How to Peel and Eat Louisiana Crawfish

It’s Crawfish season in Louisiana 

Here at Deanie’s Seafood, we’ve been eating Cajun crawfish for over 50 years. The history of Louisiana crawfish is an important part of our culture, and something that we proudly treasure. With Mardi Gras in full swing, there are crawfish boils to be found in practically every neighborhood, as well as every seafood restaurant!  When peeling crawfish is something you learn from an early age, sometimes it’s hard to remember that there’s a trick to eating them. 

Louisiana Sea Grant Louisiana crawfish boil best crawfish in new orleans deanies seafood.jpgWe’re proud to have introduced many crawfish novices to this Cajun delicacy. Not only are the mudbugs delicious and fun to eat, crawfish are good for you!  Peeling and eating crawfish is something that everyone who loves Louisiana Seafood should learn. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked! 

Deanie’s is recognized as one of the best places in the Big Easy to get boiled crawfish, and we serve only Wild Louisiana crawfish from our two New Orleans restaurants and seafood market.

Don’t live on the bayou? You can order from Deanie’s Seafood Market online at

But first you have to figure out how to eat them. What is the best technique? How do you get all that tail meat to come out? To suck the head or not? And whether you planned it that way or not, there is always the added element of competition, because someone at your table is bound to turn your crawfish boil into an amateur crawfish eating contest. 



Hold the crawfish on both sides of the tail joint with your thumbs on one side of the shell and your index fingers on the other.


Twist just above the abdomen and snap the head away from the crawfish tail. Discard the head, or if you’re feeling especially brave, suck the juice from the head.*


Use your thumbs to peel the shell from the widest part of the tail for a clearer passage for your crawfish meat.


Hold the tip of the tail with your thumb firmly pressing up on the underside and tug the tail meat upward using your teeth.


Repeat steps 1 through 4 about 300 times. A good rule of thumb in Louisiana is to serve 5 lbs. of boiled crawfish per person.


*Sucking the head is optional. Be careful with your technique if you do opt to suck the head since inhaling that spicy seasoning can cause you to break out into an embarrassing coughing fit revealing yourself as a crawfish novice.

If you need more instructions, check out this video at or see New Orleans specialty T-shirt shop owner Fleurty Girl’s “How to eat Crawfish in New Orleans” tutorial.

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