Vietnamese Crawfish Stew

Vietnamese Crawfish Stew

It’s been a long time since I fantasized about a creating a recipe the way I did this one. I bought a packet of Louisiana crawfish tails at Zuppardo’s last week and daydreamed about what I was going to create with them for six days.

I dreamt of court-bouillon, fantasized about gumbo and mused over slumgullion til I worried myself sick. Finally I got up from the sofa and opened the refrigerator where I found a final inspiration: a big knob of fresh ginger.

Here’s my recipe for Vietnamese Crawfish Soup With Smoked Andouille Sausage

Ingredients
3 quarts stock, chicken (if you don’t have chicken use fish or vegetable stock)
12 oz, crawfish tails
1lb sausage, andouille, chopped
12oz mushrooms, whole
3 each onions, green, chopped
1 knob ginger, minced
1 tiny star anise pod
2 T. crushed red chile flakes
4 oz, vermicelli noodles
2 T. Fish sauce, Red Boat brand is best
1 T. Soy Sauce, Bourbon Barrel Foods is best

Method
* Add all ingredients except noodles and green onions to cold stock
* Bring to boil
* Add vermicelli noodles
* Reduce to simmer
* Cook til starch cooks off noodles
* The stew will ‘cream’ when all the starch is cooked off-the noodles will be full and plump
* This step takes about a half hour and is crucial to the dish
* Add chopped green onions to stew and cook 5 minutes more

Cooking notes
This is one of the best soup/stews I’ve ever created. It’s rich and hot with chile pepper. If you have access to authentic Vietnamese sausage by all means use it. Andouille is a fine substitute.
I use a tea bag steeper to hold the star anise in the stew, you do not want to bite into a star anise pod so please refrain from tossing the pod into the stew
Crispy fried shallots make a wonderful garnish for this stew
You may substitute any number of fishes for the crawfish, shark would be an excellent choice
Lemongrass would be a good addition to this stew

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