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What Does Crawfish Taste Like? (Does It Taste Like Lobster?)

For some, it may be an acquired taste, but seafood is immensely popular across the United States.

What Does Crawfish Taste Like

There’s so much seafood out there to try, with so many varying flavors, textures, and styles. It’s truly a culinary world of its own.

Amongst some of the most popular seafood products are shellfish. Lobsters, crabs, and even crawfish regularly find themselves on platters, in stews, and in gumbos in restaurants across the world. 

But some people actually have very little experience with seafood and may have only tried lobster, at most.

For such people, the major factor holding them back is the potential taste. They want to know how a seafood product will taste before they decide to try it.

One particular seafood that people frequently look for guidance on is crawfish. Many are unsure how it tastes, and wonder whether it tastes similar to its brethren, the lobster. 

If you’re in a similar situation and want to check out what all the fuss is when it comes to crawfish, then you’ve come to the right place.

Prepare to find out what you can expect when you try crawfish for yourself.

What Does Crawfish Taste Like? 

The most common descriptor that people have for crawfish, and one that we can back up, is that it tastes slightly sweet.

The meat is firm and has a pleasant taste as it moves across your palette.

There is still a distinct meaty taste that many love from shellfish, but it definitely does have a sweet note that sets it apart. 

Crawfish, in fact, actually has a slightly stronger sense of taste than its closest counterparts, and even tastes slightly meatier.

It’s not easy to determine why it has such a strong taste, but perhaps it could be due to the fact that crawfish is a lot smaller than lobster, so the flavor is condensed into a smaller package.

What Texture Does Crawfish Have?

Crawfish has a very soft and tender texture, with very little toughness in the meat.

This makes it very pleasant to eat, and great for first-timers, as there are no strange textures that could otherwise put off someone trying it for the first time.

Does Crawfish Taste Like Lobster

Although crawfish is soft and tender, there is still a firmness to it that makes it pleasant to chew on, as each bite releases another burst of meaty flavors

How Does Crawfish Look?

Crawfish is a miniature version of lobster as they are closely related. The crawfish measures three to six inches long.

Their body is covered with an exoskeleton which helps and supports their body to work correctly. With ten legs and large claws, they look precisely like lobsters.

The joined head and a midsection body come in brown, red, and yellow colors.

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Types Of Crawfish

There are 500 species available in the world of crawfish, and most of them, around 400, are available in America. Majorly they are found in Louisiana.

White river crawfish and red swamp crawfish are two common species that are the most popular. However, apart from these two species, a few others are also popular, as given below:

Signal Crawfish

The signal crawfish are found mainly in Washington and are identified from their brown and blue-tinged colors.

Northern Crawfish

Northern crawfish come in medium to large sizes. Their flat tuberculate and claw make them easily distinguishable from red swamp crawfish. In addition, they come in different browns, from olive brown to dark brown.

Rusty Crawfish

The rusty crawfish were found in Oregon in 2009 and yet in other oceans. These crawfish are rust-tinted near their abdomen and joints.

Devil Crawfish

Also known as thunder crawfish, Devil crawfish are found in low wet areas with clay soil. Devil crawfish are believed to leave when they see a mate. Reddish highlights are on this species’ head, typically found in the Mississippi River.

How To Clean Crawfish?

Before cooking Crawfish, it is imperative to clean them properly since they live in a muddy and sandy environment. To clean them, follow these steps:

  • A big container or a tub will be ideal for your crawfish sack.
  • Remove the mud and dirt from the Crawfish by stirring them in the water. The water should become dirty after 3-5 minutes.
  • Dead Crawfish will float in the water. Once they die, the bacteria in Crawfish increases rapidly. So, discard them as soon as possible.
  • Replace the water in the container with clean water.
  • To ensure that the salt distributes appropriately in the container, stir it with a spoon. Repeat the process for five to ten minutes until the water is clean.


  • Crawfish should not be left in salty water for more than 10 minutes, and Crawfish may die of it. 
  • You can skip the salt and do the cleaning process with just water instead.

Can You Eat Crawfish Raw?

There are various seafood options that one can choose to eat raw, but unfortunately, Crawfish is not one of them.

Crawfish contains parasites that may result in various health conditions related to stomach, brain, heart, or temporary blindness.

A parasite from raw Crawfish causes Paragonimiasis, named by Washington University’s doctors. 

