A good ol' Southern crab boil

19:32, Nov 28 2013
Prawn
TIDIER ALTERNATIVE: Fried cajun school prawns with thousand island salsa.

Restaurant buzzwords have a way of creeping up on you. One minute 'kimchi' is dominating our menus, the next we're bombarded by sugary 'canelés'. Recently, it's dishes from America's Deep South that have been cropping up on food blogs, restaurant guides and Instagram updates.

But now that we're at the tail end of the fried chicken frenzy, our attention seems to be switching to an equally hands-on Southern pursuit -- the crab boil.

For the uninitiated, Good Food's Jill Duplex describes the crab boil as a hands-on "communal feast" that features "whole crabs, sweetcorn, potatoes and often smoky sausage are boiled in a spicy stock, tossed in garlicky butter."  

There is a whole lifestyle that comes with enjoying the crab boil. Bibs and gloves are involved. Your crustaceans of choice come out in 'share bags' to be emptied on the butcher-paper lined table - mess is inevitable, and highly encouraged.

There is a variety of crabs to choose from, including Snow Crab, Blue Swimmer and for the more adventurous - the giant King Crab. I wrestled with the long claws of a Snow Crab bathed in Old-bay infused Cajun sauce (the chef's favourite, apparently) and scarcely made a dent in the pile of king prawns in oriental sauce. 

I'm hoping the deep-south seafood trend is here to stay. But if you don't happen to live near a crab shack, there's always the  option of creating your own Cajun feast at home. Why not kick off your own crustacian party with chef Jamie Thomas' fried Cajun school prawns with thousand island sauce?   

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FRIED CAJUN SCHOOL PRAWNS WITH THOUSAND ISLAND SALSA

400g school prawns
250g flour
50g Cajun spiced mix
Thousand island salsa
50g fine diced celery
50g carrots
50g dill pickles
150ml ketchup
15ml worchestershire sauce
100ml clamato juice (or tomato juice)
Pinch of celery sal

1. Toss the prawns in the seasoned flour and deep fry at 180c for 2-3 mins or until crisp.

2. Serve with a ramekin of salsa and a few wedges of lime.

2. Serve with a ramekin of salsa and a few wedges of lime.

- Daily Life