Crawfish vs Shrimp Taste: Differences in Flavor at a Glance

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The taste of crawfish is like a mix of crab, lobster, and shrimp. Given the similarities, how to discriminate between the crawfish and shrimp taste?

Because of the similarity in their taste, shrimp and crayfish are often substituted for one another in recipes. However, true seafood lovers can differentiate between their taste and texture, and also find crawfish superior to shrimp.

The two sea creatures are quite similar, but the next time you’re scanning through the menu, consider the precious crawfish over shrimp. Read through the article to learn the differences in their taste and texture.

Crawfish vs. Shrimp taste

Crawfish and shrimp belong to the same category because of how distinct their flavor is, compared to other types of seafood.

Both sea creatures have a mild, non-fishy flavor and chunky texture. The meatier texture makes them a popular choice among seafood lovers.

Shrimp has a savory and slightly salty flavor, and, in terms of texture, the meat is quite fibrous but still tender. Crawfish have a sweet taste with subtle hints of a mineral flavor. Compared to other delicacies in this group, it isn’t as salty or umami. Taste-wise, crawfish tastes like a cross between crab, shrimp, and lobster. So, while the flavor profile is quite similar to shrimp, crawfish have a truly unique taste.

While crawfish is a freshwater crustacean, shrimp is a saltwater decapod that has a longer tail. Although smaller, crawfish have several edible and flavorful body parts. Like lobsters, crawfish have claws with meat so tender it falls apart! On the other hand, shrimp don’t have large front claws. Additionally, their flesh is firm and slightly chewy.

In a nutshell, flavor-wise crawfish are more similar to lobster than shrimp because of their less saline and overall sweet taste.

What tastes better shrimp or crawfish?

In the battle of crawfish vs. shrimp, the former emerges as the clear winner, although you’ll find shrimp readily available and a part of many recipes. That is because shrimps are usually harvested more than crawfish.

Unlike shrimp, crawfish have a less tough and subtle texture. Its three most-loved parts are claws, tails, and legs. Each of these parts has a substantial amount of meat and uniquely decadent flavors. Overall, the crawfish have a smooth texture and sweet flavors. While the tail meat is firm and chewable, the claws have a creamy consistency. Even though the legs may seem thin, they have plenty of juicy meat to devour!

The distinctive texture and unique taste are two points that make crawfish better than any other seafood you may have tried!

Although quite similar to shrimp in taste, crawfish are much more flavorsome and succulent. The slightly sweet, salty, and mineral-like taste works well with soups, salads, and sauces. The smooth and meatier texture also makes crawfish easy to work with.


Compared to shrimp, crawfish have a smooth-textured flesh that has a less sour taste. Its taste is on the sweeter side and has a slight touch of mineral flavor. It is best described as a mix of crab and shrimp flavors.

You may serve crawfish whole or dismantled to enjoy the distinct flavors its various body parts offer. For example, the juices in the head give a burst of flavors, while the legs, tail, claw, roe, and tomalley are equally succulent and delicious!  

When used together, one thing is for sure, each will pull out a unique flavor on the taste buds.

Although smaller than shrimps in size, these mini crustaceans are quite the crowd pleaser! Given the lovely flavors, we urge you to try out both shrimp and crawfish to decide the winner for yourself!

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