Crawfish Etouffee Recipe


Recipe: Crawfish Etouffee 

Summary: Make crawfish etouffee! This rich, saucy meal is a New Orleans classic and a dish you’ll be jonesin’ for the next time you are down here!


  • 1/2 c oil or margarine
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 fat cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 c fairly rich shrimp broth
  • 1 T lemon
  • 1/2 c crawfish fat (substitute 3-4 T crawfish liquid or crawfish stock)*
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t salt (omit if using crawfish stock)
  • 1 T fresh parsley (1 t dried)
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb frozen crawfish, all liquid included
  • 2 large scallion tops, sliced
  • cooked converted rice


  1. Make a medium dark roux by whisking the flour into the oil over medium heat and cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the color of chocolate. Add the onion along with the celery and garlic, and sauté over medium low heat until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the shrimp stock, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and add lemon juice, crawfish fat/stock/liquid, and the spices. Simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Add the crawfish and any liquid, bring to a rapid simmer, reduce to a low simmer, add the scallions, and simmer just until the crawfish are tender, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
  4. To serve, mound some rice in a plate, and ladle some of the etouffee on top. This recipe makes about 4 servings.
  5.  While rice is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and sauté until soft and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook until the crawfish begin throwing off a little liquid, 10 to 12 minutes.

Note: Crawfish fat gives the dish its characteristic flavor. In New Orleans, it can be bought in the stores, but it’s tough to find elsewhere, so substitute. If you do find it, keep it refrigerated, as it is very perishable. By crawfish liquid, I mean any run off from frozen crawfish. Whenever you use crawfish for another reason (making Cajun popcorn, say), you should save any liquid from the inside of the package that remains after defrosting. This liquid is mainly water, but it will be orange in color from the crawfish fat and meat.

Number of servings (yield): 4

Recipe adapted and photo from

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