This spicy Cajun boil, inspired by one served at Charles Seafood in Harahan, Louisiana, has been a reader favorite since it first graced our pages in 2013. The key to a good boil is making sure your ingredients don’t overcook. Start with your vegetables and spices, then layer in your seafood last.
Cajun Seafood Boil
This spicy low-country boil is inspired by one served at Charlie’s Seafood in Harahan, Louisiana.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 1⁄4 cups kosher salt, divided
- 5 lb. whole live crawfish (or frozen seasoned, boiled, and thawed)
- 6 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 lemon, halved, plus wedges
- 1⁄2 cup Creole seasoning
- 1⁄2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
- 1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp. Cayenne pepper
- 2 lb. medium waxy potatoes
- 3 lb. head-on jumbo shrimp
- 3 ears corn, shucked and halved
- Cocktail sauce, for serving
- Hot sauce, preferably Original Louisiana, for serving
- To a large stockpot filled with 2 gallons cold water, add 1 cup salt and whisk until dissolved. Add the crawfish and set aside for 20 minutes; drain, rinse well, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate. To the same pot, add the remaining salt, the celery, onions, garlic, halved lemons, Creole seasoning, Old Bay, Worcestershire, Cayenne, potatoes, and 2 gallons water; bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 10–12 minutes. Add the reserved crawfish, the shrimp, and corn, cover, and cook until the seafood is just cooked through, 5–7 minutes more.
- Drain the contents of the pot, discarding the liquid; transfer the crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn, celery, and onions to a large platter. Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail and hot sauces on the side.