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One of the best things about being a Filipino cook, or being someone who has tasted the country’s cuisine, is that you have probably been exposed to various ways to have seafood. Sinigang, anyone? Since the Philippines is an archipelago, there is a lot of accessibility to the best offerings from the sea. And so we also have become comfortable with recreating recipes that make use of not just one type of seafood, but a great variety of them! That’s why I would definitely encourage trying this delightful Seafood Boil.
It has shrimp, crab legs and mussels all in one dish! And another plus? It will not take a long time to cook, or in this case, boil. We will mainly just be adding our set of ingredients to our pot, while integrating a bit of seasoning to bring out the taste of our seafood. Let me introduce you to what we will be working with for this dish.
All you need to make some delicious Seafood Boil
We will first want to get 1 lb. of mussels, which should also be cleaned before we do anything else. What you need for this is a bowl or a container that can hold all of your mussels. Then put this under the sink with the seafood inside. Wash them with cold water, and rinse each mussel to ensure that there is no seaweed or external components left on the shells. But if you want to be more sure of the cleanliness of this, it would be best to soak them in fresh water. Just 20 minutes doing this can help get the sand that may have gotten inside out of the way.
I really love this ingredient because it has a flavor that is quite hard to duplicate and so substitutes may be a bit hard to find. They are satisfyingly savory in a mild way, and they also have a taste that somewhat resembles mushrooms.
King crab legs
Here’s another seafood ingredient to really boost our dish. You will want to buy 2 lbs. of king crab legs for this recipe. This particular kind of crab is amazing because it has a sweetness that you can also taste in lobster. Plus they have huge claws, which is really handy for when you need to crack the crab legs open already.
These are also the most popular, and so we can expect it to be a bit pricier. I, myself, was able to opt for these because they were on sale at our local supermarket. But don’t worry because other types of crab would suffice as great alternatives! Here are a couple of substitutes you could choose from:
Compared to the king crab, these are less meaty. The legs are also much thinner, but also longer. But I’d say they are still very delicious, and perfect for this recipe too. Like the king crab, snow crab can be quite sweet, as well as juicy.
You can also go for the legs of blue crabs, which tastes similar to the king crab too. But if your preference is a sweeter flavor, blue crabs are definitely the way to go. These have a delicious, delicate type of meat that fits well with our Seafood Boil.
Now if you don’t want to work with crabs, you could also try a different type of crustacean. Crawfish is yet another great substitute because it is actually meatier than crab, but it also has that tinge of sweetness to remind you of the seafood. These are also notably more flavorful with a salty side to them, and so this is not the perfect alternative. The previously mentioned types of crab definitely resemble the king crab’s taste more, but crawfish works nicely too if you would like a bit more savor.
Of course, even if it is called a Seafood Boil, we will be working with plenty of other ingredients that are not from the sea. Components like sweet corn provide a nice contrast in terms of texture for our dish, and its taste also complements our seafood components well. You will only need 4 pieces of sweet corn on the cob for this recipe. We can just cut each piece in half so that it is easier to work with and arrange.
We also want 1 lb. of medium shrimp to build the flavor of our meal. In my opinion, it really would be best to keep the shell and the head on for our recipe. This is because we really want to maintain the tender quality, as well as the sweetness of the shrimp as we are cooking.
Now when it comes to purchasing this ingredient, there are some things you need to look for to ensure the freshness of the shrimp. Firstly, we want the shell to be intact. Both the head and the legs should also still be attached, and take note that we should not go for those with legs that are black. And you should also veer away from those with a slimy texture.
This is, after all, a Seafood Boil, and so we will need the main ingredient for any recipe that involves boiling— some water. Just gather 7 qt. of this, and make sure it is clean.
This, right here, is a really great spice for adding some aroma to our dish, as well as depth to the overall flavor. We will need just 1 teaspoon of ground cloves for this recipe. We really want that of the ground variety because this provides a richer flavor. You can expect a subtle sort of sweetness, as well as a bitter quality to this component.
We will also need just 2 tablespoons of salt to, of course, make sure our seafood winds up with a nice savory taste.
Here’s another ingredient that will be helpful in upgrading the taste of our dish. Ginger provides a bit of spice, but also a lot of saltiness. And so we will just need 2 thumbs of this so the flavor will not overpower that of our other ingredients. Then these need to be crushed before we add them to the dish.
You will also want some garlic, which we will mince. 1 tablespoon of that will do in seasoning the dish. Garlic is great because it can be really good for you in that it has a lot of nutrient, such as vitamin C, Selenium, Manganese and fiber.
You might be wondering what I’m pertaining to with this particular ingredient. Crab boil or crawfish boil is essentially a mix of seasonings in the market. Then you can toss this bag of seasonings in some boiling water. And there you have it! You will actually just need 1 3 oz. bag of crab boil for our recipe.
Since we’ve prepped everything now in terms of components, all that’s left is creating the dish. Let’s go!
How to make Seafood Boil
Step 1: Boiling some vegetables and seasonings
We must first pour the water inside a large stockpot that can fit all of our seafood and other ingredients. Now apply some heat. Once the water begins to boil, you can also integrate your cloves, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic and crab boil. And we will just let all of these boil together for 5 minutes.
And then carefully and slowly put your potato and corn inside too. We will let this cook for just about 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 2: Incorporating our seafood
Then it’s time to add our crab, as well as the mussels! Just boil these for 3 minutes. And now, you can also put the shrimp inside. Continue cooking for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 3: Arranging everything on our tray
You’re nearly done! Now you just need to take out the seafood, as well as the potatoes and corn inside the pot. You can use a strainer for this, but the next step is just to let the water drip. Then you can just transfer the cooked seafood, potatoes and corn onto a serving tray. We have a gorgeous mix of colors, and so feel free to plate this as creatively as you can.
And that’s it! You have made yourself a delicious Seafood Boil dish. But let me tell you something— this can taste better with a couple of condiments on the side.
What to have with your Seafood Boil
Lemon butter sauce
There is just something so delicious about seafood with a savory, but zesty lemon butter sauce. I absolutely love this because it works with plenty of other dishes as well. This is actually pretty easy to make so let me run through the steps here for you quickly.
You just need to get ½ stick of butter, which you will cut in half. Put this in a bowl, and microwave the butter until melted, which would take about 30 to 40 minutes. Then squeeze half a lemon on your melted butter, and mix them together. You can also opt to add some garlic powder for added flavor.
Want to have your Seafood Boil in the authentic Filipino way? This also works perfectly with Sinamak— the classic spiced vinegar dip from home! It can add a bit of sourness to our mild-tasting seafood. This is just a bit more complicated to make than our previous sauce so you can refer to our article on recreating sinamak if you would like to make it at home.
And there you have it! Should any questions about this recipe pop up in your head, just comment them below so I can help out.
- Pour water on a large stockpot. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cloves, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, and crab boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes.
- Slowly add the potato and corn. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the crab and mussels. Boil for 3 minutes.
- Put-in the shrimps and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more.
- Remove the seafood along with the potatoes and corn from the pot. Let the water drip.
- Transfer to a serving tray. Serve with lemon butter sauce.
- Share and enjoy!