Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Learn how to make this spicy and delicious traditional Cajun dish from Louisiana!

Prep time: about 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

Resting time: about 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6 people

Gluten/Soy/Dairy Free

Pesco-vegetarian


Who doesn't like a good Cajun crawfish boil? It is an annual traditional event in Louisiana that brings family and friends alike together for a good "hands only" eating feast!


This authentic Cajun favorite is messy, spicy, and fun! Perfect for large gatherings or an outdoors family dinner!


So, forget the plates and utensils, get those hands ready, and experience one of the most beloved traditions of the Bayou State... Louisiana.


What ingredients will I need to make this dish?

Live or frozen crawfish, uncooked shrimp, Andouille sausage or smoked sausage,

corn on the cob, small red potatoes, red onions, halved, whole heads of garlic, bay leaves, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, black pepper corns, coriander seeds, ground allspice, Kosher or Sea Salt, water, lemons, and butter (optional).


What else will I need to make this?

A crawfish boil pot or a large stock pot, measuring cups and spoons, a spider strainer, a sharp knife, and a cutting board.


Can I make substitutions?

Yes. You can substitute the granulated garlic for garlic powder and the fresh oregano and thyme for 1.5 teaspoons of their dry/powder counterparts.

Also, you can substitute the Andouille sausage with any gluten free smoked sausage of your choice.


Can I make additions?

Yes. You can add crabs, crab legs, clams, or any other shellfish you like.


Where can I buy live crawfish?

You can buy live crawfish by the pound at your local fishmonger or order online by clicking here.

Where can I find frozen crawfish?

Typically you can find frozen crawfish in the refrigerated section at you local grocers.


What is a traditional boil?

Seafood boil is the generic term for any number of types of social events in which shellfish, whether saltwater or freshwater, is the central element.


Regional variations dictate the kinds of seafood, the accompaniments and side dishes, and the preparation techniques (boiling, steaming, baking, or raw). In some cases, a boil may be sponsored by a community organization as a fund-raiser or a mixer. In this way, seafood boils are like a fish fry, barbecue, or church potluck supper.


Boils are also held by individuals for their friends and family for a weekend get-together and on the holidays of Memorial Day and Independence Day. While boils and bakes are traditionally associated with coastal regions of the United States, there are exceptions.

Source: Wikipedia


What is Louisiana Crawfish Boil?

Shrimp, crab, and crawfish boils are a Louisiana Cajun tradition and can be found across Louisiana and can even now be found along the Gulf South. But it is the more popular crawfish boil that is most closely associated with Louisiana.


The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Louisiana has been named one of the top 10 food events by USA Today and is a showcase for Cajun music and culture. Major crawfish boils are held by churches and other organizations as fundraisers throughout the spring. Tulane University holds an annual "Crawfest" in April, and the University of New Orleans holds an annual crawfish boil for all students at the end of the spring semester (Students unwinding on Crawfish and Unprecedented Fun—SUCAUF). Smaller events can be found in backyards and parks throughout April, May, and June. Locals traditionally eat crawfish, as well as crabs, without tools such as shell crackers or picks.

Source: Wikipedia


How is a boil prepared?

A boil is usually done in a large pot (60 to 80 quarts) fitted with a strainer and heated by propane. However, some traditionalists see no need for a strainer and make use of a net or a wire mesh scoop.

Source: Wikipedia


How to serve when ready.

Serve outside—this is going to get messy. Cover a large table with newspapers and dump all the drained crawfish and veggies onto the newspapers; be sure guests have paper towels and handy buckets or trash cans to dispose of their shells.


The traditional way to enjoy a crawfish boil is to eat, take a break, and eat again, so be sure to have lots of drinks available (a cooler full of beer and a pitcher of sweet tea are good options). A few sides and desserts will be welcome as well.


What are the traditional seasoning used in a boil?

Seasonings include crab boil packets, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt, lemons, and bay leaf. Ears of corn, new potatoes, onions, and heads of garlic are usually included in shrimp and crawfish boils. Some people will add smoked sausage links or mushrooms.

