Learn about the following species groups (including their most common members, as well as purchasing, storage and cooking information), or select a specific species from the species list on the right.
Australian lobster, Australian redclaw lobster, clear-water crayfish, Queensland marron, redclaw lobster, tropical blue crayfish.
Parastacidae (freshwater crayfish, yabbies).
These freshwater shellfish occur naturally in a range of different habitats to depths of 5m in rivers and streams in northern Queensland and NT. They can be both wild caught and farmed. The commercial supply are farmed in culture ponds along Queensland’s east coast. They are endemic to Australia.
Available farmed year round.
Can reach 600g, but commonly 15cm and 45-120g.
Medium-high priced (live are dearer than cooked).
Marron (larger) and yabby (generally smaller); redclaw males can be distinguished by a red patch on the outside of each claw.
Sold mostly whole live, and occasionally cooked and chilled or frozen. Look for brightly coloured, firm, intact, lustrous shells, without any discolouration, particularly at joints, and a pleasant fresh sea smell. If possible buy live, avoid green (raw dead) chilled redclaw as it’s hard to tell how long they’ve been dead.
Live crustaceans should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Place in a covered container, with ventilation holes in the top and wet butcher’s paper or cloth in the bottom and keep in the coolest part of the house (below 20ºC) for up to 2 days, keeping the paper or cloth wet. Wrap dead redclaw in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.
Average yield is 25% (lower in larger specimens). Has a sweet, delicate flavour, low oiliness and moist, firm flesh, which is translucent when raw and white with orange tinges when cooked. The most humane, and easiest, method of killing any crustacean is to chill it in the freezer for about 30 minutes until it becomes insensible (but not long enough to freeze it). Once chilled, it should be killed promptly by splitting in half or dropping into rapidly boiling water. See www.rspca.org.au for more details.
Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. The firm flesh holds together well during most cooking methods. Undercook, rather than overcook, them, as they will continue cooking in the residual heat; overcooked redclaw become tough. The head and shell can be used to flavour stocks, soups and sauces.
Butter, capsicum, chilli, fresh herbs (such as coriander, dill, French tarragon, parsley), garlic, lemon, lime, mustard, olive oil, Pernod, saffron, white wine.
Crabs, marron, prawns, rock lobsters and yabby.
Garlic Baked Redclaw >
Poached Redclaw with Chilli & Coconut >
Redclaw & Soba Noodle Salad >
Boiled Yabbies with Chilli Tomato Sauce >
Yabby Salad with Tomato & Basil >
Yabby Cocktail >
Barbecued Marron with Garlic & Herb Butter >