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Urban Crab Shack

the secret to a world class seafood boil nw

The Secret To A World Class Seafood Boil

The Secret To A World Class Seafood Boil

If you’ve grown up on the East Coast, you have probably been exposed to seafood pretty much your entire life.  There are some who don’t like it.  However, the overwhelming majority of coastal state residents seem to think there is nothing better in the summer and fall than some fresh seafood.  Or in the winter or spring for that matter.  In certain parts of the country, such as Louisiana and Maryland, crabs reign supreme.  Crabs make a fantastic centerpiece of a quality seafood boil.  Not just any crabs, however, as the top boils include only quality, fresh crab meat.

When snow crabs are used, a lot of the meat may come from the long legs.  Snow crabs are a group of crab species that live in northern, cold oceans.  The sweet, briny taste mixes well in a stew or a seafood boil.  King crab is used quite frequently.  The king crab looks like a giant hermit crab, but produces meat that is sweet and tender like lobster.  Dungeness crabs represent another option for your boil.  If you’ve grown up on the west coast, dungeness crabs are pervasive.  This type of crab has a sort of nutty, mild flavor.  Steamed crabs from Maryland, usually Maryland blue crabs, work well also.  Urban Crab Shack, with two locations in Parkville and Brandywine, has become one of the premier spots in the region for steamed crabs.  A crab house such as this is where the distinct, delicious tastes and aromas of a well-crafted seafood boil really come to life.  Of course you can’t go wrong including fresh Maine lobster tails in a seafood boil as well.  Old bay seasoning, butter, and lemon all play a part in the perfect boil.  

Little neck and steamer clams usually go well in a classic seafood boil, and most chefs recommend large shrimp, so their flavor and texture doesn’t get lost in the chaos of ingredients.  The more, the merrier is not a term that always makes sense when it comes to ingredients in a culinary dish, but if done correctly, a seafood boil becomes a magnificent symphony of flavor.  

Seafood is not the only component that makes or breaks a good boil.  Corn, potatoes, and sausage should be vital ingredients.  They round out the tastes and flavors of the broth, and may add or subtract from the spicy level.  Certain sausages, like andouille will add to the heat of the dish.  Other polish sausages are also a good choice.  Small potatoes are best for a boil, as they won’t overwhelm the seafood with size.  Of course the fresher the corn, the better.  White or yellow corn will work, as long as the cob is cut into pieces just a couple inches long.  

In addition to tasty, fresh ingredients, the length at which you boil each ingredient is important.  Some items need more time to fully cook and to release their flavors.  Crab and lobster will take a few minutes more than shrimp.  Potatoes can be in the boil for awhile.  The key is to research how long to boil, based on the specific type of crab, sausage, etc.  This part can be a delicate balance, as you want the flavors to emanate throughout the broth, yet some seafood will become rubbery if cooked for too long.  Urban Crab Shack has perfected the timing of a world class seafood boil.  A great bread always goes well with a stew or boil of this nature.  Garlic is a great match either on the bread and/or in the broth.  Onion is used in the broth quite frequently as well.  Whether you are a landlubber or a sea captain, everybody can get on board with an exquisite, flavorful seafood boil.