Freshly prepared crawfish are a traditional Southern meal. It’s a staple in my household where it’s as much a hearty meal as it is a way for friends and family to gather in one place.
Boiled crawfish, paired with baked or lightly fried potatoes and a juicy salad, is a real treat for the taste buds! This is why, when it comes to crawfish, leftovers are a rarity in my home.
However, on the off chance that I do have some crawfish leftovers, I make sure to refrigerate them right away to reheat later on. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a delicious meal of crawfish that’s been soaked in a blend of spices and cooked for hours to become succulent and full of flavor?
With that said, reheating crawfish does come with a few challenges, such as the crawfish becoming too dry to be palatable.
However, if you just know how to reheat it the right way, then you will end up with juicy and delectable reheated crawfish. The trick is to reheat it quickly so that it retains its moisture.
So, if you’re wondering how to reheat crawfish so that it tastes juicy and delicious, then read on to find out!
Can You Eat Leftover Crawfish?
Yes, you can absolutely eat leftover crawfish. With that said, leftover boiled crawfish is pretty perishable so make sure to refrigerate or freeze it as soon as you’re done eating or within two hours of cooking it.
Then, whenever you feel like eating it, you can reheat boiled crawfish to devour it. Just make sure that you don’t overcook the crawfish when reheating it as overcooking it can change the texture of the meat and make it hard to peel the crawfish.
How to Reheat Crawfish
There are three ways in which you can reheat leftover crawfish; you can reheat it by steaming, sautéing, or boiling it. Whichever method you choose depends entirely on your preference. So, let’s explore all three methods in detail:
Reheating via Steaming
The best way to reheat crawfish is to make sure that it’s full of moisture and to cook it quickly. Steaming the crawfish ensures that they’re full of flavor and have lots of moisture, which prevents them from becoming hard to chew and dry.
Here’s how you can reheat crawfish by steaming it:
- Use a large pot to cook the leftover crawfish.
- Coat the bottom of the pot with some leftover spices such as shellfish boil or crawfish crab. If you want, you can create a homemade blend of spices by using mustard seeds, pickling spices, black peppercorns, dried hot red pepper flakes, celery seeds, ground ginger, dried oregano, bay leaves, sea salt, and dried chives.
- Add a small amount of water into the pit and put a steamer basket on top of the pot. Make sure that the liquid is not touching the bottom of the steamer basket.
- Bring the mixture of spices and water to a boil.
- Put the crawfish in the basket and cover it with a lid.
- Steam the crawfish for about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Use a pair of tongs to take out one crawfish and check if it’s thoroughly cooked through. If it hasn’t heated through yet, resume steaming the crawfish and check one every 30 to 45 seconds to make sure that you don’t overcook it.
- Transfer the steamed crawfish on to a platter and enjoy!
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Reheating Via Sautéing
Another great method to reheat crawfish is to sauté them. Here’s how to reheat crawfish by sautéing them:
- Use olive oil to coat the bottom of a deep pan or skillet. Add some minced onion and garlic or a large spoonful of crab boil seasoning to the mix. This will retain the flavor of the reheated crawfish.
- Put the skillet over medium flame and heat the oil until there’s a clear shine across the surface.
- Put the crawfish into the skillet in a single layer and cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Make sure to use a pair of tongs to turn the crawfish several times as they reheat. This will coat the crawfish with the flavored oil, which will keep them moist and flavorful. It’ll also ensure even cooking.
- Cover the skillet with a lid and remove it from the flame.
- Let the crawfish rest in the hot skillet for about 3 to 5 minutes. This will ensure that the crawfish heats through without becoming dry.
- Use a pair of tongs to remove the crawfish from the skillet and serve them hot.
Pro Tip: When sautéing boiled crawfish, throw a splash of dry white wine into the mix to add some more flavor and moisture to the crawfish.
Reheating Via Boiling
If you’re on the lookout for a foolproof way to reheat that ensures the cooked crawfish remains juicy, then boiling them is the way to go. However, just make sure that you don’t boil them for too long as that will make them lose their flavor. Here’s how you can reheat crawfish by boiling them:
- Fill a large pot with water. If you have a leftover blend of spices such as old bay or shellfish boil, then add them to the water. This will add some flavor to the reheated fish.
- Bring the mixture of water and spices to a full boil.
- While the water is boiling, carefully lower the crawfish into it with a pair of tongs.
- Boil the crawfish for about 6 to 8 minutes. Pick out one crawfish and peel it to see if it’s thoroughly heated through. If it hasn’t, then put it back into the boiling water and check every 1 to 2 minutes to ensure that you don’t overcook them.
- Use a colander to drain the reheated crawfish, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of them, and serve them hot!
Pro Tip: You can serve the crawfish with a side of red potatoes and cut andouille sausage or boiled or grilled corn on the cob and a refreshing salad!
Make sure that you don’t use the microwave to reheat boiled crawfish. This is because the heat from the microwave will dry out the crawfish making it difficult to chew. Additionally, the smell from the reheated fish will stay in your microwave for a while, which isn’t something that you want!
How Long Do Crawfish Last in the Fridge?
Crawfish can easily last for up to 3 to 4 days within your fridge. Just make sure to refrigerate the, within 2 hours of cooking it. Also, when storing cooked crawfish, put them in airtight containers, and then refrigerate them.
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to reheat crawfish. Make sure to refrigerate cooked crawfish within 2 hours of cooking it and devour refrigerated crawfish within 3 to 4 days. Do try all of the reheating methods that I’ve mentioned above to see which one you like the best. All of the aforementioned ways of reheating – sautéing, boiling, and steaming – result in juicy and flavorful crawfish.