Spicy Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce


Recipe courtesy of Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

Makes 6 Appetizer Servings

  • 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, cut to expose all the cloves
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Zatarain's Liquid Boil seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 8 cups water
  • 18 colossal, jumbo, or extra-large shrimp, preferred, or 30 large shrimp; peeled and deveined, with tails but not heads
  • a double recipe cocktail sauce, well chilled

Spicy Boiled Shrimp

 Click image to enlarge



In a nonreactive 5 1/2 quart pot, combine the onions, celery, garlic, lemon halves, kosher salt, seafood boil, and cayenne. Add the 8 cups of water. ​Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

​Add the shrimp and return liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit, uncovered for five minutes.

​Strain the shrimp and other contents of the pot in a large mesh strainer. Spread the strained shrimp and other ingredients from the strainer on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered until well chilled, at least two hours, before serving. (This can be done early on the day of serving.)

Serving Suggestion: If the shrimp size is extra-large to colossal, allow three shrimp per person. If the size is large, allow five per person.


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