How To Eat Crawfish

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2021 01 Mardi Gras 08 scaled

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When you’re eating crawfish, it’s not just any other meal – it’s a full-blown experience. We’re going to teach you how to make the most of this delicious comfort food, breaking down all the basics, including:

    • Useful tips from crawfish connoisseurs that explain the best way to eat crawfish
    • Some delicious crawfish dishes you simply have to sample
    • How to decide between cooking crawfish at home or dining out

Crawfish are a staple of Southern cuisine, especially for anyone that’s grown up in the bayous of Louisiana and the surrounding areas. Whether you know them as crawfish, crawdads, craydids, mudbugs, or any one of their multiple monikers, these crustaceans have long been a Cajun culinary tradition.

People usually describe the flavor as a cross between lobster and shrimp, with just the right touch of sweetness to set off a classic mix of Cajun spices. But if you’ve never tried one for yourself, figuring out how to eat a crawfish can be intimidating – especially because they’re usually served shell-on.

We’re going to give you everything you need to know about the best ways to eat crawfish, including our favorite tips to make the experience as scrumptious and simple as possible. Then, all you’ll need to do is make your way to the Angry Crab Shack near you, and we’ll serve up all the crawfish you can eat – so you can put your new skills to the (taste) test!

Essential Tips for Eating Crawfish

If you’ve ever seen a Southerner eat crawfish, it’s easy to see that there’s a certain technique to it. Some might say that it’s a skill that Southerners are basically born with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn it too.

Get ready because we’re diving right into the steps for eating crawfish:

    1. First, take a close look at the crawfish, so you can see exactly where the head and tail ends meet.
    2. Place your thumbs on one side of the crawfish shell and your index fingers on the other side.
    3. Firmly push the tail towards the head, then use a twisting motion to separate the two.
    4. Locate the first ring in the widest part of the shell of the crawfish tail. Peel it off, just like you would peel shrimp.
    5. Use your fingers to pinch the end of the tail as you grab the meat with your other hand or your teeth, pulling it out in one piece.
    6. You can also suck out the juices – a.k.a. the “crawfish butter” – from the crawfish head if you’d like (we definitely recommend giving it a try!).
    7. Discard the empty shells, then move on to the next bite.

You’ll want to have plenty of napkins on hand because eating crawfish is a messy business. (At Angry Crab Shack, we give you gloves and a bib to make clean up easy.)

Once you’ve eaten your fill, you can rub your hands with fresh lemon to get rid of the seafood smell.

Which Part of the Crawfish Are You Supposed to Eat?

You’ll find all of the flavorful, slightly sweet crawfish meat in the tail. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else should be tossed in the trash.

For the true crawfish enthusiast, the sweet, briny juice found in the head end of the crawfish is the highlight of the entire dish. Many people consider it a delicacy. Once you’ve pulled the head and tail apart, suck out the juice for a tasty treat.

Crawfish Dishes You Should Try

Crawfish is the star ingredient in various Cajun dishes and can easily be added to some of your favorite recipes for a Southern spin. Here are some of our favorite ways to eat crawfish:

    • Crawfish boil: Enjoying crawfish as part of a seafood boil is the ultimate Southern tradition. A seafood boil can feature many varieties of seafood and shellfish, all cooked together with a savory blend of sauce and spices. Here at Angry Crab Shack, guests love customizing their seafood boil – you can choose from a variety of shellfish options, different signature sauces, spice levels, and add-ons like sausage, veggies, and potatoes.
    • Gumbo: Gumbo is yet another Southern favorite packed with tons of flavor. It’s a hearty Creole stew that’s usually made with crawfish, shrimp, sausage, and rice.

How to Eat Crawfish at Your Next Seafood Boil

Every spring, crawfish season arrives in the South, and just about everyone prepares to host their own crawfish boil. And crawfish boils aren’t just a casual get-together; they’re an all-out celebration of Cajun tradition, history, and culture.

For some, simplicity is key when preparing for a crawfish boil: crawfish are cooked in boiling water with a mix of Cajun spices, then served in no-frills style.

Others plan something more elaborate, welcoming guests for a seafood boil that features varying combinations of crawfish, shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, potatoes, corn, and even Andouille sausage. Usually, the ingredients, spices, and side dishes depend on the specific region you’re dining in.

We gave you a step-by-step explanation for how to peel and eat crawfish, so you’re ready. Aside from mastering your technique, all you need to know is to come hungry, and you’ll leave happy.

Should You Cook at Home or Eat Out?

Learning how to cook crawfish can get a bit complicated, especially when shopping for the best fresh crawfish and locating authentic Cajun-style spices.

Whether you’re craving a classic crawfish boil or want to try a new crawfish recipe, your best bet is usually to leave the cooking to the professional – and all you have to do is eat and enjoy!

At Angry Crab Shack, you’ll get to experience the fun, welcoming atmosphere of a Southern seafood boil, where even strangers feel like friends. Our talented chefs will prepare your meal to perfection while you kick back, relax, and spend time with family or friends. And did we mention that we handle clean-up? Tidying up all those shells can be a tedious task, and it’s one you won’t have to worry about.

If you’d rather have crawfish in the comfort of your own home, Angry Crab Shack has your crawfish fix available to-go or you can have your meal delivered right to your door.

Experience Authentic, Southern-Style Crawfish at Angry Crab Shack

Angry Crab Shack isn’t just another seafood restaurant; we’re a community of food enthusiasts passionate about introducing people to the incredible flavors of Cajun cuisine. From the moment you walk in the door, you become a part of our extended family – so pull up a chair, relax, and get ready to dig into a delicious meal!

You’ll find various crawfish dishes on both our lunch and dinner menus, plus a ton of other dishes to try. And for anyone that’s not a big fan of seafood, we have many other options to choose from, including a kid-friendly menu.

Sure, you could just search online for “fresh crawfish near me,” – but why not go somewhere with a reputation for being one of the best seafood restaurants in the region? At Angry Crab Shack, we’ve spent years perfecting our dishes and serving generations of happy guests, so you can be confident that an incredible meal is waiting for you here.

Come to the Angry Crab Shack near you for lunch or dinner and discover all of our outstanding crawfish dishes today!

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Image Source: Kolidzei / Shutterstock

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