Do Crawfish Have Worms?

Crawfish contains worms that may indulge in your insides if you eat Crawfish raw and can make you a victim of a severe illness named Paragonimus.

These worms become the source of various health conditions related to the heart, brain, and stomach, making you temporarily blind.

There have been several incidents in Missouri where people have been infected with these worms. Sometimes, these worms end up in different body parts after getting lost within the human body. 

What Is The Best Way To Cook Crawfish?

Boiling crawfish is the easiest and most popular method worldwide, especially in the USA.

You may add potatoes, carrots, or some seasoning per your taste preference, resulting in a short stew recipe.

Pan fry and deep fry are a few options but are not as popular as boiling.

Are Crawfish Poisonous To Eat?

Crawfish is a popular seafood, but it comes with its dangers.

Yes, overconsumption of Crawfish may lead to a poisonous nervous system and kidneys.

The Crawfish contains low mercury compared to other kinds of seafood, but excessive consumption of this may result in severe hazardous diseases.

Dangers Of Eating Crawfish

According to a study, 80K people fall ill, and a hundred die in a year because of the shell poisoning available in sea creatures.

Crawfish contains bacteria leading to many diseases such as cough, fever, chest pain, weight loss, etc.

Shellfish have a bacteria called vibrio, resulting in food poisoning. One can get infected by this bacteria if one eats it raw or undercooked.

The bacteria in the crawfish can lead up to Paragonimus, which affects the skin, lungs, and brain.

How Can I Store Crawfish?

To make the freshest meal, buying live crawfish is a must. Although if you want to cook immediately, that will be great; you must keep the crawfish alive until you cook.

One can easily keep them alive by placing them in a bag and excellent storage, keeping the temperature at 46 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to keep your crawfish fresh for up to 3-4 months, then you may peel them first and store them in an airtight container filling it to ¾.

You may also use water to cover the meat, preventing freezer burn.

Can We Freeze Cooked Crawfish?

We can refrigerate cooked crawfish that will last up to 4 days, keeping the authentic taste and flavor intact.

  • Once the crawfish are cooked, wait for them to cool down to room temperature. 
  • Cooked crawfish are best refrigerated within two hours after cooking.
  • Transfer the cooked crawfish into an airtight container and seal it tight.
  • Please place it in the refrigerator in the coolest area and have your crawfish whenever possible.
  • You may have them chilled too.

How To Tell If Crawfish Is Bad?

Examining food before eating is always a wise decision, no matter what it is. For example, if you have crawfish, then make sure to check its tails to get to know if it is good or not.

The fresh and good crawfish will lump good quality meat that will be succulent and looks good with the juicy flavor intact like the fresh crawfish.

If your crawfish has changed the color from real to off, it’s a big no to eat it. 

The fresh meat never tore off quickly, but if it did. It means the crawfish is not suitable for you if it does.

If the scent of the crawfish has turned mushy and has an indifferent look, you should avoid eating it.

Does Crawfish Taste Like Lobster?

Crawfish and lobsters look strikingly similar! If you were to put them side by side, to a layman, the crawfish would just look like a baby lobster, thanks to the crawfish’s smaller size.

The similarities in appearance aren’t all that the two share either. The two seafood products also have very similar tastes when eaten.

Both are truly delectable and delicious and have that distinctive salty taste that is characteristic of seafood. 

However, the two creatures do differ slightly in terms of how they are prepared. Usually, lobsters are cooked by dipping their tails in boiling water, with the rest of the body left mostly intact.

The tail is where most of the delicious meat is. Crawfish, on the other hand, due to their smaller size, have their whole bodies boiled in their entirety.

Crawfish also is slightly less salty than lobster and has a more distinct sweet taste profile that you would definitely notice should you taste both.

How Do You Best Eat Crawfish?

If you finally decide to give crawfish a go, you should make sure to taste every inch. The flesh of the crawfish is tasty and can be found in just about every part of the crawfish body.

Check the claws, the legs, and even the heads for leftover meat that might otherwise get thrown away. 

Consensus differs slightly on whether each part of the crawfish has a different taste, but regardless there’s plenty of meat to be found, so be sure to explore. 

There is a very simple method to quickly access the best parts of the crawfish.

How Do You Best Eat Crawfish

Simply hold it in your hand, and then in a twisting motion, twist away the head from the body.

