Popcorn Crawfish, also known as Cajun Popcorn, is simply precooked crawfish tails that have been battered and deep-fried. At one point in time, Popcorn Crawfish dominated the appetizer section of local menus. These days, not so much. But I still enjoy them and the kids really love them. They’re the perfect fried seafood snack. Each morsel is small—like a popped kernel of corn—which makes them super fun and easy to eat. They’re also very addictive, again like popcorn. I usually serve them straight up. But they also take kindly to any number of dipping sauces. For something on the sweet side, you could plate them with a bowl of Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce. If you prefer something a tad more aggressive, try a Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tabasco-spiked mayo.
When it comes to preparing Popcorn Crawfish, I turn to a wet batter instead of the usual three-tiered flour, egg wash and breading method. This is one of the few times I think a wet batter just works better. It hangs on nicely to the crawfish tails, produces a really tasty but not overly heavy crunch and comes together quickly.
When deciding on the perfect beverage to wash down Popcorn Crawfish, doesn’t beer quickly come to mind? It certainly does for me. And the beer I gravitate to with a finger food like this is something like a Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA. Even though it registers at 6.90% ABV, it’s not overly hoppy or malty. It’s a solid, well-balanced beer. Of course, the hubby would disagree. He has and always will pair his fried, boiled, broiled, sautéed or steamed seafood with Miller Lite. It works for him and I’m sure many others like him. Who am I to argue?
Until next time …
Popcorn Crawfish Recipe
Peanut or canola oil, for frying
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Zatarain’s Seasoned Fish-Fri
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 pound crawfish tails
Place oil in a large skillet or electric fryer and heat to 370 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, Fish-Fri and flour. Working in batches, dip crawfish in batter, shake off excess and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack or stack of paper towels to drain. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Makes 4-6 appetizer servings.