimp being boiled but the salt seemed a bit low and the seasoning was not distinctive. The seasoning-to-water ratio seemed ok as after the pre-boil the water had a good color. Next time: boil smaller shrimp for more surface area; increase cayenne pepper and cloves; let them soak longer.

  • 1.5 lbs. headless large shrimp that had been individually frozen
  • 2 Qts water
  • ½ Cup of the 5/2/2023 seasoning mix
  • 2 Tbsp table salt
  1. Boiled then simmered water with salt and seasoning for an hour
  2. Added the large headless shrimp.
  3. Once half was floating took the pot off the burner and added a quart of ice cubes to stop the cooking. Maybe that was too many floating; i.e. boiled too long, as they were a bit chewy rather than crunchy. Could also add more ice.
  4. Let them soak in the seasoned water for 15 minutes.

5/2/2023 – Adjusted the 1/7/2018 recipe below and found it weak likely due to too little added to the water. Boiled one pound of headless shrimp in about 2 quarts with salt and 3 heaping tablespoons of this blend. Next time try at least half a cup in that much water.

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons mustard seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole allspice – Ground roughly in a blade grinder
2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper – Next time 1 Tablespoon
8 bay leaves
2 small lemons were cut in half, the juice was squeezed into the water then they were dropped in.

Added salt and seasoning to the water, brought it to a boil then let it simmer for 30 minutes. Brought it back to boiling and added the shrimp. When some were floating turned the stove off and added ice. Let the shrimp sit in the lukewarm seasoned water to absorb more seasoning as is done with crawfish.

Needed more salt and a lot more seasoning.


1/7/2018 – This boil was based on a Zatarian’s Copy Cat Recipe to which I add cayenne and coarse fresh ground black pepper. It was ok but still not as robust as I remember but well balanced. Need to increase the amount of boil mix.

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons mustard seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole allspice
2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 bay leaves – Torn into small pieces

ADD:
Salt – poured in some, stirred and tasted until the water tasted a little salty. Not nearly as salty as sea water. [Needed more salt]
2 T Cayenne
1T Course ground black pepper
1 lemon quartered and squeezed

Mixed and crushed the large seeds in our new little mortar and pestle where the pestle fully fills the mortar.

  1. Brought ~1.5 gallons of water to a boil with about half of the seasoning mix. Had 3 small red potatoes so threw them in for the first boil. They were done before the 1.5 hours was over and I had pulled them to toss back in later during the cool down.
  2. Simmered for 1.5 hours then returned it to a rolling boil
  3. Added the 2 lbs. of headless shrimp.
  4. Stirred occasionally until a few were floating.
  5. Dropped in a 1-gallon zip lock bag filled with ice cubes. They melted within 20 minutes and cooled off the boil nicely.

Maybe 15 minutes later we shelled and tried some with shrimp cocktail sauce.  The seasoning was evident but still was mild. More salt would have helped and definitely more seasoning.

Many cajun recipes add shrimp boil concentrate and that would have helped.

1/08/2018 – Peeled and had in a “chef” salad. Still very mild seasoning although it seemed well balanced. Tasted the red potatoes and they were bland and no taste of salt.

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