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Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish Bisque is a very special time-consuming dish, but the results are delicious. The bodies of the crawfish are stuffed with a cornbread stuffing, then cooked in the bisque to absorb the broth. Served over rice, this bisque is a filling main dish. The best part comes at the bottom of the bowl, when the soup is gone and the stuffed crawfish remain. Holding the shell in one hand, scoop out the stuffing with your spoon. Yum!

At a minimum, cook the crawfish, make the stock and bake the cornbread a day in advance - and then plan to spend most of the next day in the kitchen, too.

Image of Crawfish Bisque

1 large onion, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 fresh parsley sprigs
1 stalk celery, including leaves, sliced
2 whole cloves
15 ml/1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
5 ml/1 teaspoon celery seed
2 bay leaves
2.5 ml/ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
5 ml/1 teaspoon black pepper
5 ml/1 teaspoon salt
2.25 kg/5 lbs whole crawfish


Serves: 4


Add all the ingredients, except the crawfish, to a large stockpot of boiling water and boil for 15-20 minutes to develop the flavour, then add the crawfish. Return to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the crawfish with tongs and plunge into cold water. Return the stock to a low heat to simmer while you clean the crawfish.

To clean the crawfish, twist off the tails from the bodies, and cut out all the tail meat. Save the tail meat in 1 bowl. Remove the yellow fat from the bodies and save the fat in a second bowl. Pull the body shells - the thorax - free from the innards, and break off eyes and beaks. Save the best shells for stuffing. Place the innards, any small or broken shells, the heads and the remains of the tail shells in the stock, and continue simmering for total cooking time of 2 hours.

Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables and shells. Reserve 1.25 l/2¼ pts stock: freeze any leftover stock for future use.

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