Copycat Recipe: Boiling Crab Shrimp

boiling crab shrimp

Every time we head up Northern California, my husband and I make an effort to stop by the Boiling Crab in Sacramento. The Boiling Crab is a Cajun-Asian fusion restaurant that serves craw fish, shrimp, oysters, crab and other seafood. The seafood is served in plastic bags, drenched in a thick aromatic sauce that is literally finger-licking good. Eating is also a lot of fun. Nothing's sexier than adults putting on bibs and eating with their fingers.

The line at the Boiling Crab is always out the door, at least when I go. I hate crowds and I hate waiting. We typically just make a drive-by, see the madness, then haul-ass out of there to eat somewhere else. Even delicious food will not make me deal with crowds.

I made it my goal to replicate their sauce at home. I searched the internet in hopes of quickly finding their sauce recipe but no such luck. It turns out their recipe is highly guarded and you won't find much information online. So I decided to search in forums, in hopes of finding their employees or former employees hinting at the ingredients. Success.

I'm not sure if the recipe below is their actual recipe, but I think it's pretty close. It was also delicious and it satisfied my Boiling Crab cravings. If I don't ever master their exact recipe, this recipe will do me just fine.

Boiling Crab Shrimp Copycat Recipe:


  • 1 lb shrimp with head, tail and unpeeled

  • 1 head of garlic

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon red curry

  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. In a medium size pan, heat the butter until melted.

  2. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

  3. Add rest of ingredients and mix until combined. Let the sauce cook for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add shrimp. Toss evenly until combined then cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes.