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Crawfish étouffée, served at a restaurant in New Orleans
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateLouisiana
Main ingredientsShellfish, rice

Étouffée or etouffee (French: [e.tu.fe], English: /ˌtˈf/ AY-too-FAY) is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, a popular method of cooking in the Cajun and Creole areas of south Louisiana. Étouffée is most popular in New Orleans and in the Acadiana region as well as the coastal counties of Mississippi, Alabama, northern Florida, and eastern Texas.


In French, the word "étouffée" (borrowed into English as "stuffed" or "stifled") literally means "smothered" or "suffocated", from the verb "étouffer".[1]


Another version of crawfish étouffée

Étouffée is a dish of shellfish, simmered in a sauce made from a light or blond roux, served over rice. It is most commonly made with crab, shrimp or crawfish. Depending on who is making it and where it is being made it is flavored with either Creole or Cajun seasonings. Although Creole and Cajun cuisines are distinct, there are many similarities.[2]

In the case of the Creole version of crawfish étouffée, it is made with a blond or brown roux and sometimes tomatoes are added.[3][4] A blond roux is one that is cooked, stirring constantly, for approximately 5 minutes to remove the "raw" flavor of the flour and to add a slightly "nutty" flavor, while a brown roux is cooked longer (30 to 35 minutes) in order to deepen the color and flavor.[5]


Around the 1950s, crawfish étouffée was introduced to restaurant goers in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; however, the dish may have been invented as early as the late 1920s, according to some sources.[6][7] Originally, crawfish étouffée was a popular dish amongst Cajuns in the bayous and backwaters of Louisiana.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Louisianaliving.com Archived October 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Louisianafishfry.com Archived April 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Crawfish Étouffée". neworleansonline.com. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  4. ^ Wuerthner, Terri. "Creole and Cajun Cookery Different Yet Similar". Retrieved Jan 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "All About Roux". Allrecipes.com.
  6. ^ "City Government of Breaux Bridge Louisiana, History of Breaux Bridge". Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved Jan 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Saveur Magazine, Crawfish Étouffée". Bonnier Travel & Epicurean Group. Jan 17, 2007. Retrieved Jan 4, 2014.