Cooking Louisiana  -  Cooking Crawfish
Crawfish dishes in South Louisiana are boiled, stewed, bisque and Etouffee to name a few. See "Seafood" for further discussion on Crawfish...

CrawfishFresh live crawfish are usually boiled or steamed in order to peel them. Crawfish will cook completely in about 6 minutes in boiling water and will toughen up some if overcooked.

If they died before cooking the meat will be somewhat mushy. You can tell when you pull the tail away from the body and the first piece of meat breaks off. Sometime the crawfish tail won't be curled.

When we boil crawfish we'll peel the remainder after a meal and use the meat to make the other dishes. We usually boil more than we need just for that purpose. Peeled crawfish and the fat can be easily frozen. In a quart zipper bag, fill the bag with crawfish and fat to about 3/4 full. If you have a kitchen scale weigh the meat and try to keep it at around one pound portions. Add enough water to cover the meat, get the air out and put it in the freezer.

Remember, when using crawfish from a crawfish boil the meat will already be seasoned, so, be careful when you go to season a dish made with these.

Boiled crawfish is a favorite in South Louisiana. At family gatherings we'll get a sack (30 - 40 lbs.) or two and boil them up. This is done outside in a boiling pot with seasonings like liquid or powdered crab boil, salt and a barrage of various vegetables and other meat.

Imported crawfish have a slightly different flavor than Louisiana crawfish because their diets are different. Read the labels to see where they come from.

Crawfish meat can be used to make dips.

Guess what the "State Crustacean" of Louisiana would be? You got it, for the last 20 years it's been the mud bug.

If you buy fresh live crawfish keep them at a temperature of 46 - 48ºF in high humidity. This can be done with ice chests and a little ice and wet towels or burlap sacks; the majority will stay alive for a few days. Leave them in the sack and lightly mist them with water every few hours. Normally they don't stay in the sack long around here but if you plan on transporting some for long distances this is good information to remember.

Live Crawfish are graded as follows:

Large: 15 or less per pound
Medium: 16 - 25 per pound (the best)
Small: 25 or more per pound

Why medium crawfish are best? You're paying a part of your money for shells. Medium crawfish give you the best meat to shell ratio.

If you want processed Louisiana crawfish tail meat look for it around May/June; prices will be lower.

... and here are some crawfish facts...

Bon' Appetite'