Fried Louisiana-Style Boudin Balls Are The Savory Appetizer You Need

If you're looking for the perfect appetizer to wow your dinner guests — because, let's be honest, we don't usually prepare an appetizer course for a solo dinner — then consider whipping up a batch of fried boudin balls with a remoulade dipping sauce. We promise that time will slow down while everyone contemplates their savory deliciousness. 

If you aren't familiar, fried boudin balls are made with de-cased boudin sausage (a Cajun specialty), which is then dipped in flour and egg, breaded, and fried to a crisp until golden brown. None of this is particularly hard, and there's not really anything stopping you from making boudin on your own — especially if you have access to a premade version from your local supermarket. It's an altogether different culinary creature from France's boudin blanc in the same way that the Creole language has evolved from its original French. Let's talk about everything boudin ball.

Laisser rouler le boudin

It's worth noting that Cajun boudin is not technically a sausage because the pork is cooked rather than raw, and it's finely ground with rice, onions, green bell peppers, and seasonings before being stuffed into a casing. To prepare the balls, you'll first have to procure some boudin, which, sorry to say, not every meat market is likely to carry. Then remove it from the casing and roll the boudin stuffing into balls an inch or two in diameter. Coat each one in flour, dip in beaten eggs, and roll in breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Fry the boudin balls in hot oil (between 325 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit) until golden brown and drain on paper towels. 

Fried boudin balls are sensational when served with a homemade remoulade dipping sauce. This is also a fairly simple affair, as one can be whisked together from mayonnaise, Creole mustard, lemon or pickle juice, hot sauce or horseradish, and seasonings such as our Cajun spice mixture or simply cayenne and ground black pepper. If you want to get fancy, stir in some minced celery, scallion, and parsley, too — doing so is but the work of a moment.

From Rethel to Lake Charles

Cajun boudin is most closely related to boudin blanc, a white French sausage made from ground meat (anything from chicken, pork, or veal), bread, eggs, spices, herbs (typically sage and marjoram), and cream. The particular concoction is a popular specialty of the town of Rethel in the Champagne-Ardenne region. This is basically the recipe that the French descendants called Acadians (we now just call 'em Cajuns) brought with them when they settled in Southwest Louisiana, making several significant alterations along the way. The birthplace of a standard Cajun boudin is claimed by the folks in the Lake Charles area. 

Cajun boudin contains neither bread nor cream — instead, it's made with aromatic vegetables and rice (it's worth noting that Scottish and Irish variations on boudin blanc are made with oatmeal). Pork liver is also included in the mix, giving it a dirty rice vibe. Cajun boudin's other distinguishing feature, of course, is its spiciness. Start with a healthy dash of ground red and black pepper or Cajun seasoning. If you're making fried boudin balls at home, you can simply grind all these ingredients up and skip the sausage casing. After that, there won't be much else to do beyond following the preparation method laid out above and then letting the good times roll.