Cajun Crayfish Etouffee Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4


  • 5 pounds live crayfish
  • 2 cups freshly made fish stock
  • 4 tablespoons brown roux
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions, including 3-inches of the green tops
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 (1-pound) can tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-6 cups freshly cooked long-grain white rice
How to cook Cajun Crayfish Etouffee:
  • Soak the live crayfish in cold water for at least 10 minutes, then wash them thoroughly under cold running water. In a heavy 8 to 10-quart pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Using tongs, drop in the crayfish and boil them briskly, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the crayfish into a large colander and, when they are cool enough to handle, shell them one at a time in the following manner: With your hands, break off the ridged tail, snap it in half lengthwise and lift out the meat in one piece. If you like, you can snap off the large claws, break them with a nutcracker and pick out the bits of claw meat.
  • Some or all of the yellow fat or "butter" from the body of the crayfish may slide out when you break off the tail. If it does not, scoop the shell clean with the tip of one thumb and pick out the yellow fat. Reserve the crayfish meat and fat (there will be about 2 cups). Discard the shells, heads and intestinal manner.
  • Bring the fish stock to a boil in a small saucepan set over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep the stock hot.
  • In a heavy 5 to 6-quart casserole, warm the brown roux over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a spoon. Add the onions, scallions, celery and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Then, stirring constantly, pour in the hot fish stock in a slow, thin stream and cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens lightly.
  • Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, black pepper and salt, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, then stir in the crayfish meat and fat and heat them through.
  • Taste for seasoning and ladle the Crayfish Etouffee into a heated bowl. Mound the rice in a separate bowl and serve at once.


The literal meaning of etouffee is "smothered," and in the Cajun Crayfish Etouffee dish the crayfish tails are blanketed with a rich, thick sauce.


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

This recipe for Cajun Crayfish Etouffee serves/makes: 4

The Cajun Crayfish Etouffee 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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