These classic coastal condiments are beach essentials.

By Mary Tomlinson
January 18, 2018
©2015 Jennifer Causey
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Stylist: Tempy Segrest; Food Stylist: Kellie Gerber Kelley

Forget store-bought. These essential seafood sauces are not only whipped up with everyday pantry staples, they enhance the flavor of some of our favorite coastal recipes. So, break out your mixing bowls, and get ready to drizzle, dip, and dunk with abandon.

Potato Chip-Crusted Fried Oysters and Horseradish Remoulade
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox


This tangy condiment—think of it as the zesty, mayo-based cousin of tartar sauce—is indispensable for coastal dining. Originally from France, but a staple in Louisiana Creole cuisine, creamy remoulade perfectly complements anything crispy or fried (think Our Best-Ever Crab Cakes, Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich, Potato Chip-Crusted Fried Oysters, or Our Ultimate Fish Fry. Swap out sriracha for bread-and-butter pickles to bring out its mellower side.

Recipe: Remoulade

Shrimp Boil and Drawn Butter
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Drawn Butter

A classic accompaniment for steamed or boiled lobster, drawn butter (also called clarified butter) is also delicious drizzled over corn or served with boiled shrimp. Heat up small cubes of butter, skim the foam off, strain through a cheesecloth, and you’re left with liquid gold. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (for up to 6 months) so you’re always prepped for a lobster boil, shrimp boil, or crab boil.  

Recipe: Drawn Butter

Related: How to Cook Lobster:


Lemony Fried Shrimp Cocktail with Adobo Cocktail Sauce
Photo: Greg DuPree; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

Cocktail Sauce

This peel-and-eat shrimp sidekick is a coastal mainstay (bonus points if you go old-school and serve it in a goblet with shrimp hanging over the side). Our version includes soy sauce, fresh horseradish—worth it if you can find it—and an optional dash of hot sauce for an extra kick. Once you tackle the basic recipe, branch out with our Adobo, zesty, or Bloody Mary varieties.

Recipe: Cocktail Sauce