Yabby Salad with Tomato & Basil
Many Australians have childhood memories of catching yabbies in dams and creeks and boiling them up there and then in a tin over a campfire. It’s more humane to chill them first as outlined below, and many fishmongers will cook them for you if asked.
Serves 4 as an entrée
1kg live yabbies (see notes)
2 cups wild or baby rocket, washed and dried
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the yabbies (see notes) and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the shells turn orange. Drain and set-aside until just cool enough to handle.
Twist off the yabbies’ claws and crack open to remove the meat. Twist off and discard the heads. Insert kitchen scissors into the base of the tail and cut along the centre of the underside of the shell. Carefully prise open the shell and remove the tail meat. Discard shells. Slice the tail meat in half lengthways and devein.
Divide rocket between 4 plates and top with yabby meat.
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, tomato, basil, salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon over salad and serve.
The easiest and most humane way to kill any crustacean is to chill them in the freezer for about 30 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 www.rspca.org.au for more details.
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