You name it! Throw it in the crawfish boil. Here's your guide to dozens of ideas for cool add-ins.
Crawfish lovers can pretty much throw anything into a crawfish boil, as long as it’s cooked properly, according to Jason Seither, chef and owner of Seither’s Seafood in Harahan, La.
The “crazy crawfish boil” expert — and a local pioneer of cool add-ins — has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into boils for about a decade.
“I’m trying to develop a rich, savory flavor in crawfish that people are going to think is yummy and wanna come back,” Seither said.
Seither says he experiments with some weird ingredients at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street while hosting Sunday night boils, frequently attended by neighborhood locals and musicians. He also fires up a more traditional crawfish boil on Fridays at his restaurant, Seither’s Seafood.
In the video, Seither offers plenty of ideas for cool add-ins for your crawfish boil and gives some great tips on the process. One important tip he stresses is to add different ingredients at the right time.
Seither says items like onion, garlic, celery and bay leaf are essential ingredients for a boil for the right flavor. These ingredients makes crawfish taste “like what we think crawfish is supposed to taste like.”
Onion, garlic, celery, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots and mirliton – These go in the boil early so they can cook down and flavor the boil. Add these items right after you add your seasonings.
Asparagus, zucchini and corn – Throw these in after the crawfish boils, and let them sit during the soaking process. These ingredients don’t take as long to cook.
Seither also suggests trying other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, squash, artichoke and green beans.
Oranges and lemons – These should go in the boil early before adding your crawfish.
Seither also highly recommends pineapple. “That gives the crawfish a really good, sweet citrus flavor,” Seither said.
Seafood and other add-ins
Mushrooms – Seither says he really likes adding mushrooms to his boil, which you should add after the crawfish boils.
Clams and muscles – Seither suggests adding near the end of your boil.
Octopus – Seither says he was surprised at how good it actually came out.
Tuna steaks, squid
Meats and pork
Seither says most of your meat goes in early, and you stew it down. However, he cautions that adding meat does change the flavor of the boil, making it “good, but different.” During the cooking process, the meat will release natural fats and oils, which Seither says usually also makes the boil a little spicier when it comes together with the cayenne pepper.
Andouille, boudin – Seither says boudin is a “real crowd pleaser.” Throw them in at the end when the crawfish is soaking, but you have to be very gentle. Once you drop in the boudin, you can’t really stir the boil too much or you’ll break the casing.
Rabbit, chicken legs, quail, duck, pork chops – Throw tougher meats/pork early in your boil and basically stew it down.
Frog legs – Meats more tender like frog legs go in towards the end.
Other weird things
Nutria, goat – Seither said he tried these items, and they weren’t his favorite. “They didn’t work out too well,” Seither said.
Alligator, roasted pig’s head, roasted pigs legs