"Boiling Crab" Style Sous Vide Cajun Shrimp

Wax paper table ‘cloths,’ plastic bag bibs, lots of paper towels, and—dare I say it—eating with your bare hands!

From the first time I dined at Boiling Crab, I was hooked. It isn’t out of the ordinary for a Desi person to eat non-dry food with their hands, but in American culture it can be absurd. I got over the initial discomfort pretty quickly, especially since everyone around me was eating the same way.

I’d often thought about trying to make the shrimp at home. It seemed so simple! Boil the shrimp and then throw it in spices; or put the shrimp, spices and water in a bag and you just boil it? Something. I could figure it out. And with some research, I did.

Now I have to say, I definitely customized this recipe to my own liking and my family’s. However, like all cooking, by all means change the recipe! I actually encourage you to experiment with it. Don’t want sugar/sweetness in your sauce (like me)? Don’t put sugar. Weaksauce in handling spice? Decrease the amount of cayenne and chili powders (and maybe paprika). In hindsight, I would have preferred adding more salt (I added none in the video) and lemon juice and putting less cayenne. I have accounted for these adjustments in the recipe below.


  • Cajun Shrimp Seasoning

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • 1 head of garlic, minced

  • 1 stick of butter

  • 1/4 cup of canola oil

  • 2 lbs of tiger shrimp

  • Lemon wedges (optional)



  1. Fill a big pot with warm/hot water (about 2-3 inches deep) and set up your sous vide to preheat the water to 135°F.

  2. Heat up butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the oil.

  3. Add the garlic! Once the garlic has bloomed, add the spices one at a time, mixing in between until incorporated. Once the spices have married together, turn off the stove and let the mixture cool down a bit.

  4. Place the shrimp in a gallon size freezer ziploc bag followed with the fragrant sauce. Zip the bag closed almost all the way; leave about an inch or two open and squeeze the air out. Keep this 1-2 inches open! Letting the steam escape while the bag is submerged will naturally help create a vacuum at the bottom of the bag (where the food is).

  5. Once your sous vide has pre-heated the water to the correct temperature (it should have by now unless your water was ice cold), gently lower the ziploc bag into the water. If necessary, use a giant spoon to gently press the shrimp so that they sit toward the bottom of the pot and that all of them are submerged. Then clamp the sealed middle or corner of the bag to the edge of the pot.

  6. Set your sous vide to cook for 25-30 minutes.

  7. This step is optional. When your shrimp is nearly done cooking, preheat your lightly greased cast iron pan so that you can serve your shrimp in it once they’re done.

  8. Once the sous vide is done cooking your shrimp, take the shrimp out and open up the bag to inspect the shrimp and ensure you see no gray. Carefully pour the shrimp into the preheated cast iron pan, and serve!

Homemade Sous Vide Boiling Crab Shrimp