Crayfish two ways
  |  First Published: December 2010

With all the controversy over crayfish exports at the moment, this could be the best time for us the consumer to purchase it this summer.

I will say that these prices won’t be around for too long, so take advantage of it while you can if you’re into these spiky red critters.

The ways to prepare them are endless, however, the simpler the better to enjoy their natural flavour.


Crayfish Two Ways

Serves 1


1 cooked crayfish

1 lemon

2 tablespoons of good quality mayonnaise

1 tablespoon basil pesto

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cloves garlic chopped

100g salted butter melted

1 sprig parsley chopped

Mixed leaves for serving


1/2 bunch green basil

¼ cup toasted pinenuts

3 cloves garlic

¼ cup gratedparmesan (Grana)

Good olive oil


If your crayfish is already cooked, this will speed up the process a little for you. If purchasing live remember to treat them well before cooking, either by placing in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or drowning them in fresh water first.

When placed into a pot of boiling water live, it’s not only extremely cruel, but you will end up with an inferior crayfish as they often loose legs in the process.

Cut the crayfish in half, length ways, remove feed tube and wash innards out and sit aside.

To make pesto, place all ingredients into a food processor except the olive oil and blitz, adding the oil until a nice consistency is formed: not too dry or oily is what you are after.

Mix two tablespoons of mayo with one tablespoon of pesto, mix well.

Add melted butter, chopped garlic and chopped parsley together and sit aside.

With the natural half cray, separate the tail meat from the legs, trim leg portion down to get just legs attached together. Pull tail meat out of the shell and fill it with pesto mayonnaise, slice tail meat and arrange in tail.

With the other half, season slightly and cover in garlic butter and grill for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on cray size.

Arrange crays and legs on plate with some salad leaves, lemon and a little extra pesto mayo if you wish. Tuck in, it’s time to get messy.

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

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