Differences and Applications of Langostino and Crawfish

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Things might become a little complicated in the wide and varied world of seafood. It is quite easy to confuse one type of water dwelling with another. One such example is the mix-up between langostino and crawfish. Both phrases allude to crustaceans, which are prominent in the restaurant business. But are they the same creature? What is the difference between langostino and crawfish?

Langostino are saltwater crustaceans, while crawfish are freshwater crustaceans. Crawfish refers to a particular superfamily of crustaceans, while langostino mostly refers to Galatheidae crustaceans. Langostinos are leaner and longer than crawfish.

Several species of crustaceans might be difficult to distinguish due to similar evolutionary features. The differences are further blurred by the way many restaurants advertise these animals.

Hence, in this post, we’ll look more closely at two popular crustaceans used for food, crawfish and langostino, to see how they’re similar and different.

Langostino vs. Crawfish: Differences

I’ll go through their look, taste, culinary use, habitat, nutrition, and other characteristics so you can tell them apart. Initially, I’ll provide you a table to use as a cheat sheet.

Features  Langostino Crawfish
Price $15 to $16 per pound $5 to $6 per pound
Taxonomy Anomura infraorder Astacidea infraorder
Size Larger and slimmer Short and stubby
Habitat Saltwater Freshwater
Taste More salinity Less salinity and sweeter



There are several misunderstandings regarding the word langostino. Squat lobsters are most typically referred to as langostino in the restaurant sector in the United States. Squat lobsters, however, are not the same as genuine lobsters or crabs. They are in the same order as crabs and lobsters and are classified as Decapods.

Nonetheless, langostinos are members of the Anomura suborder and the Galatheidae crustacean family. The American lobster, on the other hand, belongs to the infraorder Astacidea, whereas real crabs belong to the infraorder Brachyura.


Crawfish are members of the Decapod crustacean order. Nevertheless, they belong to a separate suborder known as the Astacidea, which is related to American lobsters rather than langostinos.


Langostinos or langostino lobsters taste extremely similar to ordinary lobsters in terms of flavor. As a result, since langostinos are almost half the price of American lobsters, many restaurants will serve langostino flesh instead. Langostinos tail flesh is sweet and delicate, comparable to lobster tail meat but with a slightly different texture.

Similarly, crawfish tastes similar to lobster but has a sweeter flavor. This is because crawfish are only found in freshwater, while most lobsters are found in saltwater.


Langostinos are crustaceans found in the Anomura suborder. These creatures have a crab-like appearance. Yet, its carapace conceals their dorsal or final set of legs. This provides the impression that they only have four legs. They really have five pairs of legs, since the whole order of Decapods is named after these characteristics.

Langostino resembles short, stubby lobsters. They have distinct purple racing stripes that crawfish lack totally. Crawfish lack such striped or speckled patterns on their bodies.

Crawfish are likewise decapods, although their bodies are shorter and stouter than langostinos’.


In the United States, langostinos are crustaceans that are little longer than 8 cm (or 3 inches) in length and weigh less than 200 grams. These are substantially smaller than regular lobsters, more like prawns in size.

Crawfish resemble lobster’s shorter, stubbier relatives. Because of their similar look, these species are sometimes referred to as freshwater lobster. True lobsters are all ocean creatures, for reference. Crawfish may reach 17.5 cm (almost 7 inches) in length, which is substantially longer than langostinos.


Langostinos are crustaceans that live in seawater. They are from various nations. Chile exports two species of langostinos, both of which are members of the Galatheidae family. Two more species are native to New Zealand. These creatures may be pelagic (live in the middle of the sea) or benthic (live on the seafloor) (bottom dwellers).

Crawfish and crayfish are freshwater invertebrates that dwell only in rivers and lakes. They may also be found in wetlands and wet paddy fields. These are typically benthic creatures, living towards the bottom of bodies of water to feed on plants, rotting animals, and debris.


Langostinos are a popular seafood in many regions of the globe. They are typically imported from the Chilean and New Zealandan areas. The demand for langostinos has risen considerably in recent years, particularly in the American market.

This is due to the lower cost of employing langostino lobsters over standard American or spiny lobsters. This is why numerous restaurants, including Rubio and Long John Silvers, have swapped this kind for traditional lobsters. In such situations, the law mandates the market to label the crustacean as langostino lobster or something similar to emphasize the distinction.

Crawfish have been popular for a considerably longer period and in more places than langostinos. They are abundant in Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and South Africa. As a result, these species are a mainstay of all of these areas’ seafood.


To make things simpler for you, I created a table that compares the nutritional content of langostino with crawfish.

Nutrition (per 3 oz) Langostino Crawfish
Calories 51 65
Total Fat 0 0.8 g
Cholesterol 125 mg 97 mg
Sodium 170 mg 49 mg
Protein 15 g 14 g
Carbohydrate 0 0

Culinary Use

Langostinos are prepared in the same manner as lobsters and prawns. In the United States, these creatures are often grilled or fried and served on top of pizza. They are also commonly served with spaghetti. In a more straightforward preparation, the langostinos are boiled or sautéed in wine and garlic and served with a lemon slice and chopped herbs.

