The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (2022)

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Enjoy a spice-filled Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil in your very own backyard! This Vietnamese Cajun seafood boil incorporates fresh shrimp, manilla clams, and king crab legs tossed in a homemade Cajun seasoning butter sauce that is finger-lickin' good.

The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (1)

This is by far my favorite summer recipe. It is really simple to make and is packed with delicious and addictive flavors. If you are anything like me, you love to make eating an experience. With this recipe you get the best of everything: 1) delicious fresh seafood, 2) addictive spicy cajun butter sauce, and 3) memories that will last for a lifetime. I still remember all the times my large Vietnamese family would make a delicious seafood boil. The parents would throw pounds and pounds of seafood over the center of the table in the backyard and everyone would fight until the finish. Those who were fast enough at peeling and cracking got their fill, those who weren't had to fill up on potatoes and corn.

Now it is time for you to make your very own backyard memories with this delicious Viet-Cajun seafood boil recipe! So spread out the paper towels, pass around some refreshing watermelon mint tea and kill an afternoon by digging into this Asian fusion southern feast.

Table of Contents
  • 🔍 What is a Cajun Boil?
  • 📆 Short History of Vietnamese Cajun
  • 🛒 Ingredients
  • 📝 How To Make
  • ⭐️ Tips
  • 🥡 Storage Instructions
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe
  • 💬 Comments
The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (2)

🔍 What is a Cajun Boil?

When the Cajuns arrived from Canada in the 1700's they settled along the bayous around Louisiana. Out of both accessibility and necessity crawfish became a staple food for these Cajun settlers.

With their Canadian roots and experience with lobsters, they applied these same boiling and cooking techniques to these smaller crustaceans. This gave way to a new fusion we've all come to know as a Cajun seafood boil.

📆 Short History of Vietnamese Cajun

Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil is a new kind of fusion. It merges the American South flavors with Vietnamese ingredients. Viet-Cajun emerged in the 1970s when Vietnamese refugees landed on the Gulf Coast. These Vietnamese people found that these outdoor crawfish boils in Louisiana were similar to the outdoor food markets in Vietnam.

In 2008, in Houston, Texas, Trong Nguyen opened the very first Viet-Cajun restaurant. His restaurant has won many awards and he is now a two-time James Beard Semifinalist. Today, dozens of restaurants like Boiling Crab and Kicking Crab have popped up in Houston and the U.S. serving Viet-Cajun cuisine.

The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (3)

🛒 Ingredients

The ingredients for this Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil recipe are listed in three different categories to make it simpler for you. You will need ingredients for the 1) stockpot, 2) the seafood and vegetables and 3) the garlic butter sauce.

Stockpot Broth

  • Lemongrass: is a shrub-like herb with a distinct lemon aroma and flavor. It is a key ingredient in this recipe for that fresh marinade flavor. You can find lemongrass at your local Asian grocery store in the produce section.
  • Garlic: fresh bulb of garlic that is halved. You can leave the skin on the garlic to hold the pieces together.
  • Ginger: the ginger must be peeled and sliced vertically into thin strips
  • Fish sauce: Fish sauce is a MUST in Vietnamese cooking. It adds that subtle umami flavor that takes any dish from 0-100 instantly. My favorite fish sauce to use is Red Boat Fish Sauce or Three Crabs Fish Sauce you can find fish sauce online or at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Lemon: the citrus in the lemon cuts down the "sea" flavor of the seafood
  • Old Bay seasoning: my favorite seasoning to use for seafood is always hands down Old Bay. You can always substitute Old Bay with Zatarains Crab Boil, or Cajun seasoning.
  • Salt: a pinch of salt brings enhances all the flavors.
The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (4)

Seafood and Vegetables

This part is entirely up to you! I've listed below the seafood and vegetables that I chose because these are my favorite type of seafood. You can always mix and match based on your preference.

