With most of the world’s supply of crawfish coming from South Louisiana, many people think that there’s only one way to throw a crawfish boil—the Cajun way: crawdads seasoned with cajun seasoning, boiled with sausage and vegetables, dumped onto newspaper over a fold-out table and enjoyed with a beer of your choice.
But crawfish are found all over the world and eaten everywhere from Europe to Asia. While Louisiana produces most of the world’s commercially available crawfish, there are many countries that have been servin’ up mudbugs just as long as we have. Because of this, many countries have developed their own unique styles of serving our namesake delicacy.
With crawfish season fast approaching, we figured we’d share some of the different ways we’ve seen people serve crawfish over the years. Hold onto your waders cher, we’re not in Louisiana anymore!
Compared to the Cajun Crawfish boil that we all know and love, the VietCajun style of crawfish boiling is the most similar.
Due to the merging of Vietnamese and Cajun culture in large metro areas like Houston, this method of boiling has become increasingly more popular. Notably, the method of boiling is actually pretty much the same, but the spices used to season the crawfish is very different.
Instead of the typical Cajun spices we’re accustomed to, VietCajun crawfish boils introduce buttery, citrusy and herby flavors that pair wonderfully with the traditional cayenne, garlic and onion flavors we’re so familiar with.
Nordic Crayfish Party
We know, we know…just writing the word crayfish sends a shiver down our spine. But when in Rome, do as the Romans do—or in this case the Swedes.
In Nordic countries, a crayfish party is a traditional summertime celebration held during August. While the tradition originated in Sweden it has spread across Europe to countries like Finland and Scandinavia, as well as Baltic countries such as Lithuania and Latvia. Unfortunately, a European crawfish plague wiped out large populations of the crustacean in the early 1900’s—making the plentiful Louisiana treat a rare commodity in these countries.
Unlike a Cajun crawfish boil, Nordic crayfish are boiled first in salt and sugar, then left to marinate in a variety of preparations (ranging from beer to leftover cooking liquid). Afterwards, they are refrigerated and served cold with fresh dill—It’s a drastically different way to prepare and serve crawdads but, like a Cajun crawfish boil, there’s still plenty of beer involved.
Sichuan Ma La Crawfish
While crawfish has been farmed in China for quite some time, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that its culinary popularity swept through mainland China. While there are a few different ways that the Chinese prepare crawfish, we’re focusing on the most popular: Beijing’s Sichuan Ma La style.
This method of crawfish cookin’ trades the stock pot for a hot wok and cooking oil, resulting in a different flavor and texture entirely. The addition of dried chilis, garlic, peppercorns and ginger rivals the heat and heavy seasoning common to Cajun crawfish boils. It’s hard to compare the two directly, so we recommend saving a few pounds the next time you boil some bugs of your own and giving it a try—if you’re handy with a wok, that is!
The Best Boils Are Made With The Best Crawfish
Regardless of how you boil your crawfish, the quality of crawfish is just as important as the recipe. Whether you’re looking for the freshest live crawfish, or the tastiest seasoning, Acadia Crawfish has got everything you need to host your next boil.