Langostinos tails, in particular, are frequently utilized and sought after. They provide the ideal bite-sized serving for foods such as pizza, spaghetti, and soup.

Crawfish may be eaten and presented in a variety of ways. Just boil or sauté them, then serve hot with a touch of lemon. You may also serve them with spaghetti or pizza. Crawfish pot pies and crawfish boils are both popular foods in the United States.


A pound of whole langostino sells for $15 to $16 in the United States. Nevertheless, if you purchase them in volume, you may acquire them at a lower price. A 5 pound bag of langostino, for example, may cost between $13 and $14. In the US, IQF langostino tails may be purchased for $7 to $8. Its price is approximately half that of lobster tails, which explains why langostinos are becoming more popular.

Live Louisiana crawfish may cost between $4 and $5 per pound. Depending on the season, fresh boiled crawfish might retail for $5 to $6 per pound.

Are Langostino and Crawfish the Same Thing?

Despite they may seem identical on a seafood plate, langostinos and crawfish are not the same species. Langostino crustaceans are decapods of the Anomura infraorder. Crawfish, on the other hand, is a member of the decapod family Astacidea. A decapod is a creature with 10 legs.

Can You Substitute Langostino with Crawfish?

Because of their similar look and texture, langostino and crawfish may be substituted. They will not, however, taste the same in a meal.

Crawfish and langostino have a similar flavor to lobster. Yet, since crawfish are freshwater animals, their flesh tastes somewhat sweeter. Since they are saltwater crustaceans, Langostino has a higher salinity. Crawfish flesh is somewhat more soft than langostino meat.

Hence, although you may substitute crawfish for langostino, the flavor will be different.

Can You Substitute Crawfish with Langostino?

For the same reason, you may use langostino for crawfish if you choose or are compelled to. You can get away with it since they are similar in flavor and feel. A skilled eater, however, will be able to distinguish between the two.

Is Langostino a Scampi?

Scampi, often known as Norwegian lobster, is a Nephropidae family edible crustacean. Langoustine is just a regional term for this crab family. Langostino, therefore, is not a scampi.

Does Langostino Taste Like Lobster?

Most individuals believe that langostino flesh tastes just like lobster meat. They’re tasty, though not as tasty as freshwater crabs or crawfish. Langostinos have a lower meat content than lobsters.

To summarize, both crawfish and langostino are excellent substitutes for lobster at a lower cost. Hence, if you want lobster or other similar seafood, you may substitute these crustaceans without sacrificing flavor.


What is the difference between crawfish and langostino?

Langoustines resemble crayfish in appearance, but they grow in saltwater seas and oceans, while crayfish breed in freshwater rivers and lakes. Langoustines are known scientifically as Nephrops norvegicus, and they are a close cousin of the lobster.

Is langostino a lobster or a crawfish?

Seafood enthusiasts may be familiar with langoustines, which look like tiny lobsters or gigantic crawfish, but the langostino is an entirely other species. And it’s now available at The Fish Man, a Chicago seafood market.

Does langostino taste like lobster?

The edible flesh of langostino may be found in its inch-long tail. It has a sweet, delicate taste that is similar to lobster or crab. Yet, its texture is more similar to shrimp than lobster.

What is a substitute for langostino?

A langostino is neither a lobster nor a shrimp or prawn, yet the flesh is sweet and flavorful, similar to lobster. It also isn’t as “briny” as crawfish flesh. You might also use lobster, shrimp, or jumbo prawns instead of langostino.

How do you eat langostino?

It’s simple to consume langoustines: just remove the tail away from the head, shatter the shell, and enjoy the luscious flesh. You may use a pick or your hands to extract it. Sucking the head is also permitted, but not for everyone! A meal using Norwegian lobster does not have to be difficult to prepare.

What do you do with frozen langoustines?

How to prepare langoustines: If you use pre-prepared, frozen langoustines, all you need to do is defrost them (you can cook from frozen if boiling). If you’re dealing with live langoustine, place them in the freezer for about an hour before boiling them in salted water.

Why are langoustines expensive?

Langoustines are most popular in France and Spain, where they are known as cigalas. What Makes Langoustines Unique? The fact that langoustines are extremely scarce, like with many other premium ingredients, is what makes them so pricey.

How do you cook langoustines?

How to Prepare Langoustines
Bring a large pot of strongly salted water to a boil (1 tbsp salt to 1 liter of water). Carefully add the langoustines, in batches if required, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, taking care not to overcook them.
More to come…

Is langoustine cheaper than lobster?

Langoustines are even more costly than lobster due to the difficulty of purchasing them, so be prepared to pay a premium for anything smaller than a lobster tail if you see “Norwegian lobster” on a menu – it will most likely be someplace other than Long John Silvers or Red Lobster.

What fish is referred to as poor man’s lobster?

Burbot is a delicate, mild, white-fleshed fish with several cooking options. Burbot tastes and feels like lobster when cooked and dipped in garlic butter. In fact, many people refer to burbot as “Poor Man’s Lobster.”

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