  • Manilla or Littleneck clams
  • Shrimp
  • King Crab Legs
  • Baby Red Potatoes
  • Andouille Sausages
  • Corn
  • The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (5)
  • The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (6)

Seafood boil sauce recipe

  • Unsalted butter: use unsalted butter to avoid too much salt in your sauce.
  • Garlic: use freshly minced garlic for the best garlic flavor explosion
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce: Louisiana hot sauce is much more mild than the typical Tabasco. It is bursting with a lot of salt and flavor rather than simply heat. I used Crystal Louisana's hot sauce for this recipe. You can find Louisiana hot sauce online or at your local grocery store.
  • Old Bay Seasoning: Old bay seasoning is the base for the seafood boil sauce. you can substitute Old bay with Zatarains crab boil, or any other cajun seasoning you prefer.
  • Paprika: You can use either paprika or smoked paprika for this recipe.
  • Cayenne Pepper: you can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less cayenne.
  • Sugar: a little sweetness balances out all the heavy spicy flavors
  • Pepper: adds a another layer of spice into the dish
The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (7)

📝 How To Make

This Vietnamese cajun seafood boil recipe may seem intimidating at first but in essence, it is quite simple. This recipe tastes similar to my all-time favorite seafood boil restaurant--Boiling Crab. So if you are a fan of Boiling crab, you will be a fan of this recipe. Guaranteed.

  1. Rinse the seafood. Rinse the shrimp and crab legs. Scrub and soak the clams in cold salted water for 30 minutes then rinse the clams until the water becomes clear. Set aside.
  2. Make the broth. In a large (~8 quart stockpot) stockpot, fill the pot halfway (about 1 gallon) with water. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, old bay, lemon and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the seafood and vegetables. Add the potatoes and return to a gentle boil. Uncover and boil on medium high for 15 minutes. Then, add clams and sausage. Cover the pot and boil on medium high for 5 minutes. Then, add crab legs, shrimp and corn. Cover pot and cook on low for about 3-5 minutes. Then drain the seafood and discard the water. Discard the lemongrass, lemons, ginger and garlic. Set aside.
  4. Make the garlic butter seafood boil sauce. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the old bay, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and sugar until combined. Next in a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and minced garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Then add the seasoning mix, lemon juice and Louisiana hot sauce. Stir until combined.
  5. Mix together. Transfer the seafood and vegetables in a large mixing bowl and toss the seafood with the butter sauce evenly coats the seafood. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon and salt and pepper.

⭐️ Tips

  • Raw Shrimp Storage: store the fresh shrimp in the coldest part of the refrigerator and cook it within 1-2 days of buying. The best way to store shrimp is to lay them on a bed of ice and cover them with a wet paper towel. In essence, let the shrimp breathe and do not wrap it in an airtight bag. Do not freeze fresh shrimp it will change the texture of the shrimp.
  • Raw Clams Storage: store the clams on a tray or plate in a single layer covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. They must be cooked within 1-2 days of buying. Never store clams covered or sealed in plastic. The clams should have an ocean sea aroma, and closed shells. Give any open shelled clams a tap and they should close. If they don't discard them.
  • Scrubbing clams: before cooking scrub the clams with a hard bristled brush and let them soak in cold salted water for 30-50 minutes to expel any extra sand and then rinse again.
  • Frozen king crab legs must be stored in the freezer until you are going to cook the legs. You must de-frost the crab legs before adding them to the pot.
  • You can use any seafood selection you please! This is YOUR seafood boil. Go all out and use whatever seafood makes you the happiest.
  • You can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less of the cayenne and Louisiana hot sauce. I am generally a spice wimp and err on the less spicy side of things.

🥡 Storage Instructions

This Vietnamese cajun seafood boil is best eaten immediately. You can store the seafood and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To re-heat simply re-heat in the microwave.

💕 You May Also Love...

