The Best Way To Reheat Crawfish And Avoid That Rubbery Texture

crawfish in a bread bowl
crawfish in a bread bowl - JACKY YAO/Shutterstock

Crawfish has been synonymous with Louisiana cooking since the 1800s when Cajun settlers modified lobster recipes with the freshwater relative, which was more readily available in local streams and swamps. Affectionately referred to as mudbugs and crawdads by native Southerners, the low-calorie, high-protein, seriously delicious crustacean has cemented itself as a fixture in Creole and Cajun households by way of crawfish boils, crawfish etouffee, and even crawfish ice cream. Yes, even crawfish ice cream is a thing. In fact, once you know exactly how to eat crawfish, you just might be hooked.

But is it true that there's no way to reheat cooked crawfish without becoming victim to a tough, rubbery, overcooked texture? Not at all. It turns out there is indeed an excellent method for reheating leftover crawfish that, when executed properly, can help you avoid that unpleasant pitfall and give your crawfish the same smooth texture and sweet-but-salty taste you enjoyed the first time around.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

How To Reheat Crawfish Properly

person pouring oil into pan
person pouring oil into pan - New Africa/Shutterstock

Before you reheat your crawfish, make sure it was correctly stored. Leftover crawfish is very perishable, so double-check it was refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container within two hours of being cooked (and used within four days of storage). If left at room temperature for longer than two hours, it's best to discard it so you don't risk food poisoning due to bacteria growth. But once you're confident your crawfish is safe, you can embark upon one of the easiest ways to reheat crawfish and maintain its original texture and flavor: sauteeing it.

You just add a little oil to a skillet and add your crawfish in a single layer when it reaches medium heat. If you'd like, add a little seasoning to your oil for extra flavor, such as crab boil seasoning, minced onion, or garlic. Cook for no more than 3-4 minutes, turning frequently so the crawfish doesn't stick and burn, and voila, you'll be ready to reprise that amazing meal from last night. The oil will help the crawfish maintain its moisture, which will prevent it from developing that rubbery texture that causes many people to shy away from reheating it.

If your crawfish was originally in a rice or pasta dish, you can also reheat it using this saute method. Just be sure you remove it from the dish first and reheat it separately.

Other Ways You Can Reheat Crawfish

crawfish boiling
crawfish boiling - Knape/Getty Images

Not in a sauteing mood? Fret not — there are other easy and excellent ways to reheat cooked crawfish without sacrificing the original texture. For example, you can re-boil them (adding spices to enhance their flavor); you can also steam them by using a steamer basket, some spices (Old Bay or anything from black peppercorns, celery seeds, or ground ginger work well), and a pot of boiling water. Add your spices to the bottom of the pot, add water, bring it to a boil, then insert your steamer basket, steaming your crawfish in the closed pot for 4-6 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

If all else fails, you can even microwave them. Put your crawfish and some butter in a microwave-safe container with a small lid opening so that steam can escape. Cook for two minutes, retoss your crawfish in the butter, then continue microwaving in one-minute intervals until the crawfish are cooked to your liking. If you adopt this method, it's best to do so in small batches so you don't dry out your crawfish or leave any lingering unpleasant odors in your kitchen.

So, think twice the next time you have some leftover crawfish you're about to throw out. As long as it's safe to reheat, you can and you should.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.