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Crawfish/crayfish Anybody eat them? How to prepare them?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

As a kid (a long time ago) I remember having these while we were visiting at a friends home. I know that I liked them, but have never had them since. As I was seeing hundreds of them from our canoe the other day, I was wondering about them. They can't be too hard to catch because there were kids scooping them up from the river bank. Anyone want to contribute to my curiosity? Are they worth the time? Nutritious?

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on July 31, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Definitely invest in a trap. We used to set the traps out overnight on camping trips, baited with a piece of chicken. Boil 'em up in a big pot and serve with melted butter for dipping.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 31, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Link to the MDA shellfish post I mentioned: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/types-of-shellfish/#axzz22DgH99dQ

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7 Answers

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2
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on July 31, 2012
at 04:26 PM

I've only had them once or twice, but I liked them a lot. Fairly tedious to eat, being so small, but good. I think they should be fine if you just boil them. As far as catching them, I know they sell crayfish traps, which would probably be a lot more productive than trying to catch them individually.

724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on July 31, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Definitely invest in a trap. We used to set the traps out overnight on camping trips, baited with a piece of chicken. Boil 'em up in a big pot and serve with melted butter for dipping.

best answer

1
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 31, 2012
at 04:27 PM

LOVE crawdads! We used to save our milk cartons from lunch at school and catch them in the creek on our way home. Some days, our fingers were quite bloody, but it was so worth it.

Momma would cook them the same way she did crab or lobster: a boiling pot of water with seasonings, usually Old Bay. We only ate them as an after school snack by pulling them apart, slurping the "head," then pinching the base of the tail so the meat can be pulled out with the teeth.

I have had crawdad tail served in an alfredo-style pasta sauce at a restaurant, but it was obviously frozen and rubbery. Fresh is so much better! I would surmise you could use it anywhere you would use lobster or seafood in general.

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1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 31, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Get a pair of goggles, some friends, and spend the day at the river/quarry/lake. Little time consuming, but rewarding and good exercise. They are like little lobsters-meet-crab, totally delicious. I generously season a large pot of boiling water with old bay spice, and boil them for just a few minutes until bright in colour and cooked through. Serve with butter for dipping and lemon wedges. Have some nut crackers on hand to soften up the shells and make them easier to pull apart.

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0
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on July 31, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Being from Louisiana, we eat crawfish ALL the time.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/10900-crawfish-boil

Instead of onions do potatoes, corn on the cob, and sausage... it's AMAZING. The flavor of it all really makes the veggies perfect with the whole meal.

Oh, and they have spice bags for them. The spicier, the better.

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1
Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

on July 31, 2012
at 04:50 PM

I went on a vacation to New Orleans with my family when I was a kid and remember being fascinated by the crawfish they served on every plate, no matter what you ordered. My dad slurped out the heads, but I couldn't bring myself to do that. Still, the bright red color was beautiful as a garnish.

Mark Sisson ranks shellfish really high on the primal scale since you're generally eating a whole fish, not just muscle meat. He says farmed American crayfish are safe and plentiful.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

(868)

on July 31, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Link to the MDA shellfish post I mentioned: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/types-of-shellfish/#axzz22DgH99dQ

2
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:33 PM

Love them (Umm - crawfish omelet!) - but how I prepare them is:

  1. Travel to New Orleans
  2. Stop into any restaurant in the quarter
  3. Order something with them in it
  4. Eat

(lather-rinse-repeat as necessary)

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:41 PM

As a kid and as an adult, I have chased the wily crawdads. It's summer fun to lift heavy things (rocks) on a clear river bottom to reveal the little critters, then get behind them and snatch them before they can shoot away. They're never big and I usually give up at about a dozen, but no doubt I could get more if I set a pot for them baited with catfood.

A dozen crawdad tails is an appetizer's worth. I steam them whole, shell the tails and eat them with hot sauce. If I had more I'd figure out how to make etouffe.

While out crawdadding I saw river mussels, first as shells on the banks of the river, and then in live form on the ends of sand bars. I harvested a few big ones to see whether they contained pearls - no luck. The meat was so tough and grey that I didn't try to eat any. They can live to 40-50 years of age and are nothing like their tasty oceanic relatives. They also have very thick shells, up to 6-7" in length.

I cleaned the shells out and on a whim gave them to a lapidarist friend, with the idea that maybe he would make me some mother-of-pearl buttons. I forgot about them, and months later was rewarded with a pile of beautiful pendants and earrings. The color is similar to abalone - a rainbow of pinks, purples, blues and yellows - which polished up nicely.

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