January 12, 2021 by CC Staff

Everything You Absolutely Need to Know About Crawfish

Ever walk into a seafood restaurant, check out the menu, and wonder what a crawfish is? No, they’re not lobsters, though they do look like much smaller versions of them. It’s actually a freshwater crustacean that also gets called crayfish. While it’s the state crustacean of Louisiana, that’s not the only place you can get them. They’re quite popular across all the southern states, usually cooked in spices similar to a crab boil and served with lemon and butter.

Sometimes caught in the wild, the majority of crawfish is generally farmed in ponds or rice fields. With very sweet, somewhat fatty meat, their flavor is comparable to lobster. The meat’s tenderness comes from their size; most of it can be found in the tail. However, there’s also a burst of flavor that can be found through sucking the fat from its head and body.

Maximum Freshness

To make sure you have the freshest meal, find places that sell live crawfish in Houston and buy from there. Make sure they’re moving around, very active, and either translucent blue-green or brown. You should keep your crawfish alive until the time comes for you to cook them for no more than 2 days. Your best bet is to keep them in cool storage, somewhere between 46 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Put them in a plastic bag and store that in an ice-filled cooler. Alternatively, you can place them in a container that’s open-covered with newspaper or paper towels that are damp, then store that in the refrigerator.

Long-Term Storage

Crawfish is actually easiest to purchase already frozen. Usually, these are already peeled and cooked, with tails taken off and frozen also. In this state, you can keep them for up to 3 months. These are good for when you intend to add crawfishes to dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, or soup. If you’re the one who’s peeling and cooking the crawfish for prolonged storage to use over time, be sure to use heavy-duty freezer bags. Don’t stuff the bags; the crawfish should only fill it up to about 3/4. In case you’re worried about freezer burn, using water to cover the meat is an option.

Final Cooked Product

Crawfish in Houston that’s cooked well must have their shells intact and give off a sea smell that’s pleasant! Color-wise, it should be a nice bright red. It doesn’t have to be hot, though, as it can actually be eaten chilled too. If it’s directly from a live state, be sure that it’s kept in the refrigerator within two hours from the time it’s cooked. The best way to store crawfish that’s freshly cooked is to use airtight, sealed containers in the refrigerator. That will keep for up to four days.


Crawfish is an absolutely delicious type of seafood that people of all ages can enjoy. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a type of lobster. Aside from being served as is with butter and lemon, it can also go in gumbo, pasta, stew, and even be used as a sandwich filling.

Looking for the best crawfish in Houston? Reach out to Crawfish Cafe! We serve the best crawfish in Houston with Viet-Cajun crawfish and seafood including shrimp, black mussels, king crab legs, and more!

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