Photo Essay: Backyard Crawfish Boil, New Orleans Style

Crawfish, Stage 1: Still living, but not for very long.

Despite the abundance of great restaurants in New Orleans, there’s nothing quite like a backyard crawfish boil to really capture the spirit of Cajun culture. I have a theory that the less silverware present at a meal, the more the conversation can flow freely. And really, what can’t you talk about when everyone is circled around a newspaper-covered table with crawfish juice running down to their elbows? I would have to say that the highlight of my visit to New Orleans last week was the crawfish boil I attended in the neighborhood of Bayou St. John, where 40 pounds of the Gulf’s finest mudbugs met their delicious end. The following snapshots highlight the preparation. The beer-fueled conversations that followed must remain strictly off-record.

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Crawfish, Stage 2: A quick rinse with the garden hose.

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Crawfish, Stage 3: Lowering the basket into the boil. We used the seasoning mix provided by Captain Sid’s Seafood in Metairie, with some slight modifications. Captain Sid’s recipe and method are posted at the bottom.

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Crawfish, Stage 4: Fully submerged in a nice, hot bath.

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Crawfish, Stage 5: After boiling the crawfish for a few minutes, the liquid is chilled with ice to prevent over-cooking.

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Crawfish, Stage 6: After about 30 minutes of marinating in the warm liquid, the crawfish emerge red, dead, and delicious.

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Crawfish, Stage 7: Eat until they’re gone. Aside from huge tails, these giant mudbugs even provided decent amounts of claw meat. Amazing.

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The standard recipe according to Captain Sid’s Seafood. We didn’t use celery, but instead substituted onions.

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3 comments to Photo Essay: Backyard Crawfish Boil, New Orleans Style

  • Jobu

    Heaven, I’m in heaven….

  • Nick kubisch

    I miss those days….Saturday afternoon, 25 friends, ice chests full of beer, 150 pounds of crawfish, and the LSU football game in the background. Everybody telling stories and jokes. There is nothing like it. A crawfish boil will be my last meal. I’m thinking about even having one at my wedding

  • The Accidental Wino

    Gigante, I one day hope to be at boil where you’re in attendance. We could do some serious damage for sure!

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