Spicy Low Country Boil

low country boil in a bowl with some bread

I remember like it was yesterday the first time I had a low country boil or what some refer to as Frogmore Stew. While serving in the U.S. Marines, I often found myself in Beaufort, South Carolina.

There was a hole in the wall joint just off base where I was first introduced to this “stew” (which isn’t a stew really at all). Though skeptical about trying it based on the name, it came to be something I looked forward to.

This low country boil recipe is inspired by that stew. It’s not the traditional low country boil with large pieces of corn on the cob but the inspiration for this certainly came from that Frogmore Stew I first had so many years ago.

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Why Is It Called Frogmore Stew?

One would think (or at least I did) that with a name like Frogmore Stew, the stew must be made with frog legs. That would make sense but it’s not the case. The name simply comes from the area of the low country the soup originated in.

pot of low country bowl with shrimp

This stew is from a fishing community on St. Helena Island named Frogmore. Incidentally, St. Helena Island is right near Beaufort where I was introduced to the dish.

What Are the Main Ingredients of a Low Country Boil?

There are many versions of this stew that have been spun off over the years. I love this aspect of cooking. Taking a dish from your past complete with the great memories created with that dish, putting your own twist on it, and making new memories.

Back to the question at hand: what are the main ingredients of a low country boil? Very simply they include shrimp, red potatoes, corn on the cob, and smoked sausage.

I use the same shrimp in this soup that I use in my garlic butter grilled shrimp and my shrimp and fettuccini recipes. I absolutely love the sweetness from these Argentinian Red Shrimp that taste more like lobster than shrimp. Sooooooooo good!

red shrimp used for low country boil

You’ll see versions with clams, crabs, fish, etc. and those are all great as well. The traditional main ingredients though are just those 4 simple ingredients; all readily available in the low country.

I encourage readers to try my recipe first and then use it as a foundation. If you love it as is, that’s great! But like most of my recipes, this is meant as a foundation for you to make your own.

large pot of frogmore stew

Tips for Making a Low Country Boil:

  1. While I usually recommend taking my recipes as a foundation and making them your own, I don’t recommend changing up the Creole seasoning I use. It’s a blend I’ve refined by adjusting ingredients over the years and I absolutely love it.
  2. Try making homemade seafood stock for this. It really can’t be any easier.
  3. This is a great summer recipe with fresh okra, but it is also great on a cold winter day. When fresh okra can’t be found, frozen will work just fine.
  4. If you can grill the corn. The char on the corn from the grill really adds an element of flavor that can’t be produced by simply boiling the corn.
  5. Salt to taste on this recipe. There’s salt in the Creole seasoning but feel free to add more to your liking.
  6. Don’t forget the fresh baguette, it makes the perfect companion for sopping up the broth from this soup.
bowl of frogmore stew

Spicy Low Country Boil

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 20 min | Cooking Time: 45 min

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups seafood stock
2 tbsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp fish sauce
1 large tomato, diced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme
4 ears corn on the cob
1.5 lb small red potatoes, cut in half
1 lb Argentinian red shrimp
2 lbs Smoked Sausage
1.5 cups okra, roughly chopped
1 French baguette, sliced and toasted

creole seasoning for low country bowl recipe

Spicy Low Country Boil

Step 1: Light grill and set for medium-high two-zone heat while prepping your veggies.

chopped veggies for low country bowl recipe

Step 2: In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Allow the oil to come to a shimmer before whisking in flour and cooking for 90 seconds until slightly browned.

Step 3: Add onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery to the dutch oven, and cook down for 5-7 minutes. Stir often with a wooden scraper to ensure getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

ingredients for low country boil in a pot

Step 4: Add in seafood stock, Creole seasoning, fish sauce, diced tomato, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 5: While the soup is simmering, place corn (still in husk) on the grill using indirect heat and put the lid on the grill.

corn on the cob in the husk on a grill

Step 6: Add potatoes to soup, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 7: While potatoes are cooking in the soup, and being careful not to burn yourself, peel the husks back on the corn and grill over direct heat turning often to get an overall char on the corn. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside.

Step 8: Add shrimp, sausage, okra, and charred corn to soup. Cover, return heat to medium, and let cook for 10 minutes.

Step 9: Serve with toasted baguette.

bowl of low country bowl soup

Spicy Low Country Boil Recipe

low country boil with beans and bread

Spicy Low Country Boil

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded & chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cups seafood stock
  • 2 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 4 ears corn on the cob
  • lbs small red potatoes cut in half
  • 1 lb Argentinian red shrimp
  • 2 lbs Smoked Sausages
  • 1.5 cups okra roughly chopped
  • 1 French baguette sliced and toasted

Instructions

  • Light grill and set for medium high two zone heat while prepping your veggies.
  • In a dutch oven over medium high heat, add olive oil. Allow oil to come to a shimmer before whisking in flour and cooking for 90 seconds until slightly browned.
  • Add onion, garlic, red pepper, and celery to a dutch oven and cook down for 5-7 minutes. Stir often with a wooden scrapper to ensure getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in seafood stock, Creole seasoning, fish sauce, diced tomato, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  • While soup is simmering, place corn (still in husk) on grill using indirect heat and put lid on grill.
  • Add potatoes to soup, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooking in the soup, and being careful not to burn yourself, peel the husks back on the corn and grill over direct heat turning often to get an overall char on the corn. Cut corn off cob and set aside.
  • Add shrimp, sausage, okra, and charred corn to soup. Cover, return heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with toasted baguette.

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