Crawfish are famous for their tasty meat, which people describe as a mixture of crab and shrimp. Although often compared to shrimp or crab, crawfish are close relatives of lobsters, which means the crawfish tail has the most meat and is the only portion usually served in restaurants. However, if you’re planning on cooking crawfish for dinner or a party, you should know how much you should prepare for each guest.
You should serve each guest three pounds of crawfish, equivalent to half a pound of crawfish meat. However, note that this is an estimation; some people don’t eat crawfish, while others eat more than the estimated amount.
Read on to learn everything about serving crawfish, including how much meat is in them, what seasonings to use, what to serve with crawfish, how much you should consume, if they’re healthy, and other related questions regarding the topic.
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What is Crawfish?
Crawfish are small freshwater crustaceans, 4 to 7 inches in size. Crawfish belong to the families Astacidae, Parastacidae, and Austroastracidae and are close relatives of lobsters and taste like a mixture of crab and shrimp.
Crawfish have several other names, including crayfish, crawdads, craydids, freshwater lobsters, rock lobsters, mudbugs, mountain lobsters, baybugs, or yabbies. While the crawfish tail holds the most crayfish meat, you can also eat the claw meat of larger crawfish, especially in the crawfish boil.
There are more than 500 kinds of crayfish in the world, but 85% of the crayfish in the United States come from crayfish ponds in Louisiana, like the ones owned by the Louisiana Crawfish Company. Companies like the Louisiana Crawfish Co. produce up to 120 million pounds of crawfish annually.
How Much Crawfish Per Person?
Prepare approximately three pounds per person. This estimation is based on the calculation that three pounds of live crawfish, including crawfish head, yields half a pound of tail meat, which is about the standard amount of crawfish a person eats.
How Much Meat is in Crawfish?
On average, a crawfish yields only 15% of its meat, mostly from peeled crawfish tails. With this estimation, you can expect 10 pounds of crayfish to produce about 1.5 pounds of crawfish meat. But as mentioned, larger crawfish contain more meat in their claws, which you can serve in boiled crawfish or any crawfish boil recipe.
How Many Crawfish Does A Person Consume?
On average, people consume three pounds of cooked crayfish, including the crawfish head, but this number rounds up to only one-half pound of peeled tails. However, you should increase this estimation if you have guests who love seafood. As a rule of thumb, double the number of crawfish for people who you know love seafood!
What Seasoning To Use for Crawfish?
When cooking crawfish boil, you can use crawfish seasoning, Cajun crawfish seasoning, or seafood boil seasoning. Crawfish seasoning often has mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, dill seeds, allspice, bell pepper, coriander seeds, garlic, oregano, onion, thyme, salt, and other flavor enhancers.
Aside from the seasoning mix, you should add water, lemon juice, and more salt as needed when boiling crawfish. The lemon juice counteracts the fishy taste to give a balanced flavor profile.
What To Serve With Crawfish?
To make the fresh crawfish taste better, you should serve it with boiled vegetables, cornbread, biscuits, and salad. Potato dishes, like baked potatoes, potato salad, and mashed potatoes, also make excellent crawfish side dishes.
You can also boil crawfish with smoked sausage and vegetables that go well with the frozen crawfish boil, including cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, celery, and whole onions. Add crawfish boil seasoning, lemon juice, bell pepper, herbs, and spices to enhance flavor, and bring to a rolling boil before serving.
It’s also common to serve crawfish with crab boil and shrimp boil.
How Much Do Crawfish Weigh?
Regular-sized adult crawfish typically weigh 20 to 30 grams. However, larger crawfish from Australia weigh 4 to 6 pounds, while the Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish, the largest crayfish, could weigh up to 11 pounds.
Is Crawfish Healthy?
Crawfish is a rich source of protein, with 14.3 grams per 3-ounce serving, making it healthy when consumed in moderate amounts. But it also has a lot of cholesterol, even though it has B vitamins, iron, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.
How Much is Too Much Crawfish?
Due to its high cholesterol content, you should consume only 250 grams or ½ pound of cooked crawfish tail meat, equivalent to three pounds of whole crawfish. The allowed daily cholesterol intake is 300 milligrams, and ½ pound of boiled crawfish tail meat contains around 330 milligrams.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can form fatty deposits in your blood vessels if you have high cholesterol. Over time, these deposits thicken and restrict the amount of blood that can pass through your arteries. These deposits can come apart without warning and form a clot, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
That's around 10 to 12 people. Each person typically consumes around three pounds of whole boiled crawfish or half a pound of cooked crawfish tail meat. However, some people may eat less, and some may eat more, so this is just a mere estimation.
You need at least 25 pounds of crawfish to feed eight people. However, you should buy extra live crawfish just in case some guests eat more than three pounds.
A standard crawfish serving is three ounces, or around 85 grams of peeled crawfish tails.
A person typically consumes around one-half pound of peeled tails of crawfish.
You can refrigerate or freeze leftover crawfish and thaw frozen crayfish to add flavor to pasta and pies, make Cajun crawfish bread, or use it to make the next batch of crawfish boil.