Monday, January 9, 2012

The Cruelty-Free Crawfish Boil

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We've been buried in book-writing the past few weeks. We even postponed New Year's Eve till after the manuscript gets sent in. We bought a few extra weeks of caffeine and chocolate and sitting on the sofa before those New Year's Resolutions kick in. I wish we could enjoy them, but I guess it goes without saying that I've been too lost in the book to enjoy anything. If you haven't figured this out about me yet from reading this blog, I can get a little hyper-focused on a project--and I really like doing things right.

Which brings us to today's post! Honestly this isn't part of The Betty Crocker Project, and I'm really glad it's not. See, crawfish boils are a big thing in The South. If you've never of them, I'm just going to link to this and spare you the heartbreaking details. The thing is that with the rise in popularity of Cajun and Creole food, these events are becoming popular all over the US. Food bloggers from LA to NY hosted them in their backyards last summer and well, that's just sad. I also hope that doesn't mean next summer all those squirrels and opossums need to watch their backs too.

Our crawfish boil actually uses May Wah's Shrimp Balls and Vegan Prawns, but captures the spirit of this dish without any of the cruelty. It's also insanely easier and cleaner! You can make this year-round and enjoy a little faux summer in the middle of winter.

Bon Appetite!

One of my favorite recipes we've made thus far.

The Cruelty-Free Crawfish Boil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vegan Prawns (defrosted) 
  • 1 1/2 Cups May Wah's Shrimp Balls (defrosted)
  • 1 Pound Whole Small Red Potatoes
  • 2-3 Whole Ears Fresh Corn (break each ear in half)
  • 2 Whole Lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (diced)
  • 2 teaspoons Crushed Pink Himalayan Salt  
  • 1/2 Cup Margarine
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced) 
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Beer (we used a brown ale but I think a red beer would be great too) 
  • 4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning  
  • 1/4 Red Onion (diced) 
  • 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • Pinch of Celery Seed
  • Dash of Liquid Smoke 
Heat oven to 325.

In your largest Dutch oven or stock pot, heat to a boil enough water to cover your Potatoes and Corn. Once it's boiling, toss in your Potatoes, Corn, and Salt. Cover and let boil for around 15-20 minutes or until your Potatoes are tender. Then drain your vegetables and put them back in the pot. Make sure your pot isn't in a hot spot on your stove top.

While your Potatoes and Corn are boiling, make your Vegan Seafood. Put your Vegan Prawns and Shrimp Balls in a glass baking dish and put them in the oven uncovered. Let them cook for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to toss the Vegan Seafood to make sure they cook evenly. Do this every 5 minutes while they cook to make sure they don't stick. It will take about 15 minutes for your Vegan Seafood to be completely warmed all the way through and have a firm but thin "skin" or crust on the outside. Once they're done, take them out. Once your Vegetables are done boiling and have been drained, toss your Vegan Seafood into the pot with the cooked Potatoes and Corn and leave uncovered. 

While your Vegetables are boiling and your Vegan Seafood is baking, make your sauce. In a saucepan, heat your Margarine over a medium heat. Once it has melted, use a whisk to blend in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Once it begins to bubble, remove your sauce from heat.

Once your Vegetables and Vegan Seafood are mixed in the pot, pour the Sauce over the top to get an even coating. Slice the Lemons into wedges and sprinkle Parsley over the top.

Then make sure you have some cold beers, lemonade, and/or bourbon ready--because no matter where you're living, we're gonna have some 'big fun' Bayou style.


  1. Sadly squirrels already need to watch out for themselves here in Seattle. (This woman makes me sick.)

  2. Jeez. That's just freaking awful.

  3. I don't miss the sad dead animals, but I do love the memories of boils my family and I used to have! Thanks for the recipe, looks so delicious and I'm going to have to make it soon as I find those shrimp balls.

  4. Well done! Looks delicious. Also, I LOVE MayWah!

  5. I am Cajun and one of the things I do miss since going Vegetarian (its a recent change with hopes going to Vegan) is my Cajun Food. Its my mission to try to remake alot of my family's recipes into Vegetarian ones. You could also add whole mushrooms as well. The plain white button variety hold up the best to boiling I have found. I have thrown in whole cloves of garlic too, but then I love garlic. LOL I am still hooked on my Zataran's concentrate boil seasoning. I know its not good for me, but its the closest taste I can get here (in Michigan) that taste like home. Great post!

  6. Awesome! I just discovered vegan king prawn at my local asian market and see in pho...and now I'm stoked to try it in this delicious looking dish.