Crab Étouffée
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 1 dozen fat blue crabs, cleaned and halved
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced green bell pepper
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 pound jumbo lump blue crabmeat
  • 1 pound jumbo (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
  • 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice, such as Supreme
  • ½ cup diced green onion tops, for serving
  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the crabs and sauté them in batches until they begin to brown and change color from blue to red. Remove the crabs and let cool.
  2. Dust the crabs lightly with flour and return them to the pot along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook the crabs on all sides as the flour begins to brown and form a light beige-colored roux. Once the raw taste of the flour has fully cooked out, add the water.
  3. Season the mixture with cayenne and lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens to a stew-like consistency.
  4. Add the jumbo lump crabmeat and shrimp about 5 to 8 minutes before serving.
  5. To serve, in large bowls ladle the steaming hot étouffée over a mound of white rice and top with pieces of crab. Garnish with a sprinkle of diced green onion tops. Serve with hot French bread, ice-cold beer, and plenty of napkins.
Walter lives in a world with a steady supply of Gulf seafood. He sources his crabs live and cleans them; feel free to buy yours already cleaned. Gear up for this dish: cracking the shells and picking the crabmeat from the legs requires pliers and patience, but it’s worth it. While I usually opt for adding an intense stock, Walter insists that adding just water is traditional in this dish; the crab shells and juices work together with the water to build a delicious crab stock.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at