Since rockstar chef David Chang featured the dish on his Netflix show Ugly Delicious, “Viet-Cajun”-style boiled crawfish has been all the rage, earning headlines like “Vietnamese-style Crawfish is the Hot New Thing” and “Vietnamese-Cajun Crawfish is the American Food of the Future.” I recently tried Viet-Cajun crawfish for the first time at The Cajun Asian in Bossier City (read the 20×49.com review here), and I have to say: If you’re an open-minded eater, and you don’t mind being covered in garlic butter, you are going to want to try this delicious approach to a crawfish boil.
If you’ve ever eaten Vietnamese food, chances are good that you’re familiar with many of the flavors that figure into a Viet-Cajun crawfish boil, including lemongrass, green onion, ginger, lime and garlic. As I understand it (and I’m certainly no expert), Viet-Cajun style crawfish are boiled more or less in a traditional Louisiana style before going for a quick spin in a wok, from which they emerge covered in one of the most delicious compound butters I’ve ever tasted. And there’s butter – my goodness, there’s enough butter involved in this process to make Paula Deen blush.
That butter is the key to enjoying Viet-Cajun crawfish, in my experience. There’s so much of it that it works as a dipping sauce for your boiled potatoes, it covers your corn, and – obviously – dragging a crawfish tail through it isn’t a bad idea at all. There’s a sort of a “wow factor” when these crawfish come out of the kitchen, as well. During my visit, the scent and color of my crawfish tray brought curious diners by my table to check them out. I paid $7 per pound, but price varies according to the crawfish market.
Just one last thing: The more often I order them, the more I am certain that the crawfish wontons at The Cajun Asian are one of my favorite appetizers ever to touch a plate in Shreveport-Bossier. I don’t know what exactly goes into the dipping sauce that’s served with these crisp, sweet bundles of cream cheese and crawfish tails, but I suspect it’s a combination of Vietnamese fish sauce and Louisiana’s own Cajun Power garlic sauce. Not only is the sauce delicious, it’s also a perfect metaphor for this one-of-a-kind (at least outside of Houston) restaurant.
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If you enjoy this kind of writing about local food, check out the fourth edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.