Drawn butter

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Drawn butter is melted butter,[1][2] often served as a sauce for steamed seafood. Some cooks restrict the term to clarified butter;[3] while others insist that it should not be clarified.[4]

When it is served with seafood, diners often add lemon juice to it.

Drawn butter sauces[edit]

In the 18th century, a small amount of flour and water or milk was often added to melted butter to thicken it and prevent it from separating. Later in the 19th century, increasing amounts of flour and water were used.[2] These sauces may themselves be named simply "melted butter", "drawn butter", or "drawn butter sauce", and flavored with vinegar, salt, pepper, capers, watercress, and so on.[5][6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st edition, 1897, s.v. 'drawn'
  2. ^ a b Damon Fowler, Classical Southern Cooking, annotated edition, 2008, p. 113
  3. ^ Jennifer McLagan, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, 2008, p. 23
  4. ^ Jasper White, Lobster at Home, 1998, ISBN 0684800772, p. 33: "Drawn butter is simply melted butter. For some unfathomable reason, many clam shacks and restaurants serve clarified butter... as drawn butter. They do not realize that the milk solids which are skimmed from clarified butter are what make drawn butter so tasty."
  5. ^ Marian Cole Fisher (1916). Twenty Lessons in Domestic Science: A Condensed Home Study Course : Marketing, Food Principals [sic], Functions of Food, Methods of Cooking, Glossary of Usual Culinary Terms, Pronunciations and Definitions, Etc. M.C. Fisher.
  6. ^ J. Rosalie Benton (1886). How to Cook Well. D. Lothrop & Company. pp. 150–.
  7. ^ Catharine Esther Beecher (1871). Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt-book: Designed as a Supplement to Her Treatise on Domestic Economy. Harper. pp. 69–.
  8. ^ Fannie Merritt Farmer (1912). The Boston Cooking-school Cook Book. Little, Brown. pp. 267–.