Roxy here, bringing you another maker story to give you all the get-off-your-booty-and-make-something feels and bring you some finger-licking good recipes. We’ve already written about the founders of PB&Jams and Razzbourne Farms, two amazing artisans who took simple ideas and ran with them to create applause-worthy food businesses. And we shared a Pad Thai-inspired appetizer and a goat cheese plus sweet potato small bite. So today, we teamed up with TRISCUIT to bring you one more narrative about a crawfish company called Pinch Crawfish Kitchen, and of course, we’ll leave you with two cray-zy delicious recipes (see what I did there?) for seafood TRISCUIT Cracker bites.
Why Pinch Crawfish Kitchen? TRISCUIT supports food makers who start with simple ingredients and weave them together to make more. To put this statement into action, not long ago, TRISCUIT surprise flash-funded over 50 artisanal food makers’ companies on Indiegogo. They selected food artisans all over the country to help them take their businesses to the next level. Pinch Crawfish Kitchen made the list with their Vietnamese-style crawfish, and we were pumped to create a drool-worthy TRISCUIT Cracker recipe using their product. Before we get to the instructions, let’s talk a little more about Pinch.
Together with his business partner Andrew Ho (aka Prawn Solo), Sean (aka Craylor Swift) started Pinch Crawfish Kitchen to build a business that mixed food from their cultural background with the food from a childhood spent in Texas. No stranger to crawfish boils, these guys put their heads together to create the perfect Asian-American recipe. TRISCUIT Crackers are made for more, so they make an excellent base for other ingredients… like crawfish :) That said, we’re going to show you how to make an artisanal-style appetizer using Pinch crawfish, and then we’ll teach you an everyday version featuring shrimp and other ingredients you may have on hand RN.
But first, more about Sean Wen, one of the founders of Pinch!
MEET THE MAKER: SEAN WEN OF PINCH CRAWFISH KITCHEN
(Sean left, Andrew right)
1. Tell us about your company.
“Andrew and I wanted to build an experience that told the story of our culture and that developed a community. Andrew and I both grew up in Asian-American households that combined Asian food and deep-rooted family values with Gulf Coast flavors and culture. Crawfish boils — particularly Vietnamese-style — were just events we grew up going to and loving! So naturally, we carried that tradition and began boiling for our friends. Ultimately, crawfish is more than food for us — it goes beyond that. It’s cheerful bonhomie. It’s family. It’s community. This is why in 2016, both Andrew and I left our jobs, moved back to Texas and pursued our Viet-style crawfish kitchen. Holla!”
2. What is the story of how you got to where you are today?
“I took a nontraditional path to get to PINCH. I studied Psychology in school, yet somehow ended up working at Goldman Sachs right after graduation. Super odd, I know. After two insanely difficult yet formative years, I realized I needed to ‘build’ something. I joined a program called Venture for America — a nonprofit that places recent grads in startups in emerging cities, helping to build businesses and to create jobs. This changed my life. I was placed in a startup in Baltimore and learned what it took to build a company. Inspired to build on my own food dreams, I quit and moved back to Texas. People say F&B is a risky venture, but food is one of the few things in life I can genuinely get lost in — whether it’s reading, researching, eating or watching. More importantly, because food is the ultimate proliferator of stories, culture and experience, I had to pursue it — to continue the organic evolution of Asian-American food and to continue creating memories.”
3. How do you get into the creative flow?
“When Andrew and I are in the lab testing new flavors, we get into the flow by jamming some hip-hop and vibing with the music. Music has a funny way of making us feel like nothing can stop us! Once we’re in the zone, we let the flavors do the rest of the talking. Making sure there is a subtle complexity — spicy, sweet, salty, sour — to our dish, yet still being simple in nature, is the key for us.”
4. What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers/artisans?
“Emotional and psychological health is just as important as the health of your company/craft. It’s so easy to say, but we often get so caught up in what we do that we tend to forget life’s most basic necessities. If your mind is not right, nothing else will feel right. So, PLEASE take some time to just, ‘Do you.’”
5. What other things do you love to make? Halloween costumes? Home decor?
“Besides making people smile? (I know, super corny.) I really enjoy painting with acrylics. There’s something deeply meditative about painting. If anything, it’s a therapeutic escape that just so happens to have a tangible finished product you can (hopefully) appreciate.”
Onto the recipes!
SEAFOOD TRISCUIT, ARTISAN STYLE
— TRISCUIT Crackers
— Pinch Crawfish
— pickled onion
— juice from one lime
1. Peel and chop two small red onions.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the onions, one cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup sugar and one teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep until the onion is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
4. Make the appetizer by placing a piece of crawfish on a TRISCUIT Cracker, then adding a piece of pickled onion. Squeeze lime on top.
Get your crawfish from Pinch Crawfish Kitchen.
Prepare your crawfish by removing the meat from the shell.
Peel and chop the onions. In a medium saucepan, combine the onions, vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep until the onion is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Assemble the TRISCUIT Cracker appetizer by adding crawfish meat, a slice of pickled red onion and squeezing a little lime juice on top.
All you need are three tasty toppings for a mouth-watering bite of goodness.
Keep up the great work, Pinch!
SEAFOOD TRISCUIT, EVERYDAY STYLE
— TRISCUIT Crackers
— cilantro shrimp
— quick pickled onion
— juice from one lime
1. Melt one tablespoon butter in a heat-safe bowl. Add 2 ½ teaspoons olive oil, two tablespoons chopped cilantro and one teaspoon salt. Mince two cloves of garlic and add that too. Squeeze juice from half a lemon into the mixture and stir to combine.
2. Add one pound shrimp to the marinade and toss to coat.
3. Cook the shrimp in a pan until opaque.
4. Peel and chop one red onion and add to a bowl or a jar. Pour one cup vinegar over the onions and let soak for 20 minutes.
5. Add a piece of shrimp to a TRISCUIT Cracker, then a slice of quick-pickled red onion and squeeze a little lime juice on top.
Melt the butter in a heat-safe bowl. Add olive oil, cilantro and salt. Mince the garlic and add that too. Squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and stir to combine.
Add shrimp to the marinade and toss to coat.
Cook the shrimp in a pan until opaque.
Chop your red onion and add to a jar with vinegar. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
Time to put your ingredients atop a TRISCUIT Cracker. Gather all of your goodies for assembly.
Add a piece of shrimp to a TRISCUIT Cracker, then a slice of quick-pickled red onion and squeeze a little lime juice on top.
I’ll take two, please and thank you.
How else will you unleash your creativity using TRISCUIT Crackers? Show us your recipes by tagging us on Instagram + using the hashtag #iamcreative!
This post is a collaboration with TRISCUIT.
Author: Roxy Taghavian
Food Production and Styling: Irene Lee
Photography: Chris Andre