Crawfish with Paprika

Langouste au poivre rose

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About

Extremely expensive


  • 2 live crawfish or spiny lobsters of 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) each or one of 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz)
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 small sprig tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil
  • salt, pepper


  1. Despatch the crawfish in the way recommended. Chop it in two lengthways with a cleaver. Remove the sac from the head.
  2. Melt the butter with the chopped shallot in a large sauté pan, and when the shallot has softened, add the paprika, mixing it in well to break up any little lumps. Stir in the tomato puree. Place the pieces of crawfish, flesh downwards, in the sauce and let them seal over a moderate heat before flaming with the cognac to sear the shells. Pour in the wine and add the sprig of tarragon, then turn the crawfish halves over, so that they are shell side downwards, cover the pan and cook over a slow heat for 20 minutes if you have 2 crawfish and 30 minutes if you have only one. Take care that the liquid in the pan does not reduce too far: if it does, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. When they are cooked, remove the crawfish. Remove the tail shells and put the halves in two deep plates. Keep hot.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and reduce the liquid to 1 or 2 tablespoons. Add 150 ml (¼ pint) cream and boil for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Strain the sauce through a fine wire sieve and add the chervil. Pour over the crawfish and serve with plain boiled rice.

Recommended wines

  • a dry white wine, slightly fruity, perhaps a Pouilly fumé, a Sancerre, a Montrachet, a Puligny or a White Mâcon