Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1½ Tbsp. Thai chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2½ pounds small new potatoes (about 1" in diameter)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, pounded and bruised
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 or 5 slices ginger
  • 4 live lobsters, about 1¼ pounds each
  • 2 ears corn, husked and cut into thirds
  • 1½ pounds andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 pounds steamer or cherrystone clams (6 to 12, depending on size), scrubbed
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • ½ pound medium shell-on shrimp, deveined
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 dashes chili powder
  • Juice of 2 limes


    In a 16- to 20-quart stockpot, combine 10 cups water, fish sauce, Thai chili paste and sugar; cover and bring to a boil.

    Add potatoes, lemongrass, garlic and ginger; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add lobsters; cover and cook 10 minutes. Gently nestle in corn, andouille, clams and tomato; cover and cook 10 minutes. Add mussels and shrimp; cover and cook until shellfish open and potatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Using tongs, place lobsters on a large cutting board, cut them up and crack the claws. Using a slotted spoon, transfer remaining seafood, meat and vegetables to a large platter. Sprinkle with cilantro, chili powder and lime juice. Strain broth, discarding solids and ladle into 6 small bowls.

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