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Crawfish Peeling Techniques
One of the foods most revered in Mississippi Delta-style cooking is the crawfish. Resembling a small lobster, these shellfish are predominant throughout the area. Crawfish (not mudbugs, or crawdads, thank you very much) are smaller and easier to handle. They don’t need fancy equipment to get that succulent meat out of the shell, but they do have a slight learning curve. Here are a few tips on how to quickly and easily peel a crawfish:
Separate the tail from the head. The head should snap right off with a quick twist. Opinions vary on whether you should suck the head once it’s off, but give it a shot at least once for some delicious, concentrated crawfish juices.
For the tail of the crawfish (where most of the meat is), peel off the first three segments of shell, which should dislodge easily with a few tugs.
Snap the tail by pressing the end upwards, against its natural curve, and twisting. This should also devein the tail, which some people like to do.
The first three steps should have dislodged almost all of the meat from the shell. Peel off any remaining outer shell and enjoy!
While you’re eating all your crawfish, here are a few tips to keep in mind. First of all, shelling and eating all that deliciousness can be pretty messy (there’s a reason people wear lobster bibs, after all). Don’t wear white to a crawfish boil! Also, the dish can be quite spicy and, since you’re eating with your hands, be careful not to touch your eyes until you’ve had a chance to wash your hands well. Follow these tips and you’ll be eating crawfish like a pro in no time!
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