Asian Cajun Seafood Boil


Late last summer, my friends and I took a friend’s trip to North Lake Tahoe for a weekend getaway.  People were assigned cooking duties for each meal and on the last night, the friends hosted a seafood boil for our 30 friends and kids. They cooked a cooler full of fresh head-on shrimp, tons of corn on a cob, and various kinds of hot links served with salad, steamed rice, and garlic noodles. The harmonious and mesmerizing smell of garlic, butter, and assorted spices permeated through the rental house and everyone was salivating and super excited to eat! The seafood boil was the most perfect and delicious, and hands-on and social dinner for 30 friends and kids and a great way to wind down the trip.

I enjoy seafood boils at home more than at restaurants because it’s way cheaper to do and you can pick and use the freshest seafood you like.  You also have full control of the amount of seasoning and other ingredients to make it the perfect at-home meal.  I’ve cooked this several times after our trip and has definitely been a crowd-pleaser each time.

4 pounds seafood (2 pounds clams, 2 pounds deveined head-on shrimp, cleaned
4 corn on a cob
2 gold potatoes, quartered
2 hot links, cut into thirds
2 head of garlic, roughly chopped
2 sticks of salted butter
1/2 cup of seasoning
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 large lemon, juiced
parsley, for garnish

Seasoning (about 1 cup of seasoning)
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons lemon pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

4-5 quarts of water
1 3oz package of Zatarains’s crawfish, shrimp & crab boil
1 large onion, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon salt
3 bay leaves


Make Seasoning – In a medium bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, chili powder, lemon pepper, paprika, and Cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Make Seafood Boil Liquid – In a large stockpot, add Zatarains’s crawfish, shrimp & crab boil, large onion, lemons, salt, and bay leaves into 4-5 quarts of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Make Cajun Garlic Butter Sauce –  Place garlic and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for 15 minutes and stir occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of seasoning, brown sugar, and squeeze in lemon juice. Mix well.


Boil Seafood – After the boiling liquid simmers for 20 minutes, increase the heat on the stovetop to medium-high, add potatoes, and close the lid for 10 minutes.  Add corn and hot links and close the lid for 5 minutes. Add clams and close the lid for 5 minutes.  Finally, add shrimp, turn off the heat, and close the lid to allow for everything to finish cooking for ~10 minutes.

Assemble Asian Cajun Seafood – Use a spider skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the ingredients from the large stockpot onto a large serving platter or a long aluminum tray. Add the seasoned garlic butter sauce and mix gently to coat the sauce to the seafood and vegetables.



  • This recipe cooks 4 pounds of seafood, but you can choose the combination of seafood however you like.
  • If you want more seafood, using the same boiling water should be fine, you just need to increase the ingredients in the garlic butter sauce.
  • Adjust seasoning to desired taste.
  • For extra spiciness, add 1 or more tablespoons of Cayenne pepper.
  • For a milder taste, reduce the seasoning from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup of seasoning.
  • If the seafood boil looks too thick after mixing in the butter sauce, add some of the boiling liquid to thin it out a bit.
  • If Zatarains’s crawfish, shrimp & crab boil is unavailable, adding a few more bay leaves and leaving the spice packet out should be okay. Maybe add some of the seasonings into the boiling water.
  • I prefer using gold potatoes because it hold its texture and doesn’t break apart easily like other potatoes.
  • If you don’t like head-on shrimp, you can use regular 31-40 shrimp, but preferably keep shell on for the experience!
  • Gloves optional!!!

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