How To Eat Crawfish? (The Proper Way Explained)

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how do you eat crawfish

Most people who are fond of eating seafood have thought about trying or want to try crawfish. But, the problem is that they don’t know how to eat crawfish.

But, let me tell you that the best way to eat it is by using your hands. It will get a little messier, but eating a crawfish with your fingers will make it so much fun!

Since crawfish, crayfish, and mudbugs are not really fish but crustaceans that live in freshwater, they don’t taste anything like fish meat.

For example, the taste of crawfish is somewhere between lobster and shrimp, but they have a slight sweetness in their meat. Apart from this, the meat of their tail is highly prized.  

Crawfish looks like mini lobsters, and the best way to cook them is by simply boiling them and eating them as it is by removing their shell. But, you can also make some delicious dishes out of it like etouffee or gumbo. But I still recommend eating them boiled.


How To Eat Crawfish: A Step-By-Step Guide


Now that we have told you about crawfish, it is time to move on to the next important thing, which is the question about how do you eat crawfish?

Well, as I told you before, eating crawfish is super easy if you learn the trick to eating it. So, let me tell you about how do you eat crawfish in a step-by-step guide.

A lot of crawfish in pan

Before I tell you how to eat them, you need to wash and boil your crawfish with just a little bit of salt, and once they cool down, you need to follow the following steps:

#1- Hold it Properly

One of the most important things is to hold your boiled crawfish properly. This means you must handle the crustaceans in your hand without gently squishing them. Instead, hold it, so the tail joints are between your thumb and index finger. 

#2-Separating Crawfish’s Head From Its Tail

Hold the head of your crawfish firmly, and then use your other hand to hold its tail. Next, twist the head and tail in opposite directions and pull them while twisting to separate the head and tail.

#3- Suck The Head Of The Crawfish

This step is optional, but I do recommend that you try sucking the crawfish’s head if you really want to enjoy this delicacy. This is because the head of the crawfish is where all the flavor and juices are.

It is yellowish in color and is also known as ‘crawfish butter .’The heat of crawfish tastes somewhat like foie gras. Foie Gras is a delicacy of France made with the liver of Duck or Geese.

#4- Peel Its Tail

Now it is your crawfish’s tail’s turn. You need to peel the first couple of shells on the tail. This will help you in reaching the meat inside the tail easily. You can try to suck the creamy meat, but it will be easier just to peel off the shell.

#5- Pull Out the Meat

Finally, you should gently pinch the end of the tail with your right hand and use your left hand to pull out the meat which has popped out because of pinching.

Once the meat is out, remove any visible veins and then you can enjoy it as it is or make any crawfish dish out of it.

This is how you peel and eat crawfish. Now that you know how to eat crawfish step by step, let’s move on to other aspects about how to eat cooked crawfish without making a fool of yourself in front of others… just kidding.

You won’t make a fool out of yourself after you are done reading our blog.

More guides:


Is Eating Crawfish Heads Safe?


If you are new to this game of eating crawfish, you might be skeptical about eating their tiny heads, which is normal because we don’t usually eat the heads of our seafood.

But, you should know that the head of the crawfish is completely edible and safe to eat. In fact, it is one of the most delicious parts of them. 

image of some crawfish on platter

Some restaurants and people consider the yellowish meat and marrow in the head a delicacy because of their creamy and slightly sweet taste. Undoubtedly, the head is the best part of eating crawfish. 

If the taste of its head overwhelms you, then you can always skip it. But don’t skip it because you think eating is harmful.


Which Part Of The Crawfish Is Edible?


The meaty areas of the crawfish are edible, and the outer shell part is inedible. Most of the meat in crawfish is located in its tail and its claws (if they are big enough to have meat inside, otherwise they are also inedible).

But, this doesn’t mean that the head is useless and you should throw it away; no, you should suck the head to enjoy the fish’s juices and taste.  Apart from this, a crawfish’s antlers, shell, and veins are inedible. 

Now that you know how to eat the whole crawfish and which parts to throw away, let’s move on with our guide.


Can I Eat The Yellow Stuff In The Crawfish’s Head?


As we discussed before, you can eat the yellow stuff in the crawfish’s head without the fear that this stuff might be toxic. You might be wondering how to eat crawfish heads, which is super easy.

The head’s shell is not edible, but the yellow is one of the best areas of crawfish. All you have to do is twist and separate your crustaceans’ head and tail, and then you can suck the yellow marrow out of the head. 

yellow stuff in crawfish head

The yellowish part is a little sweet and briny in taste, which is why most people can’t get enough of it. Some say that it is the brain of the crawfish, but that is not true since crawfish don’t have brains.

All they have are hepatopancreas; you can consider the yellow part as the crawfish’s liver, which is why it is not harmful to eat.


