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Course: Mains
Keyword: Asian, Dairy-Free, Entertaining, Seafood, Summer

Zissou's Buffet of Underwater Delights

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
This succulent seafood spread of lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn tossed in Asian flavors like Chinese five-spice powder is my twist on a classic low country boil.
I am a lifelong member of the Zissou Society and as such, I typically prepare a massive pot of this seafoody goodness out in the yard using the derrick I devised for frying turkeys. But this version has been recalibrated for indoor cookery.
This recipe first appeared in EveryDayCook.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian garlic chile sauce, such as Huy Fong
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 pound small red potatoes, halved if 2-inches or larger in diameter
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and halved
  • 1 head garlic, separated, but not peeled
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and halved
  • 8 ounces Chinese sausage (Lap Xeong), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large lime, quartered
  • 1 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) lobster
  • 8 ounces (31- to 40-count) head-on, tail-on shrimp
  • 8 ounces small clams, such as littleneck
  • 8 ounces mussels, beards removed and shells rinsed
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • 4 ounces salted butter, melted, for serving

Specialized Hardware

8-quart pot with a steamer insert or basket
Spider strainer
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • Combine the water, soy sauce, chile sauce, fish sauce, five-spice, potatoes, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a large, 8-quart pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, place into the steamer basket in this order: corn, sausage, limes, shrimp, clams, and finally, the mussels.
  • When the goodness in the pot is boiling, lower the insert/basket into the pot. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels just open,The bivalves should sit just above the liquid so that they steam rather than boil. 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Lift the steamer basket out of the pot enough to allow any liquid to drain. Dump the contents onto a large platter, bowl, or even right onto a table lined with newspaper. Use a spider strainer to fish out the potatoes. Ladle the soup into cups or bowls and serve.
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