Freshly boiled crawfish are a traditionally Southern treat -- most notably in Louisiana where a big ol’ crawfish boil is as much a social gathering as it is a meal. Leftovers are rarely an issue at most feasts, but if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some boiled crawfish, you want to take care when you reheat them. The key is moisture and fast cooking, because the last thing you want to do is dry those marvelous mud bugs out.
Things You'll Need
- Pot with lid
- Steamer basket
- Crab boil spices (optional)
- Skillet with lid
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic and onion (optional)
Sprinkle a thin layer of crab boil spices in the bottom of a large pot. This is not strictly necessary, but it will help keep the crawfish from losing flavor as they are reheated.
Place a steamer basket in the bottom of the pot. Fill the bottom of the pot with water, making sure the level does not rise high enough to touch the underside of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Place the crawfish into the steamer basket with tongs; be careful not to scald yourself in the rising steam. Cover the pot and steam the crawfish for four to six minutes.
Pluck one crawfish out of the steamer basket and check to see if it is hot throughout. Resume steaming if it's not, checking the crawfish every 45 seconds to a minute until they are heated through.
Coat the bottom of a deep skillet with olive oil. Add minced garlic and onion or a generous spoonful of crab boil seasoning to help the reheated crawfish retain as much flavor as possible.
Heat the oil over medium heat until you can smell the oil’s scent and there is a shimmer visible across the surface.
Add the crawfish in a single layer, and cook them for three to four minutes. Turn them several times as they cook, coating all sides with the flavored oil to keep them moist.
Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat. Let the crawfish sit in the hot skillet for three to five minutes to let them heat through without drying them out.
Fill a large pot about three-quarters of the way full. Toss in a generous handful or two of crab boil to help ensure that the crawfish don’t lose their flavor when you reboil them.
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Add the crawfish, being careful not to splash yourself with the boiling water. Lowering them in a fryer basket or perforated pasta insert works well, if you have one that fits your pot.
Boil the crawfish for six to eight minutes, and then pick one out with tongs to peel and test to see if it's heated though. Test them again every one to two minutes until they are hot throughout. Drain them in a colander, and serve them hot.
Tips & Warnings
- Add a splash of dry white wine to the skillet when sauteing boiled crawfish to add both moisture and flavor.
- Do not overcook crawfish when you're reheating them -- this can change the texture of the meat, as well as making them harder to peel.