For this classic Louisiana bayou crawfish boil recipe, crawfish are poached in water with onion, lemon, bay leaf, and garlic.
Game plan: Unless you bought them prepurged, the crawfish will have to be soaked in an ice chest full of fresh water for about 10 minutes before cooking, to clean their exterior and cause them to spit up the swampy muck in their intestines.
For more New Orleans-style inspiration, check out our Mardi Gras recipes.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 25 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 2 quarts water
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 pounds fresh live crawfish
- Find out if your crawfish have been purged. If they haven’t, soak in fresh water for 10 minutes (some people say you need to salt—you don’t).
- While you’re waiting, place the water in a large Dutch oven and bring to the boil over medium heat.
- Place the onion, lemon, bay leaf, and garlic in a large piece of cheesecloth. Use kitchen twine to tie it up, teabag-style. Add to the boiling water along with the salt. Boil 5 minutes.
- Add the crawfish to the pot and boil 5 minutes longer, when all the shells should be bright red. Drain, discarding the cheesecloth bag. Serve immediately, plain or with dippin’ sauces like cocktail sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, or Tabasco.