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viet-cajun seafood boil elements
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5 from 1 vote

Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil

A classic seafood boil transformed by all the elements of Viet-Cajun goodness: Old Bay, Cajun spices, lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, and ginger -- plus, a spicy, garlicky butter sauce. One of life's beautiful pleasures!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Viet-Cajun
Keyword: Seafood Boil, Viet-Cajun
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • Small saucepan
  • Large Stockpot
  • Mesh Strainer


Spicy Garlic Butter Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 head garlic (about 12 cloves) (minced)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bruised and minced)
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 grinds freshly cracked pepper


  • 6 cups water
  • 4 stalks lemongrass (bruised and halved)
  • 2 heads garlic (halved)
  • 3-inch piece ginger (sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun/Creole seasoning
  • 2 lbs red potatoes
  • 4 smoked sausages (cut in chunks)
  • 3 lbs clams
  • 2 lbs shrimp (with heads and tails intact)
  • 4 ears corn (cut into thirds)
  • 4 1lb -1.5lb lobsters (make sure they are all the same weight for an even cook time)
  • 4 scallions (optional) (sliced thinly for garnish)


Make Spicy Garlic Butter Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, lemongrass, cayenne, and salt. Simmer until softened and flavors combine, about 5 minutes.
    ingredients for spicy garlic butter sauce

Make Broth:

  • Add water, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, Cajun seasoning, and Old Bay into large stockpot. Bring to a boil and simmer until flavors combine, about 5 minutes. The broth should be flavorful and spicy, almost too salty.
    ingredients for viet-cajun seafood boil broth

Add ingredients:

  • Add potatoes and sausages. Cover and boil for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are almost done. (The potatoes and sausages take longer to cook than clams, shrimp, and corn.)
  • Add clams, shrimp, and corn. Cover and boil until clams open and shrimp are pink and curled, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Using a mesh strainer, transfer potatoes, sausages, clams, shrimp, and corn to a tray. Leave behind broth and aromatics (garlic, ginger, lemongrass). Cover tray loosely with foil and set aside.
    seafood boil elements on tray: corn, sausage, clams, shrimp
  • Bring broth to a boil. When the broth is furiously simmering, add lobsters. Cover and boil until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. The lobsters should be bright red. Transfer to tray with tongs, making sure to remove the foil first. Scatter with sliced green scallions.
  • Serve with Spicy Garlic Butter Sauce divided evenly into 4 ramekins. Also, serve the broth in small bowls for additional dipping. Enjoy!
    seafood boil on a tray


*I use N'wlins Cajun Seasoning, which contains salt.  Check the label of your cajun seasoning.  If it doesn't include salt, taste the broth and adjust.  You can add more salt or fish sauce if necessary.