There is no question regarding the fact that Cajun food flows through Louisiana as smoothly and consistently as the robust Mississippi river. The greatest ever Chef Paul Prudhomme, once said, “The taste is, however, a variable and distinct entity, but when the taste changes with each bite and the final bite tastes as good as the first, that’s Cajun.”
There is a more significant probability that Cajun seafood can be sautéed with diced onions, bell peppers, celery, a little bit of Chachere’s, and some pinches of Tabasco sauce. Still, in the end, it will remain delicious regardless. However, like every other dish, we can have some favorites.
In this blog. We will list down the top ten traditional Cajun dishes that you can try at any Cajun seafood restaurant worldwide or specifically if you visit Louisiana next.
Have you ever visited a tailgating event? Surely, you must have tasted the top-favorite Cajun dish called ‘jambalaya.’ It is a must-to-have dish whenever a Southern football game is hosted. This dish contains rice and is prepared in a large pot that is enough to feed a mass of hundreds of people. The dish originates from Spanish paella, and the respective community is a major fan of this sober and delish mixture of rice, conventional spices, seafood, some chicken pieces, and sausage.
Apart from tailgating and Mardi Gras, people in The Boot have expertise in Gumbo. A Cajun seafood dish that is cooked in a big pot of gumbo. The best trick is to start with a roux and pull off the real acumen of a Cajun dish. Every gumbo pot is different from the next pot and a slight hint of the melting pot is the state of Louisiana. Irrespective of whether you like seafood, okra, andouille sausages, and chicken, this viscous soup conventionally is served with rice and potato salad and can be found in multiple combinations on dinner tables all across Louisiana.
3. Boiled Crawfish
Crawfish is installed in Louisiana’s culture and you will find it there every spring. People of Louisiana usually get bold and strong with the crawfish flavors and throw all the lagniappe ingredients with mudbugs, pineapple, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Along with these food elements, baby corn, potatoes, celery, onion, and garlic are also added to boiled crawfish. Even if you are not good at eating fish, learn how to peel and eat crawfish before visiting Louisiana.
4. Pecan Pie
A small pie made of pecan nuts combined with a filling of eggs, butter, and sugar is a must-to-have Cajun dish. It comes with different variations and might include white sugar, brown refined sugar, sugarcane syrup, refined sugar syrup, molasses, maple syrup, and extracted honey. It is served majorly at holiday meals in Louisiana and paired with a piping hot cafe au lait. We all deserve a cheat day and having a pecan pie along with a scoop of ice cream might be one of those days. Have a bite of pecan pie and transcend into a food coma with this Cajun dish.
5. Boudin Sausage
Boudin sausages are found all across the Southern part of Louisiana. It is their traditional delish delicacy. It consists of ground pork, some Cajun seasoning, rice, onion, and green bell peppers. The dish is stuffed into casings. Now it’s up to you if you want to roll into balls and then deep fry it or if you want to slow-smoke it. Either way, you can’t go wrong with boudin sausage. Go to any roadside stand or small restaurant in Southern Louisiana and give this dish a try – you won’t regret sneaking some home in your carry-on bag as well.
6. Shrimp and Grits
This one is a combination dish of two – a savory brunch meal made of Southern staples. The main ingredients are creamy grits and spicy sautéed shrimp – together these ingredients create a perfect and balanced ying and yang of flavors. The next time you visit Louisiana, make sure to treat your taste buds with this iconic savory dish.
7. Wild Duck
During the fall season, residents of Louisiana love to hunt – safe to say that hunting is their favorite hobby. There are not many Cajun seafood dishes that can take over fresh fowl cooked to perfection in a spectrum of multiple spices. Start slowly roasting the duck, put it in gumbo and stuff it with elements, gradually smother it and enjoy the giant burst of flavors.
Louisiana food is fully capable of changing your food palate and adapting your food buds to different tastes. You can revel in Cajun dishes while eating a turtle and alligator in Louisiana but might frown upon the same dishes in some other country. Alligator meat tastes heavenly and as soft as chicken once it is served in a spicy red sauce with rice, onions, and parsley as a side. The piquante red sauce is cherry on the top with Cajun alligator. If you want to try a different and rare Cajun dish, then the alligator sauce piquante dish should be your go-to choice.
9. Crawfish étouffée
In French, étouffée means something that is slightly smothered or suffocated and this is exactly how all the ingredients are combined in crawfish étouffée to make a delish gravy. The crawfish is smothered in sauce with rice and potatoes as sides. If you haven’t tried this Cajun dish, you are missing out on flavors big time.
10. Corn Maque Choux
It is tough to find anything on the menu that potentially rivals the Cajun dishes on the menu card. However, do not worry we have sorted the perfect side for your taste buds. Corn maque choux is a Cajun dish that is sautéed with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and Tasso and is very similar to conventional succotash. Make sure to order this light-on-diet savory item, next time you pay a visit to Louisiana.
These were the top ten traditional Cajun dishes that are a must-try when you visit Louisiana or any other restaurant across the world. We hope this will help you in finding the best Cajun dishes around. Happy eating.