I was lucky enough to hit the fantastic foodie city of New Orleans about a month ago. That was probably the beginning of crawfish season in the Gulf Coast and there were all sorts of dishes and yummy treats prepared with the mud bugs, as they’re lovingly called.
I had never tried crawfish balls before, but I loved them! Sorta like a crabcake shaped like a ball and fried. The moment I took a bite I knew I would be making them at home and so I did. I don’t really think there’s a need for a very specific recipe, but I’m listing the ingredients and the amounts I used here. In the end, you want the dough to be wet, but pliable enough to hold its shape. These can easily be frozen and just fried as needed.
2 cps crawfish tails, peeled & deveined
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 serrano chili, chopped (optional)
4 slices of stale bread
3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
3 tbsp green onions, chopped
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
11/2 cups of bread or panko crumbs
If you have a food processor, don’t worry about chopping the ingredients finely. I essentially threw all the aromatics and the bread into the processor and blitz it until they were pretty fine, then added the crawfish, egg, salt & pepper and pulsed until blended. This way, some of the tails are still in pretty large chunks.
Shape the dough into balls about the size of a ping pong ball and roll in bread crumbs. I found it beneficial to shape the balls and place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Once they have been rolled in crumbs, you can freeze them in an airtight container or ziploc bag and use them at a later date.
Fry them in a deep fryer or use a regular pan with enough oil to submerge the balls; heat the oil to 375° and cook until deep golden brown. Serve with a remoulade or cocktail sauce.