Boiled Yabbies with Chilli Tomato Sauce

Many Australians have childhood memories of catching Yabbies in a dam or creek, and boiling them up there and then in a tin over a campfire. In this recipe their sweet flesh is enhanced by an agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce with a nice touch of chilli heat.


1kg live yabbies (see notes)
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Chilli Tomato Sauce
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small green chillies, seeded and chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 firm ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and diced finely
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, more or less to taste
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


Place Yabbies in a deep bowl, wrap in a cloth and put into the freezer for 30-60 minutes, until insensible.

Meanwhile, make Chilli Tomato Sauce: heat oil in a saucepan, add chillies, garlic, tomato, sugar and vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Taste and stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside until needed. 

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add Yabbies, cover and boil for 5 minutes. Drain yabbies and, when cool enough to handle, slice down the centre, remove digestive tract and pile onto a serving platter. Garnish with parsley.

Whisk sauce well to emulsify and serve alongside the Yabbies.


The easiest and most humane way to kill any crustacean is to chill them in the freezer for 30-60 minutes until they become insensible (but not long enough to freeze them). Once chilled, they should be killed promptly by splitting in half or dropping into rapidly boiling water. See NSW Department of Primary Industries or RSPCA for more details.

Alternative species:

Bugs, Marron, Prawns, Redclaw.

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