Source: Wikipedia


To Purge or not to purge the crawfish?

When cooking crawfish there is a debate over whether or not the crawfish must first be purged by covering them with clear water and a generous amount of salt for a few minutes. Advocates argue that this forces the crawfish to rid their bodies of impurities. Others argue that it does not work and is an unnecessary step.

Source: Wikipedia


Boil Master

A "Boil Master" is in charge of making sure the ingredients go into the pot in the proper sequence and controls the timing of the steps.


There is no right or wrong when seasoning a crawfish boil and many experienced boilers simply go by feel although there are some guidelines to follow and a great deal of opinions on how a boiled crawfish should be seasoned.


Many recipes call for a short boil followed by a period of soaking with the heat turned off. The contents of the pot are removed, drained, and then dumped onto a newspaper covered table.


Sometimes, crawfish may be dumped into the traditional watercraft in which crawfishermen have historically used to traverse the bayous and swamps; a pirogue. Bottles of hot sauce, lemons and melted butter are usually available, along with cocktail sauce at a shrimp boil.

Source: Wikipedia


What are crawfish (crayfish)?

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters (to which they are related). In some parts of the United States, they are also known as crawfish, craydids, crawdaddies, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs, or yabbies.


Taxonomically, they are members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea. They breathe through feather-like gills. Some species are found in brooks and streams, where fresh water is running, while others thrive in swamps, ditches, and paddy fields. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species, such as Procambarus clarkii, are hardier. Crayfish feed on animals and plants, either living or decomposing, and detritus.

Source: Wikipedia




Ingredients

  • Up to 5 pounds of live or frozen crawfish

  • 2 pounds of uncooked shrimp

  • 3 pounds of Andouille sausage or smoked sausage, cut into 1" pieces

  • 15 pieces of corn on the cob

  • 5 pounds of small red potatoes

  • 2 large red onions, halved

  • 3 whole heads of garlic

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 3 tablespoons of paprika

  • 3 tablespoons of granulated garlic

  • 3 tablespoons of onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper

  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme

  • 1 small bunch of fresh oregano

  • 4 tablespoons of black pepper corns

  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds

  • 1.5 tablespoons of ground allspice

  • 2 pounds of Kosher or Sea Salt

  • water

  • 6 to 8 lemons, halved

  • Butter, optional



Method If using live crawfish


  1. Start by filling 1/3 of the boil pot or a large pot with water.

  2. Combine the paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, coriander seeds, ground all spice, and 1/4 cup of salt. Add the spices mixture to the water along with the potatoes, bay leaves, corn, garlic, onions, thyme, oregano, and black pepper corns. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft to the touch.

  3. While the potatoes cook, place the live crawfish into a large container filled with water and add the rest of the salt. Allow the crawfish to purge for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the crawfish into to large pot.

  4. Add the shrimp and the Andouille sausage. Cook until the crawfish turns bright red, which is about 5 minutes.

  5. Turn the heat off and let it sit for about 25 to 30 minutes. Doing this will ensure the maximum flavor development...and it will become spicier.

  6. Drain and serve with sides of melted butter and lemon halves.



Method If using frozen crawfish


  1. Start by filling 1/3 of the boil pot or a large pot with water.

  2. Combine the paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper, coriander seeds, ground all spice, and 1/4 cup of salt. Add the spices mixture to the water along with the potatoes, bay leaves, corn, garlic, onions, thyme, oregano, and black pepper corns. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft to the touch.

  3. Add the shrimp, Andouille sausage, and crawfish. Cook for about 5 minutes.

  4. Turn the heat off and let it sit for about 25 to 30 minutes. Doing this will ensure the maximum flavor development...and it will become spicier.

  5. Drain and serve with sides of melted butter and lemon halves.


Enjoy!!!


Printable recipe (pdf) below:

Louisiana Crawfish Boil
.pdf
Download PDF • 13.11MB

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