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Hearty Cajun Étouffée

Isaac Toups whips up a Cajun crawfish étouffée and King cake to celebrate Mardis Gras
TODAY Show: Isaac Toups whips up a Cajun crawfish étouffée and King cake to celebrate Mardis Gras. – February 9, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 white onion, small dice
  • 1 rib celery, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • tablespoons flour
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, puréed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups crawfish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 cup cooked Louisiana rice, for serving
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, for serving
  • Chef notes

    Celebrate Mardi Gras the Cajun way with this étouffée, a hearty and flavorful seafood stew that's served over rice. Chef Isaac Toups uses crawfish in this version of the classic dish, but it can also be made with shrimp or other shellfish.


    Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and sweat the onion, celery, and bell pepper until translucent.

    Add the garlic and sweat for another 2 minutes.

    Remove the vegetables from pan.

    Add the remaining butter and simmer until the butter stops bubbling or is clarified.

    Add the flour and stir and until a blonde roux is achieved.

    Add the tomato purée and caramelize.

    Add the sweated vegetables and the dry white wine.

    Add the crawfish stock, stirring continually until it comes to a simmer.

    Add the bay leaf, Tabasco and white pepper.

    Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

    Add the crawfish tails and bring back to a simmer.

    Adjust for salt and spice.

    Plate with rice and serve garnished with green onions.