This month we’ll be cooking up one of the tastiest and most available little crustaceans, the redclaw, or freshwater cray. You can catch dozens of these dozens of these critters in drop nets and Opera House pots in dams, rivers. Although we’ve used redclaw in this dish, there’s other species of cray in Australia that you can eat, and can be used in this recipe.
Start with the freshly caught whole crays, that should be chilled on ice prior.
Take your crays and twist the heads off. Twist, then pull the head away from the body.
Grab the tail flap and pinch your thumb and forefinger into the flesh at the base of the cray’s tail, twist 90° and pull the tail slowly away from the body so that the ‘poop chute’ comes out attached to the tail.
Turn the body over and peel the body shell off – start by breaking the attachment between the underside and the top shell (back) – your fingernail can do this, you could also use a small paring knife or a pair of short pointy-nose scissors.
Continue all the way down one side, and peel back the underside. Now you can push the body meat out. If you have mixed sizes in your batch of crays once the body meat is all extracted from your catch, you can cut the larger ones in half to even them up.
Crush a couple of cloves of garlic. Then toss the meaty cray chunks in a little cornflour to lightly coat. Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter over a medium heat in a heavy based fry pan or BBQ plate. Add the crushed garlic to the pan or plate and cook for a minute before adding the coated tails to the cooking surface. Stir fry for a minute or two until the meat turns pink. Finally, sprinkle the snipped chives onto the cray pieces and stir fry for a further minute.
Serve on a bed of rice.
Cray body meat
Garlic and crushed garlic