GRETNA, La. — Spicy boiled crawfish is synonymous with Louisiana. But it’s also popular in other parts of the world.
California native Thien Nguyen and his cousin, Nhu Nguyen, are Veitnamese and do their crawfish a little differently.
“In our culture we use a lot of garlic and spices and butter with our seafood, so we brought that here to Louisiana, but kept it low key for a while,” said Nguyen. The Vietnamese style became popular in Houston a few years back, and is now all the hype, forming lines around the block at Big EZ in Gretna.
Thien and Nhu opened Big EZ Seafood in 2015, taking over a Pizza Hut delivery store that stood in its place. They expanded and last year they added a second, smaller restaurant, Mr. Crabhouse in Harvey, which serves the same menu.
It’s what the Vietnamese style adds after the boil that makes the biggest difference. Still wet from the pot, the crawfish are tossed with butter, loads of chopped garlic and other spices, then, depending on flavor it gets tossed with the “Cali” sauce or the “Citrus” sauce.