Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll! I was born deep in south Louisiana to parents who were born deep in south Louisiana. My Louisiana roots run deep, and I love nothing more than a good Cajun/creole dish like this Cajun Boiled Shrimp.
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Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t share this sentiment… especially when it comes to seafood. That’s why I don’t cook a lot of seafood, but when I do, it is a happy day indeed.
In a very large stockpot, I pour about 1 1/2 gallons of water. I set the pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to the higher range of medium-high. I start adding the seasonings right away. I start with a quartered onion, a small bottle of Zatarain’s shrimp & crab boil, a lemon that has been rolled, cut, and squeezed then tossed in, lots of garlic, Old Bay Seasoning, a little vegetable oil, and some salt. I let the seasoned water come to a rolling boil.
Once the boil has started, I add roughly about 2-3 pounds of baby potatoes. I let the potatoes boil for roughly 25-35 minutes. I pulled out one of the larger potatoes to test. It should be almost cooked through, but not completely. The middle will still be hard. It’s a good idea to take a small taste to decide if you want to add more spice or salt.
Now that the potatoes are almost cooked and the seasoning is adjusted to taste, I add my shrimp. I used 2 pounds of 10/15 gulf shrimp that had been thawed under cold running water. I boiled my shrimp for 8 minutes, but smaller shrimp would cook faster. I cook them until the gray coloring on the shells turn pink and the shell begins to pull away from the shrimp. You will begin to see a tiny millimeter-sized gap between the shrimp and the shell.
Once the shrimp have turned pink and pulled away from the shell to tell me they are done, I pull the pot off of the heat and add a good bit of ice. The ice will stop the cooking. I let them soak for a while (like 5-10 minutes give or take). The longer they soak, the more flavor they soak up.
Now that they have soaked, I strain out the liquid with a colander or something similar. If you want to be truly authentic, you would pour the shrimp and potatoes directly onto a table covered with newspaper. Once everyone finishes eating, the shells and mess are rolled up in the newspaper and tossed into the trash. Easy peasy.
Are you ready to make some Cajun Boiled Shrimp? Check out the recipe below!
- 1 1/2 gallons Water
- 2 lbs 10/15 sized Shrimp - frozen raw in shells w/ no heads (any sized shrimp will do, but the cooking time will vary)
- 2-3 lbs Baby Potatoes
- 1 large Yellow Onion - quartered
- 1 (4 oz.) bottle Zatarain's shrimp & crab boil
- 1 Lemon - rolled, cut, squeezed, & tossed in
- 2 TBSP minced Garlic
- 2 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 3 TBSP salt (or to taste)
- In a large stockpot, pour about 1 1/2 gallons of water
- Put stockpot on stove over medium-high heat. The upper end of medium-high heat.
- Add onion, lemon, Zatarain's, garlic, Old Bay Seasoning, vegetable oil, and salt to pot.
- Allow seasoned water to come to a boil.
- Once boiling, add potatoes.
- Allow potatoes to boil about 25-35 minutes or until ALMOST done. Test one of the larger potatoes. Middles should still be hard.
- Taste potato to adjust seasoning for salt and spice.
- Once potatoes are almost done, add shrimp.
- Boil about 8 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink and the shells pull away from the shrimp.
- There should be about a millimeter gap between the shrimp and the shell.
- Take the pot off of the heat.
- Add ice to stop the boiling.
- Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. The longer they soak, the more flavor the shrimp will have.
- Strain the liquid with a colander or some other method.
- Now, just peel and eat.