Old Bay Shrimp Boil

old bay shrimp boil
old bay shrimp boil

Peel-and-Eat Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

One of the most delightful summer pastimes for my family is indulging in peel-and-eat boiled shrimp at ramshackle seafood shacks. There’s something special about sitting around brown paper-covered picnic tables, feasting on these flavorful crustaceans. But why limit this experience to dining out when you can recreate it at home? Peel-and-eat boiled shrimp are not only quick and easy to make, but they’re also incredibly fun to eat. And when they’re simmered in beer and Old Bay seasoning, the result is pure culinary magic.

What You’ll Need to Make Peel-and-Eat Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients for Boiled Shrimp

When it comes to shrimp, I always recommend using frozen shrimp. Most shrimp are cleaned and flash-frozen shortly after being caught, retaining their freshness and flavor. Even the “fresh” shrimp available at seafood counters are typically thawed frozen shrimp. So, it’s better to buy frozen shrimp and defrost them yourself for maximum taste.

Before cooking the shrimp, you’ll need to remove the dark vein running along their backs. Look for shrimp labeled as “shell split and deveined” to save time. However, if you have to do it yourself, use kitchen shears to cut through the shell along the back of the shrimp, from the head to the tail. Then, use a small paring knife to lift out the vein.

To defrost frozen shrimp, simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight or run them under cool water.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Boiled Shrimp

Beer Broth

  1. In a large pot, combine beer, water, butter, and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil.
  3. Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to medium, and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook, stirring once, for 3 to 6 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and remain tender.

Step 2: Make the Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish Sauce Ingredients in Bowl

  1. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked shrimp to a platter. Serve them with the horseradish sauce, cocktail sauce, and plenty of napkins to enjoy the messy, finger-licking goodness.


Q: Can I use pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe?

A: It’s best to use raw shrimp for this recipe. Using pre-cooked shrimp will result in tough and overcooked shrimp.

Q: Can I substitute Old Bay seasoning with a different blend?

A: Old Bay seasoning is a crucial component of this recipe, bringing the authentic Maryland-style flavor. While you can experiment with other seasoning blends, using Old Bay will give you the most traditional taste.

Experience the joy of Maryland-style peel-and-eat boiled shrimp in your own backyard or kitchen. With this recipe, you’ll delight in the irresistible combination of beer, Old Bay, and fresh shrimp. Visit Takeout Food for more culinary inspiration and diverse recipes to elevate your at-home dining experiences. Happy cooking and bon app├ętit!

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