You should notice that it snaps away. Within the head is plenty of tasty meat, so make sure to pull that out.

From there, take the body of the crawfish, and peel away the shell slowly, and pull the tasty flesh out.

This should cause the shell to fall away in one piece, which saves you biting down onto hard pieces of shell, and saves you a lot of cleaning up after your meal!

Crawfish Nutrition Table: Serving Size 85 GM

Nutrient Crawfish
Calories 70
Total Fat 1g (1%)
Cholesterol 113.1mg (38%)
Sodium 79.9mg (3%)
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 14.3 mg (29%)
Vitamin C 0.8mg (1%)
Vitamin D 0 mcg
Iron 0.7mg (4%)
Calcium 51mg (4%)
Potassium 251.6mg (5%)
Phosphorus  229.5mg (18%)

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Quick Table: Delicious Crawfish Recipes

Recipes Calories Per Serving Total Preparation Time
Fried Crawfish Etouffee Balls 194 1 Hour
Craw-Dogs 107 45 Minutes
Crawfish Flatbread 406 40 Minutes

1. Fried Crawfish Etouffee Balls

Suppose you make an appetizer or snacks to please your family and friends with smoky and creamy dipping. 

The crawfish balls recipe is one of the best recipes to use and make something delicious out of leftover foods.

With the creamy filling, onion, green, black pepper, chopped celery, and crawfish tail, the meat will taste amazing with your favorite herbs. The crunchy and crispy layer from outside with ranch dressing mixture will work best.

Although the dish has its lovers, you can customize it according to one’s preference of veg or non-veg. 

The taste of these balls enhances with different dipping or the sauce per your choice. These dishes will work great as appetizers at parties as well.

Calories: 194 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

2. Craw-Dogs

A hot dog is one of the kids’ favorite recipes, bringing back childhood memories. 

If you also have children at your home, you will love to serve them the recipe for craw dogs. You may add étouffée and leftovers to griddle dogs.

Crushed tomatoes and lemons will give the recipe a tangy flavor, filling onions, garlic, crawfish, etc. 

You may garnish the craw dogs with the green onion and chopped tomato, or try other garnishing options as per your choice.

You may try adding the veggies of your choice to make it a bit healthy if you are serving to children.

Calories: 107 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

3. Crawfish Flatbread

Are you a seafood lover and want to try something different? Then here is a perfect recipe for you to try at your next get-together or a family dinner. 

Grated parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese will make the crawfish flatbread creamy with a crispy taste. 

The crawfish flatbread with the topping of crawfish, pepper, onion, and shrimp will give you an irresistible taste that you will get after baking it. 

The garlic and melted butter aroma will enhance its flavor, and the green onion topping will do wonders.

Serving this appetizer at a party or snack on game day will eliminate the need to dip chips in dip all the time! 

The crawfish flatbread looks like a pizza, and they will be loved by everyone from children to adults.

Calories: 406 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

To Conclude

Crawfish is truly one of the best-tasting foods from our vast oceans. However, they can be somewhat of an acquired taste.

If you have ever tried lobster before, and have enjoyed it, then you will likely have no problem whatsoever with crawfish.

If not, and crawfish is your first fish of its kind, then we recommend trying it with a friend, so that they can teach you the best way to savor it properly!

Crawfish and lobsters are very similar but do have a number of inherent differences that help to make them taste unique.

You would definitely notice these differences after giving them both a taste. Crawfish is distinctly sweeter, but also meatier, despite actually having less meat under its shell!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Tastes Better Shrimp Or Crawfish?

It would be very unfair of us to imply that one tastes better than the other. The choice of which one is ‘better’ comes entirely down to personal choice.

Crawfish have a slightly more subtle taste, but larger size, while shrimp are smaller but are slightly more intense. Which of these you prefer will determine which you consider best.

Are Crawfish Baby Lobsters? 

Despite their similar appearances and the adorable size of a crawfish, crawfish are in fact not baby lobsters, and are a distinct category unto themselves! 

Can I Get Sick Eating Crawfish? 

You are extremely unlikely to get sick from eating crayfish.

However, if you were to undercook it before consuming it, then you may run the risk of becoming ill. If crawfish is undercooked, it may harbor parasites and bacteria that could make you ill.

What Does Crawfish Taste Like (Does It Taste Like Lobster)

From etouffee to jambalaya, we have all the recipes you need to make your crawfish boil a success.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

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