I’ve received a number of email requests recently on how to make crawfish stock. This is an important step after a crawfish boil since there are so many leftover shells! Making use of them rather than just wastefully tossing them away is a very economical as well as environmentally wise practice.
If you’ve ever made shrimp stock or lobster broth before, the process is similar.
If the cost of wild seafood has put you off of making seafood broth in the past, however, this recipe may encourage you to take the plunge!
Spring is crawfish season, and when buying during this time, these critters are extremely affordable. While I don’t recommend buying Chinese crayfish due to contamination concerns, quality domestic sources typically run just a few dollars per pound.
Since you only use the tail meat on a crawdaddy, there are a lot of leftover shells that make an incredibly rich stock that is darker than the same process using shrimp. See the picture below to get some idea.
And yes, you put the whole crawfish in the pot! Heads and all.
If you’re wondering what to do with the stock once you’ve made it, here are a few suggestions.
- Use it as a base for conch chowder
- Make crawfish etouffee for dinner
- Serve it as a sippin’ side with mussels and sausage
In our home, we enjoy a small mug of stock to sip with lunch or dinner. All of us (including the kids!) have at least a few ounces on most days. It helps digestion and nutrient absorption tremendously even if you aren’t on a gut-healing diet.
The collagen and other tissue building blocks in this traditional dish also help prevent injuries and quickly heal existing ones.
If time constraints have prevented you from adopting a regular broth making habit in your home, any type of seafood stock is a good place to start because it is ready much more quickly than long-simmering chicken or beef bone broth.
If you are wondering what type of pot is best for making bone broth, I suggest taking a look at the clay or stoneware Vita-Clay. I’ve tried them all over the past 20 years, and these are my favorite. This type of slow cooker is safer than stainless steel stockpots or the Instant Pot, as studies have shown the potential for leeching nickel when acidic foods like bone broth are cooked in them.
Crawfish Stock Recipe
Classic recipe for crawfish stock using leftover shells from a crawfish boil.This easy broth is ready in only an hour and is the perfect base for seafood soups, sauces and other dishes.
- 2 pounds domestic crawfish boiled with tail meat removed
- 2-3 quarts filtered water
- 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 carrot chopped, optional
- 1 small onion chopped, optional
Place crawfish tail shells, heads and bodies into the stockpot.
Add filtered water, wine vinegar and optional chopped vegetables.
Bring to a boil and skim off any foam (impurities) that comes to the surface.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 -2 hours.
Strain, cool and use immediately or store for several days in the refrigerator in a glass jar. Freeze what you will not use in a few days.
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