Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Jacob Ung
Bring on the Crawfish
A must have experience in New Orleans, but you have to get dirty and work for it!
After a failed attempt to enjoy a crawfish po’boy, followed by a so-so experience with deep-fried crawfish, I was getting desperate to get a real crawfish fix. Sometimes the easiest preparation is the best, so I went on the hunt for boiled crawfish.
While walking through the French Market, an open market, I came across a food stall serving a one pound crawfish boil for $18. I was concerned about not being able to wash my hands properly at the market and being unsure of the value I kept walking. I wasn’t really hungry yet anyways.
Then I walked past a sandwich board that stated, “Special: Two Pound of Crawfish Boil for $18.” I looked into the wire-grated window and realized I was staring right into a huge rig made just for boiling seafood. Once I went into the restaurant, I could see many people devouring the special. After I ordered, I checked Urbanspoon to see what people thought of this place; it was rated only 60%, I certainly hoped they were wrong. But then again how badly can you screw up boiling seafood, I thought to myself.
When the dish arrived the plate was overflowing with bright red-orange crawfish. The smell was just like I imagined, an intoxicating fragrance of Old Bay like seasoning, bay leaf and brine. Eating a crawfish is fairly simple, simple grab the head with one hand and the tail with your other. Don’t just pull it apart; twist the tail 90 degrees to loosen the tail from the head, then pull. This allows for the flavourful part of the meat inside the head to come out with the tail. Next simply pinch the tail using your thumb at the bottom softer section of the tail just above the tail fans. If you do this correctly the tail will simply pop out. If you like you can suck out the flavourful juices inside the head, and if you are more adventurous, you can open it up and eat the delicious fat inside!
The crawfish was fresh and tasted amazing, sort of between a prawn and a lobster in flavour and texture. The balance of spices was perfect. If you like eating with your hands and don’t mind really getting into your food, then this is one experience you definitely must try. Other restaurants serve a crawfish boil too, but at the French Market Restaurant they have the art of boiling seafood pretty much down to a science.
Restaurant: French Market Restaurant
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana