Crayfish can be considered as one of the bestselling types of seafood in Australia. However, many people are still unsure about the main difference between a typical Lobster and a Crayfish. Well, in terms of outward appearance and body structures, it is easy to assume that the two belong in the same family. However, Crayfish and Lobsters are different from each other in terms of two main qualities.
Crayfish or Lobster?
First, Lobsters are considerably larger than an average-sized Crayfish. Lobsters normally can reach up to 9 inches or more if left in the sea for long enough. On the other hand, a Crayfish is only three to six inches in length, quite a bit smaller compared to the bigger Lobsters you can see being served in seafood restaurants. Both of them almost share almost identical body structures: two antennae, a fused head and a thorax, and several pairs of legs. In Australia, one will find two of the largest species of freshwater Crayfish: the giant Tasmanian and the Murray Crayfish.
Crayfish, or also known as crawfish, normally eats tiny insects, small molluscs, and decaying matter found at the bottom of the ocean. It uses its large claws both as a defensive weapon and a crushing tool every time it gets something to eat.
When looking to purchase Crayfish, there is some important points that you need to know to help you find the best Crayfish in town.
Important Tips for Choosing Crayfish
Lobsters and Crayfish are not only the same in terms of appearance. Several suggestions on how to select the best available Lobster in the market are almost the same when it comes to choosing the best Crayfish. In order to select the right kind of Crayfish, you have to develop the necessary skills of a keen observer. If the Crayfish is still alive, choose the one that is the most active and energetic among the group. There is a simple logic behind this – the more movement a crayfish does, the healthier it is because only a properly nourished crayfish can show that kind of activity. And since movement plays a big role in selecting the best of the bunch, you should avoid buying a crayfish from cages that are obviously overcrowded. Remember, quality is still better than quantity. You can also check the overall health of a crayfish by touching its back portion. Normally, a healthy and well-nourished crayfish will raise its claws, a reflexive reaction that will separate a normal one from those that are deteriorating due to an unfavourable environment.
In terms of colour, you must always take note that a fresh crayfish usually has a dark orange shell. Sometimes, it varies but the darker the crayfish shell’s colour, the healthier it is. There are some instances that a crayfish lacks some of its appendages. Though people normally perceive crayfish with complete body parts as healthy, some crayfish lacking it are actually still healthy as a whole.
Preparation Tips for the Best Crayfish
Crayfish needs special treatment if you want to retain its freshness before the actual cooking process. If you are going to travel with a Crayfish, ensure that you apply the right amount of moisture for them. Use moist towel to cover them up and remember that submerging a crayfish in cold water will just kill it instantly. One must also avoid unnecessary exposure of the animal to sunlight because it can spoil its freshness as well. Contrary to popular belief, a straight tail of a dead crayfish before it can actually reach the boiling period doesn’t indicate that crayfish is not fresh at all. Once a crayfish dies, its tail will either be curled or straight but its freshness can still be preserved depending on the techniques used by its handlers.
The Perfect Way to Cook Crayfish
There are a lot of effective ways to cook crayfish with other ingredients and still preserve its unique taste and freshness. One of these ways is by using two pots to complete the cooking process. For the first pot, you will leave the crayfish in the boiling water until it turns red in colour. Once this has happened, you can check the consistency and quality of its meat. It should be firm and white all throughout. Once it floats on your first pot, then that’s the time that you submerge the crayfish to the other pot where it will be soaked using special seasonings. During the cooling period, you will add cold water to finish the whole cooking process. Afterwards, you can now serve the crayfish hot and smoking along with the other spices and vegetables that will further release its inner flavours.
Just like the other cooked crustaceans, not all parts of the crayfish can be eaten. A lot of people relish in eating crayfish by sucking the fats and the juices out of its head. This part of the crayfish body absorbs most of the spices included in a certain recipe so anyone will enjoy the unique flavour that it can offer to the taste buds. Some popular dishes only serve the tail part or the meaty claws of the crayfish. By pinching these parts, one can also capture the meaty goodness that a crayfish has to offer.
At Claringbold’s we work hard to ensure all the Crayfish we sell is of top quality and super fresh. If you need some advice on cooking your chosen cray, or are not sure if it is right for your recipe, just ask one of our friendly staff. We are always more than happy to help out. At busy times such as Christmas, there can be a huge demand for all of our products, especially Crayfish, so make sure you get in early to avoid disappointment.