How to Make The Best Viet-Cajun Crawfish
My dad has the best Viet-Cajun crawfish recipe and nothing beats his backyard boils! This style of crawfish was popularized in the Houston area and is an awesome blend of the Vietnamese and Cajun cultures there. It’s known for being coated in rich garlic butter and for its fresh orange citrus flavors.
What is a Viet-Cajun Crawfish?
Viet-Cajun is a popular style of crawfish in the Houston area. Houston is home to a large population of Vietnamese immigrants and Louisiana transplants. As a result, a wonderful fusion of two delicious food cultures was created. Viet-Cajun crawfish is known for being tossed in a garlic butter sauce after it is boiled. Traditional Louisiana crawfish on the other hand is not covered in sauce. Everyone has a unique way of making their boil. Some Viet-Cajun boils may include lemongrass, ginger, scallions, etc. My dad’s recipe features oranges which enhances the natural sweetness of the crawfish meat and adds a nice balance to the salty seasonings. If you haven’t already check out Netflix’s Ugly Delicious, Season 1, Shrimp & Crawfish episode to learn more about Viet-Cajun crawfish!
How to Eat Crawfish
My favorite way to eat crawfish is to squeeze fresh lemon and/or lime on top right before eating. We also usually serve with melted butter, crawfish seasoning, ketchup, and mayo. My mom’s favorite is mixing equal parts ketchup and mayo to dip the crawfish tails in. Although tails are universally loved, the crawfish heads are where all the actual flavor is. Suck on the heads to really savor all the delicious seasonings from the boil. Then crack it open and eat the yellow stuff inside the ribs. Don’t forget to suck on the ribs too! The yellow stuff is commonly mistaken for poop but it is actually the hepatopancreas which is like the crawfish’s version of a liver. It is rich and creamy like seafood butter or foie gras of the sea (or bayou), as I like to call it. Some say it tastes similar to uni!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many pounds of crawfish per person? A good rule of thumb is 3-5 pounds per person but it also depends on who you’re feeding. Remember most of the weight is in the shells!
Why do you add boiled peanuts? My family loves boiled peanuts with our crawfish! Boiled peanuts are a popular snack in the south. It soaks up the flavors of the boil really well and is just fun to snack on when you need a break from peeling crawfish. Like potatoes, it doesn’t add flavor to the boil so you can omit them if you’re allergic or not a fan.
Do the oranges make it sweet? Oranges add a nice citrusy flavor and balance out the saltiness. It adds a slight sweetness that enhances the crawfish meat. It won’t make the boil taste like dessert or a fruit juice. I wouldn’t omit these ingredients because I think this is what makes my dad’s Viet-Cajun crawfish recipe special!
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- 64 quart boiler pot with strainer pot (may have to cook crawfish in multiple batches, 32 quart pot minimum)
- propane stove
- 15 lbs live crawfish
- 2 gallons water
- 4 navel oranges, halved
- 2 lbs Louisiana Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil Seasoning
- 2 garlic bulbs, halved
- 2 onions, halved
- 3 12 oz andouille sausage links, cut into chunks
- 1 lb boiled peanuts, shell on
- 1 stalk celery, sticks cut in thirds
- 2 gallons orange juice
- 12 frozen corn on the cob mini
- 7 red potatoes
GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE:
- 3 cups butter
- 1/2 cup Louisiana Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil Seasoning
- 5 garlic bulbs, minced
- 2 onions, chopped
- fresh lemons
- fresh limes
- melted butter
- Louisiana Fish Fry Products Crawfish, Shrimp, & Crab Boil Seasoning
- To the pot add water, oranges, seasoning, garlic, onions, sausage, boiled peanuts, celery, and orange juice. Bring to a boil.
- Add corn and potatoes. Cook and boil for 15 minutes.
- Add crawfish and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it soak for 10 minutes.
GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE:
- In a medium pot add all ingredients for the garlic butter sauce.
- Cook on medium heat until garlic and onions are soft and translucent.
- Remove crawfish with the strainer pot or strainer.
- Toss in garlic butter sauce.
- Serve with fresh lemon, lime, melted butter, mayo ketchup, and crawfish boil seasoning.