How to Cook Crawfish

How to Cook Crawfish
Crawfish is mainly produced in Southern Louisiana, but is enjoyed by many seafood lovers around the world. Learn how to cook this fish in its traditional Cajun style.
Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans that have a texture and taste similar to shrimp. Also known as mudbugs, they are native to the bayous of Louisiana. These are usually eaten during the springtime. Though crawfish are commonly used in place of shrimp in many recipes, it is their unique flavor that sets them apart from the rest. Generally, cooking crawfish at home is considered as a messy task, but the following instructions will make it simple and quick.

Crawfish Cooking Method

While buying crawfish, make sure not to buy a variety that is smaller than 10 cm, as only a small part of them is edible. Similar to lobsters, mussels, and other shellfish, these are always prepared live. However, they die within a few seconds after being placed in boiling stock.

First, wash the crayfish properly under cold, running water, and sort them into groups as per their size, to cook them in batches. This is to avoid the smaller crawfish from getting overcooked than the larger ones. To a large pot having at least 1 liter of water for every 8 crawfish, add a bunch of crown dill and about 35-40 grams of sea salt. As the water comes to a boil, place the crawfish in it, 6-12 at a time, and let them cook for about 5 minutes, or more (if they're bigger). When they are done, the crawfish will turn bright orange-red in color, and you will be able to see a chink between the shell and tail. While cooking the crawfish in batches, use a slotted spoon to remove the previous batch from the pot, before moving on to the next.

Crawfish Cooked Cajun-Style
  • 10 lbs live crawfish
  • 10 small potatoes
  • 1 lb onions
  • 4 corn, cut into halves
  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • ΒΌ cup kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
Preparation

Wash the crawfish thoroughly under cold, running water; fill a large bucket with water and place the crawfish in it, for 25-30 minutes. Slice the oranges and lemons without peeling them. Pour 5 gallons of water into a large stock pot, and then add the oranges, lemons, garlic, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and chili powder, to it. Place the pot over high heat and let the mixture boil for about 10-15 minutes. Now, add the potatoes, onions, and corn, to the pot, and when the water returns to a boil, let them cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove the crawfish from the bucket and place them in the stock pot. As the water comes to a boil, let the crawfish cook for around 10-12 minutes. Once cooked, remove the stock pot from the heat and cover it with a lid. Let the contents stand for 10-15 minutes, before draining the liquid. Serve the crawfish hot, along with the boiled vegetables, on the side.