14 Crawfish Recipes to Spice Up Your Spring

Hello and welcome to this thing we’re doing where we help you figure out what you’re gonna put in your mouth this week. Some of these are recipes we’ve tried, some of these are recipes we’re looking forward to trying, all of them are fucking delicious. Tell us what you want to put in your piehole or suggest your own recipes, and we’ll talk about which things we made, which things we loved, and which things have changed us irreversibly as people. 

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Southerners are unfamiliar with traditional seasons like winter, spring, summer and fall. Temperature is no indication of the time of year, so we mark the passing of time with festivals and foods.

In Louisiana, spring hasn’t sprung officially until the social calendar fills up with crawfish boils. For the uninitiated, crawfish (pronounced exactly as spelled) are tiny, ditch-dwelling crustaceans that resemble lobsters. Harvested from the rice paddies, heavily seasoned and boiled, crawfish are a delicacy in Louisiana.

Fridays during Lent, Mother’s Day, graduations and engagements are frequently celebrated with a crawfish boil, usually an all-day outdoor event involving heavy drinking and hungrily eyeing the pot of boiling crawfish waiting for the cherry-colored creatures to be dumped ceremoniously on a long, newspaper-topped table. Friends, family and uninvited but welcome guests stand elbow to elbow, painstakingly peeling the miniscule crawfish tail from its razor sharp shell. Children are taught to peel crawfish before they’re potty trained, and their tiny hands make them master peelers. It’s really a sight to behold.

Unless you’re crawfishing in your own backyard, buying live crawfish to boil or buying pre-boiled crawfish can be pricey, and hosting a large crawfish boil is just as much of a status symbol as a seasonal celebration. Excess crawfish is never thrown away; it’s cherished.

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We have a saying in Louisiana: there’s no such thing as leftover crawfish. Once guests have eaten themselves sick, it’s everyone’s duty to leave no crawfish unpeeled. Nimble fingers deftly rip apart the crawfish bodies, and the seasoned tails are Zip-locked and frozen for the non-crawfish times of year.

Below you’ll find some recipes for what to do with all those “leftover” crawfish tails hanging out in your freezer. Those unlucky enough to live far from fresh-caught crawfish can purchase frozen tails through a number of online retailers.


1. Crawfish Étouffée


2. Crawfish Bread


3. Crawfish Balls


4. Crawfish and Corn Bisque


5. Crawfish Pie


6. Crawfish Cakes


7. Shrimp & Crawfish Roll


8. Crawfish Fettuccini


9. Crawfish Baked Potato


10. Crawfish Grits


11. Crawfish Stuffed Deviled Eggs


12. Crawfish Salsa


13. Crawfish Beignets


14. Crawfish Bisque

Sydney Blanchard is a South Louisiana writer, Catholic school survivor and typical only child. She now works for a Bite and Booze, a culinary media company. When she's not eating and drinking for a living, she's likely listening to NPR or forcing her girlfriend to pose for Instagram photos. Follow her @pizzagirlfriend.

Sydney has written 4 articles for us.

5 Comments

  1. In the Chesapeake Bay area they have blue crab. BBQs in the area don’t include steak, they center around a bushel of crabs steamed with a can of beer and old bay seasoning. Having a roll of paper on the picnic table is normal.

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