Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Mary Claire Britton
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 15 Mins
Serves 6

Lemongrass and garlic, meet Old Bay and crawfish. Thanks to Houston’s migrant populations from Vietnam and Louisiana we have the Viet-Cajun boil, fresh mudbugs tossed with butter, garlic, chilies, Southeast Asian aromatics, and oh, did we mention garlic? Here are the sides (and dessert!) to serve with your boil, along with a bit of history about Viet-Cajun cuisine. So spread out the paper towels, pass around a few crisp beers, and kill an afternoon digging into this Bayou City feast. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the crawfish boil: Place water, Old Bay, fish sauce, lemongrass, lemons, garlic, and ¼ cup of the salt in a large stockpot. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add potatoes, and cook until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add remaining ½ cup salt. Increase heat to high, and bring to a rolling boil. Add crawfish and corn; boil until crawfish are bright red, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.

Step 2

Prepare the butter sauce: Heat ¼ cup butter in a stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat until foamy. Add lemongrass; sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until very soft, stirring very frequently. Add remaining butter, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Cook until butter is melted and garlic is just softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Cover to keep warm.

Step 3

Drain crawfish mixture. Discard garlic, lemons, and lemongrass. Place crawfish, corn, and potatoes in a huge bowl. Toss with half of the butter sauce and cilantro; serve with remaining sauce.