How to Buy and Clean Crayfish Like a Pro

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
crayfish
1 rubber gloves
1 scissors
1 tweezer

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How to Buy and Clean Crayfish Like a Pro

Cuisine:

In Asia, the best time to eat crayfish is from May to August. During this period, the crayfish is fat and beautiful, and it has crayfish tomalley, the most delicious. Although it is delicious and nutritious, you need to clean up the crayfish because it lives in a diverse environment.
The essence of the whole dish is crayfish tomalley. All the effort in the cleaning process is to keep crayfish tomalley. The tomalley is like the crab roe. Crayfish tomalley makes the whole dish more fragrant and seafood taste.

  • Serves 2
  • Hard

Ingredients

Directions

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Tips:

  1. Select the crayfish lived in clear water, such as lake water. Must buy live crayfish. In order for health, do not buy dead one or the one lives in the polluted environment.
  2. The ideal crayfish—— dark green shell, clean and small claws, Its meat is relatively tender, The meat of red shell crayfish usually is tough and not as yummy as the dark green one.
  3. Select the one with clean abdomen and feet, Growth in and polluted environment cannot have a clean body.
  4. Choose female crayfish, because female crayfish is softer, easy to peel and cut. And it has more yellow tomalley than a male one which is more fragrant when cooking.
  5. I do not recommend pulling out the sand vein, because devein makes crayfish less tender, and it is easy to overcook the meat.

Steps

1
Done

First, it’s better to choose the crayfish raised in the lake. And it has a dark green shell,  clean abdomen and claws, and thin skin. (if the crayfish’s abdomen is black and dirty, basically it grows at a dirty environment. Do not bother about clean up,  discard its head after the brush. And remove sand vein when eating its meat)

2
Done

How to distinguish a male or female crayfish?

On the image above, the female shrimp on the left and the male shrimp on the right. The red circle is the main difference between a female crayfish and a male crayfish. On the breast, the male crayfish’s first two pairs of feet are obviously longer than that of the female crayfish.  Another conspicuous difference is that the male crayfish has a red membrane on the front edge of its feet. While the female shrimp does not have this red membrane. You should buy females crayfish because they have more yellow tomalley than the males.

3
Done

Prepare cleaning tools: rubber gloves, long-handled brushes, scissors, and tweezers

4
Done

Crayfish pinching really hurts. We can wear rubber gloves to prevent pinching.  In the cleaning process, grab crayfish’s back and wash while brushing the crayfish’s abdomen from bottom to top. (Make sure clean all crayfish before next step)

5
Done

After cleaning, use a scissor to cut off the tip of two large claws. (During June to September, crayfish’s claws have a full of tender meat insider, do not discard it.)

6
Done

Cut off four pairs of small claws on each side.

7
Done

Cut off a third of the shells on both sides of the crayfish’s head. (it is easier to cut from the head to the tail)

8
Done

Cut off the gills. Make sure cut off all gills, and DO NOT cut the membrane under the shrimp gills, because these membranes cover crayfish yellow tomalley.  If you cut these membranes, the crayfish’s tomalley will come out and lose when cooking.

9
Done

The crayfish head should look like the image above after cutting. If you do not understand the previous description, you can refer to this picture above, which should be clear. Remember to cut both sides.

10
Done

Fill the sink with water. Turn on the tap to keep adding a little water into the bowl. Put the crayfish in the water. The crayfish are less likely to die quickly. Putting them into the slightly flowing water make them spit out more dirty stuff, like sand or mud.

11
Done

Wash all crayfish in the sink with running water. (This is the final step of cleaning, make sure clean up. DO NOT clean again after this step to prevent crayfish’s tomalley losing)

12
Done

Use scissors to cut off the tip of the shrimp head. Basically, just cut off a few millimeters behind the eyes of the shrimp. Do not cut too much.

13
Done

Use the scissors pull out the black stuff in the head. This is crayfish’s stomach. It is very dirty, Do not puncture it, pull out carefully. If it is easy to puncture the stomach for the first time. Don’s worries. If punctured, wash with running water. And do not flush away the tomalley.

14
Done

Some of them are hard to pull out, you can use tweezers to clean out.

15
Done

After processing, it should look like the image above. The membrane of yellow tomalley is not broken at all, and the stomach is completely removed.

16
Done

Then the last step is to pull the sand vein. (Personally, I do not recommend pulling out the sand vein, because it makes meat less tender when cooking)

17
Done

Then remove sand vein through pulling out the middle part of the tail.

18
Done

Finally, rinse with cleaning water. Make sure it is fast enough and don’t wash out the yellow tomalley. The meat won’t be tender if wash too long.

19
Done

Drain and ready for your favorite crayfish dishes.

Allen

A Chinese foodie and gastronome. I love cooking and sharing lovely tips.

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