September 1, 2021 by CC Staff

How to Buy, Prepare, and Eat Crawfish Like a Pro

Do you know what comes with every spring memory of southeastern Americans? Crawfish season! They are a local delicacy that’s a staple almost everywhere in springtime. 

Crawfish are also called mudbugs, crawdads, or crayfish, usually found in rivers, marshes, or crawfish farms. The most famous dishes include crawfish boils, gumbo, and etouffee. They taste slightly sweeter than shrimp or lobster and are much sought-after for their tail meat. 

If you are curious about trying out this classic American favorite from down south, check out this simple guide to buying, enjoying, and eating this delectable dish like a pro!

  • Buying Crawfish

You need to know where you can buy fresh, good crawfish. If you’re new in town, you can ask a local to point you in the right direction. Wild-caught varieties are typically bigger than farm-harvested ones. Get the ones that are still moving so you can be sure they are fresh. 

Even if you are buying crawfish from a different state, make sure you purchase those harvested from Louisiana, or if the label says “Cajun-certified.” 

The timing of when to buy is also essential. It is recommended that you buy early to mid-season so the shells are still tender and easier to peel. 

  • Preparing Crawfish

You need to rinse the crawfish with cool water as the first step to your food preparation. You need to make sure you have removed all grit or debris in its shell, as gritty crawfish is unappetizing.

Each person would typically consume about 3 pounds each, so make sure you have bought enough for all your guests. You may opt for farm-harvested varieties if you’re preparing food in big batches since they are readily available if you have to run back to the store and buy some more. 

You also need to use the proper cooking utensils. Use a gas burner, a large pot, and a large cooler for your boil party. You can use a 60-quart pot for cooking 30 pounds of crawfish. Try using a boil basket as well, so you can easily remove the crawfish when they’re done. More importantly, don’t forget your spices and side dishes!

  • Eating Crawfish

Before you begin, be prepared to eat by hand, which is the best way to enjoy crawfish. Food-grade gloves are typically available at restaurants, but if you are eating at a friend’s house, you may politely ask if they have those for you to use. 

You can start by removing the tail from its head. Do this by twisting and pulling the head and tail in opposite directions. Don’t shy away from sucking the crawfish head where all the flavor is. It will contain a yellow substance people call “crawfish butter,” similar to foie gras.

The next step is to peel the tail and remove the first couple of segments so you can easily extract the tail meat out. Squeeze the tail end and pull the flesh entirely. Cleanse the exposed vein in the back and enjoy!

Peeling crawfish for someone else is also an expression of love. Enjoying this fantastic seafood dish with a loved one, family, or even the neighborhood is part of the whole experience! 


Preparing delicious crawfish is an excellent option if you want to try a new seafood dish for your family or friends. Eating an entire crawfish may sound daunting, but it isn’t. It just takes a few seconds to savor the delicious piece of tail meat that so many have grown to love and enjoy. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to eat one entire mound in no time, with room to spare for second and third rounds!

At Crawfish Cafe, we offer you our well-known signature item in 9 various flavors you’ll surely love! A favorite in Houston, Texas since 2013, we’ve been voted the best crawfish in Houston, serving Viet-Cajun crawfish and seafood like littleneck clams, gulf blue crabs, black mussels, king crab legs, shrimp, and snow crab legs. Care for some crawfish? Visit us today or call for orders!

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