The Easy-To-Make Seafood Boil Sauce That You'll Keep Dunking Into

Whether it's a crawfish boil in Louisiana or crab boils in New England, seafood boils are a widespread coastal tradition. Families and friends celebrate the end of cold winters and springs by feasting al fresco on a giant mound of cooked shellfish, potatoes, corn on the cob, and often sausage. Most diners are content to dig into the heavily seasoned seafood without condiments. However, a seafood sauce made from the boiling liquid itself is the easy-to-make addition that your seafood boil needs.

Whenever we make a festive seafood boil, we employ a five-ingredient sauce that's not only delicious, but also a great way to make use of the umami-rich boiling liquid. This sauce is a blend of melted butter, reserved boiling liquid, lemon juice, garlic, and Old Bay seasoning. Lemon juice, garlic, and butter are a classic combo for a dipping sauce you'd serve alongside lobster or crab. Old Bay seasoning is a multi-ingredient seasoning consisting of celery salt, black and red pepper, and paprika, and the standard all-in-one flavoring agent for the ingredients you throw into your seafood boil. Consequently, the five ingredients in this sauce make the perfect pairing for the seafood you boil in the pot. Dipping your crawfish, crab, shrimp, or lobster tails into this mixture will enhance its flavor with its own juices and an extra dose of savory, smoky Old Bay while also adding a tart, aromatic, and dairy-rich complement.

How to make seafood boil sauce

Making the sauce is as easy as boiling the seafood and requires no additional cooking. It'll come together in the few minutes following the draining of your pot. Reserve half a cup of broth from the pot before draining it, adding it to a bowl or saucepan with two sticks of melted butter. Whisk the two liquids together until uniformly smooth, then add lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and diced garlic. The heat from the broth will help bloom the aroma of the garlic and spices, while the lemon juice will balance the buttery, savory richness with a burst of tang.

After tasting this seafood boil sauce, it'll become a staple condiment for all future seafood feasts. If you want to add a spicy element to your sauce, you could always stir in tabasco sauce or Cajun seasoning. You could also upgrade the boiling liquid with garlic cloves, onion, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Some recipes recommend adding a bottle of beer along with the water for a tastier base. By imparting more flavor into the boiling liquid, you're not only upgrading the taste of the seafood, but you're also left with a much richer broth to improve seafood boil sauce.