  • Vietnamese Garlic Noodles
  • Pandan Ice Cream
  • Bánh Tôm (Vietnamese Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fritters)
  • Vietnamese Egg Rolls (Chả Giò)

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👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe

The BEST Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil – Takes Two Eggs (12)

Vietnamese Cajun Seafood Boil

4.9 from 12 votes

Enjoy a spice-filled Viet-Cajun seafood boil in your very own backyard! This Viet-Cajun seafood boil incorporates fresh shrimp, manilla clams, and king crab legs tossed in a homemade Cajun seasoning butter sauce that is finger-lickin' good.

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Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 55 mins

Servings: 2 servings

Author: Takes Two Eggs

Ingredients

Stockpot Broth

  • 3 stalks lemongrass sliced into 4 inch pieces and pounded
  • 1 head of garlic halved horizontally
  • 3 inch piece of ginger 50 g, peeled and sliced into thick cut pieces
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Seafood and Vegetables

  • 2 lbs manilla or littleneck clams soaked and scrubbed
  • 1 ½ lbs shrimp washed
  • 6 King Crab Legs frozen (thawed) or fresh
  • 1 ½ lbs baby red potatoes halved
  • 4 andouille sausages sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 4 ears of corn halved

Seafood Boil Sauce

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ½ cup garlic ~2 heads, minced
  • 2 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse the seafood. Rinse the shrimp and crab legs. Scrub and soak the clams in cold salted water for 30 minutes then rinse the clams until the water becomes clear. Set aside.

  • Make the broth. In a large stockpot, fill the pot halfway (about 1 gallon) with water. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, old bay, lemon, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Add the seafood and vegetables. Add the potatoes and return to a gentle boil. Uncover and boil on medium-high for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add clams and sausage. Cover the pot and boil on medium-high for 5 minutes. Lastly, add crab legs, shrimp, and corn. Cover pot, and let the mixture stand on low heat until the shrimp and clams are cooked through about 3-5 minutes. The seafood is cooked when the shrimp turns pink and the clams open. Using a colander, drain the seafood and discard the water. Discard the lemongrass, lemons, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.

  • Make the garlic butter sauce.

    In a small mixing bowl, mix together the old bay, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and sugar until combined. Next in a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and minced garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Then add the seasoning mix, lemon juice and Louisiana hot sauce. Stir until combined. Turn off heat and set aside.

  • Mix together. Transfer the seafood and vegetables to a large mixing bowl and toss the seafood with the butter sauce evenly coats the seafood. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon and salt and pepper.

Notes

  • Raw Shrimp Storage: store the fresh shrimp in the coldest part of the refrigerator and cook it within 1-2 days of buying. The best way to store shrimp is to lay them on a bed of ice and cover them with a wet paper towel. In essence, let the shrimp breathe and do not wrap it in an airtight bag. Do not freeze fresh shrimp it will change the texture of the shrimp.
  • Raw Clams Storage: store the clams on a tray or plate in a single layer covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. They must be cooked within 1-2 days of buying. Never store clams covered or sealed in plastic. The clams should have an ocean sea aroma, and closed shells. Give any open shelled clams a tap and they should close. If they don't discard them.
  • Scrubbing clams: before cooking scrub the clams with a hard-bristled brush and let them soak in cold salted water for 30-50 minutes to expel any extra sand and then rinse again.
  • Frozen king crab legs must be stored in the freezer until you are going to cook the legs. You must de-frost the crab legs before adding them to the pot.
  • You can use any seafood selection you please! This is YOUR seafood boil. Go all out and use whatever seafood makes you the happiest.
  • You can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less of the cayenne and Louisiana hot sauce. I am generally a spice wimp and err on the less spicy side of things.
  • Storage Instructions: This seafood boil is best eaten immediately. You can store the seafood and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To re-heat simply re-heat in the microwave.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 1896kcal | Carbohydrates: 140g | Protein: 210g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 903mg | Sodium: 18584mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 23g

Calories: 1896kcal

Course: Lunch & Dinner Recipes

Cuisine: Asian Fusion

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