How to cook live crayfish?

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Boiled crayfish is a delicious treat that is easy to do at home, as the process of cooking is not so difficult at all. In the article we will describe in details one of the most popular and easy ways that you can cook fresh crawfish.

How long do you cook crawfish?

Boiling crayfish is not a time consuming process, as it will take you so little time to make such an appetizing dish. Besides boiling time for crayfish of different sizes stays approximately the same:

  • How long does it take to boil crayfish? The first thing to remember is that you toss crayfish into boiling water. You need to boil crayfish for 10-15 minutes after water returns to boil in a pot (most evident sign – crayfish shells color will turn red).

Now, let us see the way you can cook this delicious shellfish step-by step to make them juicy, tasty and flavored.

The best crayfish are the fresh crayfish, if you use frozen ones for the recipe they will turn out a little bit dried out.

How do you boil fresh crawfish on the stove?

Classic crawfish boil recipe

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The most important step is how you clean your crawfish.  You need to wash and rinse them thoroughly several times. If you have heavily dirty ones, you should clean them with a brush to take off all the seagrass and sand. You do not need to “purge” crayfish with salt beforehand. It will not help you to clean their veins; it can only kill not so strong and small individuals of crayfish. So, here is the classic crawfish boil recipe:

  • Take a deep pot, fill it with water (you should have approximately 1 liter of water for 10 medium crayfish) and bring it to a boil.
  • Now you can add seasoning. Here where it gets tricky, as you can customize crayfish seasoning to your taste. So, let us figure out what you can put in a crayfish boil. Following combination of spices and herbs is the most basic and classic: salt (1 tablespoon for 3 pounds of crayfish), 3-6 bay leaves, 7-10 whole black peppercorns, 1 halved garlic head, 1 quartered onion and 1 lemon quartered (before adding lemon  you can squeeze out its juice into the pot). In addition, there is a long list of fresh or ground herbs that can improve the taste of your crayfish boil. Dill, oregano, fennel, thyme, basil, parsley or coriander. 50 g of any fresh or 30 g of any grounded herb can really make a deference. Only by trying, you can define what seasoning to use for crayfish boil.
  • Let the herbs simmer for 5 minutes and then add live crayfish into boiling water.
  • When the water with crayfish returns to boil, reduce the heat to medium and let them boil for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size).
  • When the time passes turn off the heat and let the crayfish soak for additional 10 to 15 minutes. Drain crayfish and serve with just lemon, or with dipping sauces.

For those who like to experiment there is such a thing as beer crayfish boil recipe. Process and ingredients stay almost the same, but instead of just water you use mixture of beer and water at proportion 1:1 to boil crayfish in.

How much salt do you need for boiling crawfish? An average 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 liters of water. However, you can always try water for salt, as everybody’s taste is different.

Is it safe to eat dead crawfish? There is always a way to get food poisoning. However, unfortunately, there is no certain way to determine whether crayfish was dead or alive before boiling. A statement that if crayfish tale is straight after boiling then it was dead before cooking is a huge myth. The only way to secure yourself is not to eat mushy tail meat.

Can you freeze cooked crayfish? It is not very advisable to freeze cooked crawfish, as they will lose their taste and juiciness.

Why do crayfish turn red when they are cooked? It is the way some of the biochemical inside the shellfish react to heat. There is a pigment in the shell of crayfish called astaxanthin; it unravels when shellfish boiled.

If you found our article helpful, please share with your friends. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions if you know any other way to boil crawfish at home. Now you know the basics of how you can cook delicious and juicy crawfish in water and even in beer on the stove at home.

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