This classic old bay seasoning recipe is just the blend for you if you're thinking about cooking as they do in the coastal regions of Maryland and the Gulf of Mexico. Excellent if fish, lobster, crab, shrimp and other shellfish are on the menu and it can be used as a seafood boil or as a general fish rub or seasoning. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)
What You'll Need: (makes 15-16 tablespoons)
8 tbsp coarse sea salt
8 tbsp paprika (any variety)
2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp ginger powder
4 tsp celery seeds
3-4 tsp chili powder (more if you like a bit of heat)
2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp cloves
3 inch piece cinnamon
8-10 dried bay leaves
10-15 green cardamom pods
tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
Store this Old Bay seasoning recipe out of direct sunlight in an airtight jar. Use within 3 months before making a fresh amount.
Note: You can dry toast the cloves, mustard, cardamom and peppercorns before grinding. This releases fabulous aromas and greatly intensifies the flavours.
See the grinding page for info and photos on toasting and grinding. (Link opens in new window)
Ingredient Note: To get the most out of this Old Bay seasoning recipe, I recommend using as many whole ingredients as you can. If you don't have all of them available, substitute with pre-ground powders and halve the amounts. For example, 4 teaspoons of celery seeds equals 2 teaspoons of celery powder. Reduce any others by half as well if you don't have whole.
This classic American recipe was created by a German immigrant Gustav Brunn, and dates back to the 1940's.
So plentiful were the crabs and shellfish back in those days, they were given away free liberally seasoned with the salty spice in the bars and taverns of Baltimore and coastal resorts of Chesapeake Bay to encourage customers to drink more!
This mix gets its name from the Old Bay Line, an overnight passenger steamship line that sailed the waters of the region.
If the history interests you, click here to read more about Gustav Brunn and how he developed the classic Old Bay seasoning recipe. (Link opens in new window)
Quatre Epices - The
Mulling Spices -
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