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Live Crayfish at 99 Ranch

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$5.99 a pound for very active live crayfish at the Richmond 99 Ranch Market yesterday.

 
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  1. They have also had Blue Crab for $4.99 a pound, but those produce very little meat (as my family discovered last weekend).

    1. Two questions, both slightly off point.

      Have never cooked live crayfish. Heading off to buy some on your recommendation, but would love a quick tutorial re the cooking.

      Would be eager to hear reports re the live lobsters @ Ranch 99. As someone who grew up with the whiff of salt water mingled with the smell of factory soot in my New England mill town, I've been snobby--and had mixed results--re buying and cooking live lobsters and eating prepared ones in restaurants on the West coast. The lobsters here, in my experience, are generally less lively in the tanks and not as sweet or fresh-tasting cooked. But perhaps that's either homesickness or shopping/eating at the wrong fish counters/restaurants or both.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sundeck sue

        "new england mill town"...Lynn?
        Treat them just like miniature lobstahs from Conley and Dagget's but for less time. Don't forget to suck the heads, and don't bother with the claws.

        1. re: little big al

          Haverhill (our go-to lobster shacks were Browns and Markey's--"Mah-keys"--in Seabrook NH--aka "down the beach"--actually don't know Conley and Dagget's!).

          Interesting re time for crayfish, so much smaller than lobsters. I boil (not steam) 1 1/4 lb. lobsters for 12 minutes--more, they're over-cooked.

        2. re: sundeck sue

          They are pretty easy to overcook (I have certainly done so), but the easiest way to get it right is Cajun-style with Old Bay, onions, potatoes, corn, etc. You boil all this (and maybe andouille sausage if you like meat) until the potatoes are tender and then turn off the heat, dump in your crawfish, and let them steep and soak up the flavor for about 10 minutes. Little lemon on top, your favorite hot sauce for some spice and good to go.

          Ah, a Googling found a Tyler Florence recipe that pretty much sums it up. Use that (I think I will next time--bay leaves and garlic sound like good additions). He also says 15 minutes, so that's a difference but for me part of the fun is "taste testing" once they've been sitting in all that good stuff for say 7-8 minutes.

          I think crayfish are delicious, but my wife does not care for the flavor or the eating of their cute little heads so I have not made them in some time. Former Bostonian here and the best lobster I have had on the west coast was at a very fancy restaurant in Tahoe where they flew them in from Maine daily and priced them accordingly.

          Now I have the "people from Lynn" song stuck in my head, thanks Al.

          1. re: sundeck sue

            Probably best to find out when the Chinese market gets a fresh shipment in because most times those lobsters are very sad looking in the tank. Antennae all torn off and such.

            1. re: sundeck sue

              I've been enjoying these two cookbooks recently -- lots of classic french crayfish recipes in either one:

              Great Chefs of France -- Anthony Blake
              Paul Bocuse: The Complete Recipes

            2. Do you know what kind they were? and Where they came from?

              1 Reply
              1. re: smatbrat

                I didn't see a tag but they were very active. That was on Monday.

              2. thanks -- i was actually going to post to ask if anyone knew where to get them in the bay area...

                1. saw some saturday at the ranch 99 in newark.

                  1. I bought 2 dozen crayfish today, came out to just under a pound. I chose ones that vigorously greeted me with open arms and claws as if to say "pick me!"

                    They're in the sink snow, just waiting for the water to boil ...

                    1. is there a season for live crayfish?

                      does ranch 99 always/usually/rarely/never have them?

                      thanks.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Dustin_E

                        Yes, there is a season: mid-March to mid-May and, no, Ranch 99 does not always have them...

                        1. re: CarrieWas218

                          yikes -- i better get on it then.

                          1. re: Dustin_E

                            Can you report back on what kind they are and where they come from?

                            Im looking for reds

                            1. re: smatbrat

                              i will report back if i make it there before the season ends.

                      2. Also have seen them crawling around in a box at New May Wah on Clement Street.