Is There Poop in Crawfish?


Yes and no, crawfish have a digestive tract that contains grit. We can’t really call it poop. However, If you think the yellow part in crawfish is its poop, then you are wrong.

Because it is hepatopancreas which is like the liver of the fish. The yellow part is trans-fat and low in fat. However, the area that contains the digestive tract is the tail.

Once you have learned how to eat crawfish boil, all you will have to do is to remove that tract from the tail and discard it.


What Does Crawfish Taste Like?


Crawfish, also known as crawdad and crayfish, are a delicious part of the seafood category. Now that we have covered topics like how you eat crawdads and how you eat boiled crawfish, it is time for me to tell you how they taste.

a close up picture of crawfish

The taste of the crawfish is something that can’t be described to a person who hasn’t yet tried them because no other food in the world tastes like crawfish (except maybe they taste a bit like lobsters and crab).

Since crawfish are crustaceans living in the fish category, they taste nothing like fish or lobster. The best way to describe crawfish taste is that they are a bit sweet with a firm texture that melts in the mouth like butter. It’s a true delicacy which you can only explain after eating it.


Final Verdict:

If you haven’t ever tried eating crawfish or are a fan of seafood, you are missing out on one of the best delicacies out there.

You should be brave enough to try new things because new things always pay off. Since they are very interesting and delicious to eat, they are always fun at your dinner table. 

Eating them is pretty easy if you understand how to do it once. Now, you can boil and eat crawfish at home, make any dish out of them or eat them at a restaurant with your friends or family! Because eating crawfish with the company is always fun.

(Pro tip: you can also de-shell someone’s crawfish for them as an act of love). 

Hopefully, by now, our guide must have informed you all you wanted to know about crawfish, especially how to eat crawfish fast.

However, if you are still confused, you can visit YouTube and search for the ‘how to eat crawfish’ video.’ The visual presentation might help you understand how to eat them easily. 


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What is the proper way to eat crawfish?

There is no one way to eat crawfish properly. You can boil it to eat as it is or make a fish out of it. The way you eat it depends on your liking. 

But, the most preferred way of eating crawfish in the world is to boil it with salt after washing it and then separate its head and tail by twisting them in the opposite direction. Once the head and tail are separate, you can suck the yellow marrow out of its head.

You might wonder how to eat crawfish tails. You simply pinch the meat out of its tail, remove the digestive tract and eat it.

#2 – Is the yellow stuff in crawfish poop?

No, there is no ‘poop’ in crawfish; there is only a digestive tract near the tail, which is like a vein and can be removed easily.

But, the yellow part of the crawfish is not poop. Instead, it is an organ, like the liver of crawfish, called the hepatopancreas. This organ is present in the head of the crawfish and is safe to eat. In fact, it is super delicious!

#3 – Do you eat crawfish shells?

No, the shell of crawfish is like the scales on the fish. It is inedible. You can eat all the meat present in the crawfish, but you should avoid eating its tail (from outside), shell, eyes, and antennae.

You should also ensure that they move a bit when you buy the crawfish. Finally, you should check the meat if any crawfish die before you boil them. Mushy meat is a no-go area. Avoid boiling dead and patchy crawfish.

#4 – Does crawfish taste like lobster?

Crawfish fall somewhere between lobster, shrimp, and crab. They have firm meat but don’t taste anything like any sea creature.

They have a slightly sweet and creamy taste to their meat which is nothing like any fish or crustacean. You can somewhat compare the taste of crawfish to lobster; that, too, is not 100% accurate.

#5 – Can you get sick from eating crawfish?

If you are careless about what you eat, then yes, you can get sick from anything! If we specifically talk about getting sick from crawfish, there is a parasitic disease called Paragonimiasis (also known as lung flukes). It is caused by eating undercooked or raw crawfish.

The parasites living in freshwater crustaceans can cause this parasite to harm your body. You can also get shellfish poisoning if you eat spoiled or bad crawfish. 

That is why you should always properly examine and boil your crawfish (for at least 15 minutes) before eating. 

#6 – Do crawfish feel pain when boiled?

Yes, they do feel pain if you boil them alive. Since crawfish belong to the crustaceans family and are living beings, they do feel pain.

In nature, it was observed by many scientists that they respond to change in environments which tells us that they respond to change and stress and also learn from painful experiences. That is why you should never boil them alive. 

#7 – What’s the difference between a crawfish and a crawdad?

None! There is no difference between a crawfish and a crawdad because they are the same species with different names.

They have different names depending on location. Louisianans call it crawfish but the people of Oklahoma and Arkansas call them crawdads.

So don’t get confused when you ask for crawfish and get crawdads or crayfish because they are all the same.