Frogmore Stew

Does your tummy turn over when thinking about Frogmore Stew? Wondering how many more frogs are required for this South Carolina specialty? Relax, there are NO frogs in Frogmore Stew – in fact, it is more of an event than a dish. That is Southern cuisine the South Carolina way. 

Southern Cuisine: Lowcountry Style

Frogmore StewSimilar to the crawfish boils in Louisiana, this “Lowcountry boil” is best served on a newspaper-covered picnic table, eaten with the fingers and shared with family and friends.
Also known as Beaufort Stew, some claim that this one-pot dish (essentially a seasoned mixture of fresh shrimp, newly shucked yellow corn, sausage and potatoes) best represents the essential simplicity of Lowcountry cuisine. According to the South Carolina Encyclopedia, Frogmore Stew originated in the Frogmore community on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, but the truth is that Frogmore Stew exists throughout the coastal regions of the south.


Traditional Preparation
Frogmore Stew features two main ingredients, fresh shrimp and newly shucked yellow corm, but most anything that is good boiled, such as crabs, redskin potatoes, and even crawfish can be added. Two keys to making a successful Frogmore Stew are:
1.        Stagger the addition of the ingredients and
2.        Don’t overcook the shrimp!
  • 2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning per gallon water (or more to taste)
  • several lemons, halved (optional)
  • redskin potatoes (depending on size, 3 or more per person)
  • spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices (¼ pound per person)
  • fresh corn, broken into halves or thirds (1 ½ ears per person)
  • shrimp (½ pound per person)
  • butter, melted
  • cocktail sauce
  • sour cream
  • ketchup
Fill a large steamer pot halfway with water. Add crab-boil seasoning (or more to taste). Several halved lemons may be added as well.
When the seasoned water comes to a boil, add redskin potatoes and boil for 20 minutes; then add one-inch slices of spicy smoked sausage and boil for 5-10 minutes. Add the corn) and boil another 5 minutes. (Begin timing immediately. Do not wait for it to boil again). Then add the shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes, drain, and pile on a table.
Serve with lots of paper towels and icy beverages, plus melted butter for the corn, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, and sour cream or ketchup for the potatoes.