In which we enjoy recently caught crayfish on the back of a boat

doesn't get much better than this? no I didn't think so

If the apotheosis of the Australia Day weekend is wearing the Australian flag like some kind of gormless synthetic textile superman, then it officially does dingoes. However, there is fun to be had on the back of a boat moored off Rottnest, where the captain pops off and comes back with crays. Most decent, very Australian.

Crayfish/Western Rock Lobster with Garlic Butter
1 large boat
1 obliging friend
3 crayfish
2 local purple garlic clove, crushed
some celery leaves, chopped
splash of hot chili sauce
1 fistful of butter

Send crayfish to sleep in the chest freezer then slice in half. Clean out the head.
Allow butter to melt in the sun and then smoosh in the garlic, celery, and sauce.
Pop crayfish meat down on the BBQ to sear, then flip over and liberally baste with butter. Eat with mango salsa and frosty cold beer.
I don’t recall enjoying crayfish this much since I was in Playas de Rosarito with a mariachi band for accompaniment.



  1. Santos’s avatar

    holy crap, remind me to run the next time you ask me to take a nap in a chest freezer.

    although, my head needs cleaning out from time to time.

  2. Phil’s avatar

    This is actually pretty funny to American readers, since crayfish here are little, under 15cm lobster-like arthropods which live under rocks in freshwater streams.

  3. ilingc’s avatar

    i want one of those too!! where do you find one? an obliging friend that is.

    oh. nice looking crayfish.. all we had for australia day was pizza, beer and a dvd. :)

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    You’ll be right, you’re used to the heat, but a northern european backpacker…

    Yeah it does my head in. I thought they were crawfish. We call the under rock in stream ones yabbies.

    Oh just hang around law firms, doctor’s surgeries, yacht clubs long enough.
    That’s about 315 other days of the week for me.

  5. Barbara’s avatar

    I’m so jealous. I knew that was Rottnest as soon as I saw the photo.

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    It’s a lovely place. The nothingness of the actual island drives you to the sea (or drink).

  7. Richard Leader’s avatar

    It was grey and miserable in London on Australia day – and you b*stards beat us at cricket as well.

  8. Gracianne’s avatar

    Such a perfect day…

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Richard

    Well the night was dark and stormy, if that’s any consolation.


    Oooh I’m going to have to listen to some Lou Reed now.

  10. FDB’s avatar

    Okay, that’s a pretty good Oz day.

    And yes, I’m jealous. I’m pretty sure I’ve moored in that exact bay (Thompson’s?) and eaten a jolly fine freshly killed garfish sashimi.

    My only criticism is that you seem, in your casual “clean out the head” line, to have neglected the culinary opportunities therein. Next time, reserve all scrapings from the headal region, then collect the shells after the barbie and simmer it all for half an hour. Strain, then reduce/dilute as required. Add cream (about 1/4 the volume of stock) heat slowly, season (maybe a bit of parsley too) and then you got yourself some serious quality.

    Optional toasted saffron from the start of the simmer will do that little bit of extra magic.

    Send some kid off with a dinghy and bike to the Rotto bakery for crusty bread to go with.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    Stark Bay – would normally be a nice quiet spot I imagine but even so, not heaving like Thomsons.

    Ooh yeah garfish, would have been lovely, there were a few swimming around. Didn’t have a fishing line though (I think we were going for the impractical gin palace vibe). Also quite a few white bait in the bay too.

    Yes well spotted, that was a deferment to the captain as is the diplomacy of the sea. I usually try and make a bisque but just with the shells. Is it the brown roe that you add and is it just simmering in its own juices?

    Great stuff.

  12. christine’s avatar

    What a beautiful picture!! I’ve never had fresh crayfish, and that looks tempting/

  13. Pim’s avatar

    Nice photo. Even nicer critters. Yum.

  14. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Pim, how’s it going?

    Critters! Them’s good eatin’

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