Cooking Molluscs and Crustaceans
The content for this page is adapted from the
Tasmanian Seafood Cookbook
. There were two versions of this popular fishing cookbook published by the
Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority
; the first in 1981 by Patricia Bolin and the second in 1988 by Barbra Blomberg.
Find cooking tips and fish recipes on Tas Fish Guide, our recreational fishing phone app.
AbaloneTwo species of abalone are available in Tasmanian waters - blacklip and greenlip.CharacteristicsLow oil content. Distinctive subtle flavour. Dense white flesh that may need tenderising. Succulent when properly cooked. Canned, whole.Cooking MethodCasserole, deep fry, shallow fry, patties, soup, steam, stir fry.
Crab, SurfMost common species but others such as the Giant Tasmanian Crab and Brown Crab are available in small quantities.CharacteristicsLow oil content. Distinctive excellent flavour. Prepare whole or in sections. Whole - uncooked or cooked, crab meat.Cooking Method
Barbeque, boil, simmer, steam, stir-fry.
CuttlefishOccasionally available in shops. Appreciated by gourmets for its flavour.CharacteristicsLow oil content. High protein value. Mild flavour. Flesh dense - needs to be tenderised. Hoods, whole.
Bake, barbecue, casserole, marinate, stir fry.
Rock Lobster (Crayfish)One of Tasmania's best known types of seafood. Caught in beehive shaped pots by licensed fishers in waters down to 180m.
Low oil content. Delicate flavour. Firm white flesh. Whole - unccoked or cooked, cooked or uncooked tails, cray meat.
Barbeque, grill, simmer, steam or according to recipe.
Mussels, BlueFarmed mussels are available for sale.Characteristics
Low oil content. Distinctive flavour. Tender and juicy with correct cooking. Steam open then use as directed by recipe. Live in shall, smoked, steamed on half shell.
Barbecue, grill, marinate, pickle, smoke, soups, steam.
OctopusTwo species available - giant (up to 20 kilograms) and small (up to 1 kilogram). Mainly small octopus available in shops.Characteristics
Low oil content. Mild flavour. Similar texture to squid though more dense. Needs to be tenderised, then skinned. Prepare whole (if small), or cut into suitable portions depending on recipe. Whole.
Bake, barbecue (small), casserole, marinate.
OystersFarmed oysters are available on the market, predominately Pacific oysters. Some local flat or native Angasi oysters are also harvested commercially.Characteristics
Low oil content. Distinctive flavour. Texture unlike other molluscs, a unique balance between soft and firm. Live in shells or on half shells.
Bake, deep fry, grill, smoked, natural, soups.
PeriwinklesCommon around Tasmanian waters all year.Characteristics
Low oil content. Flesh slightly 'chewy' with pronounced flavour. Live in shells, frozen precooked.
Bake, grill, marinate, soups.
Prawns and Shrimps
Small quantities may occasionally be available from the north-east coast.
Low oil content. Sweet flavour. Firm white flesh when cooked. Uncooked or cooked in shell, peeled uncooked or cooked.
Barbeque, grill, deep fry, shallow fry, stir fry.
Caught by licensed fishers only. Limited season but available frozen all year.
Low oil content. Rich, distinctive flavour. Fine, succulent, tender texture when cooked correctly. Shucked, fresh or frozen.
Bake, barbecue, deep fry, grill, marinate, poach, shallow fry, stir fry.
SquidTwo species available in Tasmanian waters. Arrow or Gould's squid (most abundant) and Calamari. Flavour and texture fairly similar with Calamari being preferred by some chefs.Characteristics
Low oil content. Excellent protein content. Delicate flavour. Firm texture, tender when cooked correctly. Crumbed rings, hoods or whole.
Bake, barbeque, casserole, deep fry, grill, marinate, shallow fry, stir fry.
Alternative Fish Species to UseAbalone
- Lobster (in some recipes).Cuttlefish
- Octopus (after tenderising), Squid.Lobster, Crayfish
- Bug Tails, Crab (in some recipes).Mussels
- Cuttlefish, Squid.Prawns
- Bug tails (in some recipes).Scallops
- None.Squid, Arrow or Goulds
- Calamari, Cuttlefish.Calamari
- Arrow or Goulds Squid, Cuttlefish.
Fish illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe