You don’t have to be from Louisiana to appreciate crawfish — those small and delicious, lobster-like crustaceans. Below I’ll share with you my tried and tested tips on how to reheat cooked crawfish properly.
Crawfish are usually boiled in a giant pot of heavily spiced water with chunks of sausage, corn on the cob and whole red potatoes. It doesn’t get much better than sitting at a newspaper-covered table with your friends and digging in to a plate of piping-hot crawfish.
Given that they’re generally boiled in quantities large enough to feed a crowd, it’s not uncommon to find yourself with leftover crawfish. If you’re lucky enough to be in that situation, then the question you must ponder is how to reheat cooked crawfish. The answer depends on what you want to do with them.
Make Crawfish the Star of a New Dish
Crawfish étouffée, crawfish pie, crawfish pizza — the list goes on and on of what you can make.
When crawfish is an ingredient in a recipe, peel them while cold and put the meat aside. Your crawfish will be reheated by whatever cooking method the recipe calls for. Regardless, the key is to not overcook them.
If you are making crawfish pizza, for example, assemble the whole pizza and bake it. While it’s in the oven, gently reheat your crawfish meat in a sauté pan with a little olive oil or butter.
You could even add a few pinches of Cajun seasoning, hot sauce or white wine. Cook just until hot. When the pizza is ready, sprinkle the hot crawfish over top of it for a delicious, Cajun twist on the Italian favorite.
How to Reheat Cooked Crawfish in the Shell
If your goal is to recreate the deliciousness you enjoyed at your crawfish boil, then leave your crawfish in their shell when reheating them. There are several different methods.
Don’t use the microwave!
This will lead to gummy and overcooked crawfish that are difficult to peel.
Reboil the crawfish
On the stovetop, fill a large pot two-thirds of the way full with water. Turn the heat to medium.
If you would like, add a little additional seasoning or a few lemon slices to perk up the flavor. When you have achieved a rolling boil, add the crawfish to the pot. Do not leave them in too long!
Depending on the size of the crawfish, they will be reheated in five to eight minutes. Remove them with a mesh strainer or tongs.
Steam the crawfish
Reheating crawfish in a steamer basket over simmering water takes little longer than boiling them but is the most successful method for avoiding rubbery crawfish. Put a pot on the stove and add two inches of water.
As with the reboiling method, you could add seasonings or lemon to the water. The steaming method, however, won’t flavor your crawfish as strongly as reboiling them would. Turn the heat to medium-low.
When the water begins to boil, turn it down to a simmer. Put your crawfish in a steam basket and lower them in the pot. Cover the pot and let them steam for five minutes. When ready, remove them with tongs.