Cajun Boiled Crayfish Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4 - 6


  • 20 pounds live crayfish
  • 6 to 8 quarts water
  • 2 lemons, cut in half crosswise
  • 4 medium-sized onions, with skins intact
  • 2 celery stalks, including the leaves, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 dried hot red chili (use caution)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
  • 1 cup Shellfish Boil (see the recipe below) or substitute 1 cup commercial mix
  • 2 tablespoons salt
How to cook Cajun Boiled Crayfish:
  • Combine the water, lemons, onions, celery, chili, garlic, shellfish boil and salt in a 10- to 12-quart enameled pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, soak the live crayfish in a sinkful of cold water for at least 10 minutes, then wash them thoroughly - a small batch at a time - in a colander set under cold running water.
  • With tongs, drop about 5 pounds of the live crayfish into the pot and boil briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the boiled crayfish to a heated platter, then drop about 5 more pounds of live crayfish into the stock remaining in the pot and boil them for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the entire procedure two more times and, when all of the crayfish have been boiled, serve them at once in their shells. Because they are so highly spiced, they are eaten without any accompaniment except cold beer.

Shellfish Boil Recipe

Shellfish Boil Ingredients:
    To make about 1 cup:
  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 4 dried hot red chilies, washed, stemmed, and coarsely crumbled (use caution)
  • 3 medium-sized bay leaves, finely crumbled
How to cook Shellfish Boil:
  • Mix the mustard, coriander, dill, allspice, cloves, chilies and bay leaves together in a jar.
  • Cover tightly and store the boil at room temperature.
Cajun Boiled Crayfish recipe


Crawfish, Crayfish or Crawdads are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related in same family.


Tip to remove crayfish: remove head and peel the shell off near head or top part ,then pull the meat out.(only tail part editable)

In Louisiana, crabs and shrimp are boiled and served in the same fashion as crayfish. Substitute 3 dozen live blue crabs or 4 pounds large shrimp in their shells for the crayfish, and boil them in one batch. Boil the crabs for 10 to 15 minutes, the shrimp 5 minutes.
In Louisiana, a "boil" is a mixture of dried spices used to flavor the stock in which crayfish, shrimp or blue crabs are boiled.

This recipe for Cajun Boiled Crayfish serves/makes: 4 - 6

The Cajun Boiled Crayfish recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Crayfish (more Crayfish recipes)
Preparation Method: Poached/Simmered (more Poached/Simmered recipes)
Cuisine: Cajun (more Cajun recipes)

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