To clean, spread crayfish out on the counter and remove any dead ones. Put the rest in a colander and spray with cold water to remove any sand or silt.
To remove the crayfish’s sand vein, boil briefly. When cool enough to handle, turn the crayfish stomach up, firmly grasp and twist the tail until it cracks, then gently pull out the vein.
To boil live crayfish, fill a large pan with water and flavorings (herbs, spices, and vegetables, such as carrot, onion, and celery), and bring to a rapid boil. A few at a time, plunge crayfish into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer until the tail meat is opaque, about six to seven minutes. Serve crayfish in their broth.
To eat crayfish, pinch the sides of the tail until you hear them crunch, pull away the shell, and pick out the meat. For small crayfish, twist off the head and suck the meat out of the shell.
The red swamp crayfish, from the Mississippi delta in Louisiana, is the largest native species. White river crayfish, from northern Louisiana, and Pacific crayfish from California and Oregon, are slightly smaller but have a similar taste. Soft-shell crayfish, taken during the molt, can be eaten shell and all, but don’t eat the two hard stones (gastroliths) hidden in the head. Wild or farm-raised crayfish are available live or frozen whole, or you can buy frozen shelled crayfish tail. Soft-shell crayfish are sometimes available.
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
Copyright © 2007 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.