15 Essential New Orleans Seafood Dishes and How to Make Them at Home | Where NOLA eats

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Restaurant critic Brett Anderson recently selected 15 dishes that define seafood cuisine in New Orleans. Here you’ll find recipes — and how-to videos featuring food writer Judy Walker — on how to cook these staples of our seafood-heavy cuisine, and Brett’s tips on where to find them in restaurants in the New Orleans area. Dig!

In Judy’s Kitchen: BBQ Shrimp (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Grilled prawns

Shrimp cooked, usually with the shell and head still intact, in a rich butter sauce seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, garlic and black pepper. Copious amounts of bread are needed to mop up the sauce.

Excellent releases: Emeril’s, Mr. B’s Bistro, Pascal’s Manale

Recipe: Traditional New Orleans BBQ Shrimp from Marcelle Bienvenu

Blackened Drum from K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Archive)

Blackened Gulf Fish

Fish sprinkled with a powerful blend of spices and cooked at a very high temperature, which “blackens” the surface of the fish. The technique is associated with Cajun cooking but was actually invented by Cajun-born chef Paul Prudhomme after he settled in New Orleans. The original dish was made with red fish. Most other local fish work as a substitute.

Excellent releases: Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar, Jacques-Imo’s Café, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen

Recipe: Blackened red fish with saffron crab risotto.

Grilled oysters

Grilled or broiled oysters in seasoned butter and grated hard cheese. Seasonings and type of cheese very slightly from restaurant to restaurant.

Excellent releases: Drago’s, the Franklin, MeMe’s Bar & Grill

Recipe: Grilled oysters with ginger-lime butter

In Judy’s Kitchen: Courtbouillon (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)


What Cajuns call courtbouillon is a bit like a spicy cross between San Francisco cioppino (a seafood and tomato stew) and bouillabaisse. It has nothing to do with the aromatic broth of the same common name in French cuisine.

Excellent releases: Pig, Pelican Club, Restaurant August.

Receipts: Courtbouillon de Beyt by Marcelle Bienvenu

Crab Au Gratin (Dinah Rogers, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Archive)

Grated Crab

Chunk blue crabmeat folded with bechamel, topped with cheese and grilled until the surface is crispy brown. Gratins also made with crayfish, small prawns and local seafood combinations.

Excellent releases: Bon Ton Café, Emeril’s Delmonico, Gallagher’s Grill

Recipe: Gratinated crabmeat

Soft-shell crab with crabmeat ravigote (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Archive)

Crab ravioli

A cold seafood salad prepared with a tangy mayonnaise dressing. Versions of this dish are often referred to as “homemade crabmeat”.

Excellent releases: Annunciation, Galatory, Table

Recipe: Antoine’s crab ravigot

In Judy’s Kitchen: Crawfish Etouffe (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)


An aromatic stew common in Cajun and New Orleans Creole cuisine served with rice. The most common stews are made by smothering shrimp or crayfish with the Holy Trinity. Many restaurants use etoulee as a sauce to coat the fish.

Large releases: Bon Ton Café, the Galley, Liuzza’s by the Track

Recipe: Crayfish stew

In Judy’s Kitchen: Rockefeller Oysters (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

oysters Rockefeller

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Oysters cooked under a thick batter of spinach and other green vegetables mixed with, among other things, onion, garlic, parmesan and Herbsaint or another anisette liqueur.

Excellent releases: Antoine’s, Galatoire’s, Tommy’s Kitchen

Recipe: Oysters Rockefeller

Brigtsen’s Butternut Squash and Shrimp Bisque (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Seafood bisque

Creamy soups made with shrimp, crayfish, blue crab or a combination of these. Corn is often included to round out the flavor, as are, to a lesser extent, other vegetables, such as squash or mirliton.

Excellent releases: Brigtsen’s, Morton’s Seafood, Peche Seafood Grill

Recipe: Louisiana crab, shrimp and corn bisque

In Judy’s Kitchen: Gumbo with Shrimp and Oysters (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Fish okra

Classic Louisiana dish made with local seafood, usually shellfish. It tends to be seasonal.

Excellent releases: Commander’s Palace, Dooky Chase, Gallagher’s Grill

Recipe: Shrimp and Oyster Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo Have Mercy Poppy

In Judy’s Kitchen: shrimp remoulade (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Shrimp remoulade

Cold prawns coated in a spicy mustard-based vinaigrette. It is usually served in a salad with lettuce or on fried green tomatoes.

Excellent releases: Chez Arnaud, Galatoire, Upperline

Recipe: Upperline Shrimp Remoulade and Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade

Flounder Stuffed Borgne with Meyer Lemon Butter (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Archive)

stuffed flounder

Whole flounder baked with a cavity full of seafood vinaigrette.

Excellent releases: Borgne, Fury’s, Middendorf’s

Recipe: Bubby’s stuffed flounder:

Middendorf owner Horst Pfeifer tells how their fried catfish is made (Video by Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Fine cut catfish

Horst Pfeifer, owner of Middendorf’s restaurant in Manchac, tells us the secrets and not-so-secrets of how their famous fine fried catfish is made. He also reveals what he discovered about healthy foods.

Excellent releases: Crabby Shack, Middendorf’s, New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co.

Recipe: Marcelle Bienvenu’s Rock’s Fried Catfish (Not many people can recreate thin fillets at home)

In Judy’s kitchen: Almond trout (Video by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Amandine with trout

Trout amandine is basically trout meunière sprinkled with slivers of toasted almonds – although in many restaurants in New Orleans, trout amandine is fried, not sautéed.

Large releases: Galatory, Mandina, Table

Recipe: Old Fashioned Trout Almond from Chris DeBarr

Trout Meunière at Galatoire (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune archive)

Trout meunière

Meunière trout is sautéed in butter and served in a New Orleans style meunière (or brown butter) sauce. Drum and redfish are often replaced by trout.

Large releases: Clancy’s, Galatoire’s, Luke

Recipe: Brigtsen Meunière Trout

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Dino S. Williams