In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

How to clean your crawfish like The Tiger Paw

Chris Mercier, owner of the Tiger Paw, shows us how he cleans his mud bugs before throwing them in the boil.

Mud bugs are indeed MUD BUGS as they come from the water’s dirt. This is why it’s important to properly wash your live crawfish before dumping them in the boil. Here is how The Tiger Paw on Coursey Boulevard does it. 

The Cajun Cleaner 

Chris Mercier, owner of the Tiger Paw bar, showed us how he uses a nifty locally-made tool to clean his mud bugs. He busted out a bucket called the Cajun Cleaner.

The Cajun Cleaner is a hand-built bucket that hooks up to a hose. It rushes water up the inside of the bucket and through the live crawfish. Then, the dirty crawfish water flushes out the top of the bucket. When the water goes from brown to clear, you know they mud bugs are ready to boil.

Mercier makes a point to use these buckets and clean water only when rinsing his crawfish. He said that other methods, like purging, which includes soaking the live crawfish in salt and water for a certain amount of time, are not as effective. He referenced a study performed by the LSU Ag Center to support his simple cleaning methods. 

I mean, it’s pretty satisfying to see that yucky brown water flushing out top of the Cajun Cleaner bucket turn completely clear. Why spend way more time and effort cleaning the crawfish when this seems to do the trick?

Mercier continues with another really helpful tip when rinsing out crawfish. When you’re done washing those little guys, make sure ALL of the water is out of the bottom of the bucket. Any amount of water added to the boiling water pot can throw off the proper crawfish cooking temperature.

The Tiger Paw serves up freshly boiled crawfish Fridays around 5:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays around 2:00 pm. They boil a few batches each day, so be sure to get in there and grab your serving before they run out. They do this until the season dries up, which is around the end of July or early August.

You can get your servings for $3.50 per pound or $11.50 for 3 pounds plus corn and potatoes. 

Don’t forget to pair your plate with a secret recipe daiquiri.

Or, if you want to test you crawfish cleaning skills at home, check out Mercier’s backyard recipe and tips here