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Dec 17, 2021

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil

This Viet-Cajun Seafood boil is a delicious marriage of the flavors of the Gulf Coast and traditional Vietnamese ingredients. 

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil in a bowl with sauces.


Viet-Cajun seafood boils are based on Louisiana crawfish boils with added traditional Vietnamese flavors, including lemon grass, fish sauce, and lots and lots of garlic. It's a delicious fusion with the flavors of the American South.

Typically, Viet-Cajun seafood boils include crawfish. Because I'm in Southern California, I used shell-on jumbo shrimp, along with mussels. You could also include clams, crab legs, and/or if you're really adventurous, lobster. 

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil in a boil.

Once you've boiled the ingredients, you toss them in an amazing garlic butter sauce that is spicy, citrusy, garlicky, and loaded with butter. 

The combination of these flavors first emerged in Houston when Vietnamese refugees landed in the Gulf Coast. In fact, the Houston area has the second largest Vietnamese population in the U.S., outside of California. 

The Boiling Crab restaurant chain has helped spread the word about Viet-Cajun seafood boils, which emphasize garlic and chiles. 

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil in a bowl.

This seafood boil also has the traditional corn, potatoes, and andouille sausage. Andouille sausage is difficult to find here in Southern California. I typically substitute linguiça sausage, but this time I found Louisiana-style smoked sausage, which was delicious. 

This is a great recipe to put together in the summer. Spread your picnic table with newspapers and toss the cooked seafood boil onto a rimmed baking sheet in the center of the table, hand out the bibs and napkins, and let everyone dig in and grab their favorite parts. 

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil in a bowl


Ingredients in this Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil:

Lemon grass- This is a great ingredient to keep in your freezer for whenever you need it. 

Garlic- Add a whole head of garlic to the boiling water, and then mash the cloves to make the butter sauce. 

Ginger- Add some smashed coins of ginger to the boiling water. 

Fish Sauce- My two favorite brands are Red Boat and Megachef.

Old Bay Seasoning

Orange zest and orange juice- You could also substitute lemon zest and juice

Baby potatoes- either red or yellow

Andouille sausage


Butter, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper 

Seafood: I used shrimp and mussels. You can use crab legs, clams, or crawfish, and/or lobster. 

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil on a tray.

 I served this seafood boil with a mayo, ketchup, and black pepper sauce, as well as muói tiêu chanh, a mixture of salt and pepper that has been doused with lime juice. 

It's amazing how the lime juice neutralizes the salt and pepper. I now keep this mixture in my refrigerator for dipping. I promise you, it's surprisingly delicious, especially on the potatoes. 

This month's Fish Friday Foodies are posting recipes for seafood boils. Our host is Sue of Palatable Pastime

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil in a bowl.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I had never heard of a viet cajun boil before. I can't wait to try this. Love the flavor profile.

  2. I am definitely going to have to give this version a try soon - the flavors sound incredible!


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