Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Seafood

Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans related to shrimp, crab, and lobster.[1] They are also sometimes known as crawdads, mudbugs, or crayfish.

Characteristics edit

Crawfish come in a range of sizes—usually around 3–8 in (7.5–20 cm) long—and are frequently described as miniature lobsters.[1][2][3] The meat is lean and largely concentrated in the tail.[2][3] They are typically brown when alive, turning bright red after cooking.

Selection and storage edit

Crawfish are available live or cooked and frozen.[2][3] When purchasing live, the crawfish should be lively and moving[3][4]—discard any that do not move when nudged, and be on the lookout for off odors or damage.[4] The live crawfish can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in a damp towel, for a day or two.[5] Once cooked, crawfish meat should be separated from the shells and stored in the fridge for a few days.[4]

Preparation edit

Before cooking, live crawfish should be cleaned to reduce the debris on their shells and inside their hindgut.[6] This can be done by placing them in a large tub and soaking them in several changes in fresh water for at least 10–15 minutes each time.[4][6][7] Some sources may tell you to add salt to the soak, but this does nothing to help remove debris[6] and may be hazardous or inhumane for the crayfish. Cooking requires about 8–10 minutes at a full boil.[7]

Use edit

Crawfish are usually boiled whole, often with boil seasoning in the water.[4] They can also be steamed.[3] The tail is then pulled off the head and peeled to remove the meat.[4] Most of the meat is in the tail and head, but some meat may be sucked out of the claws, and the entire crawfish contributes flavor to a broth.[3] Crawfish are popular in American South and Cajun cuisines.[2][8]

Recipes edit

References edit

  1. a b Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b c d Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c d e f "A Guide for Buying and Cooking Crayfish". Food Network. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  4. a b c d e f "Crawfish Boil". Southern Living. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  5. Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012-04-11). The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-544-18603-3.
  6. a b c "Effectiveness of a Saltwater Bath in Purging Crawfish". LSU AgCenter. 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  7. a b "How To Boil Crawfish".
  8. Gisslen, Wayne (2014-04-15). Professional Cooking. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-63672-5.