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.


Blacklip abalone illustration by Peter GouldthorpeTwo species of abalone are available in Tasmanian waters - blacklip and  greenlip.
Low oil content. Distinctive subtle flavour. Dense white flesh that may need tenderising. Succulent when properly cooked. Canned, whole.
Cooking Method
Casserole, deep fry, shallow fry, patties, soup, steam, stir fry.

Crab, Surf

Velvet crab illustration by Peter GouldthorpeMost common species but others such as the Giant Tasmanian Crab and Brown Crab are available in small quantities.
Low oil content. Distinctive excellent flavour. Prepare whole or in sections. Whole - uncooked or cooked, crab meat.
Cooking Method
Barbeque, boil, simmer, steam, stir-fry.


Cuttlefish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeOccasionally available in shops. Appreciated by gourmets for its flavour.
Low oil content. High protein value. Mild flavour. Flesh dense - needs to be tenderised. Hoods, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, marinate, stir fry.

Rock Lobster (Crayfish)

Rock lobster illustration by Peter GouldthorpeOne 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.
Cooking Method
Barbeque, grill, simmer, steam or according to recipe.

Mussels, Blue

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeFarmed mussels are available for sale.
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.
Cooking Method
Barbecue, grill, marinate, pickle, smoke, soups, steam.


Octopus illustration by Peter GouldthorpeTwo species available - giant (up to 20 kilograms) and small (up to 1 kilogram). Mainly small octopus available in shops.
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.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue (small), casserole, marinate.


Pacific Oyster illustration by Peter GouldthorpeFarmed oysters are available on the market, predominately Pacific oysters. Some local flat or native Angasi oysters are also harvested commercially.
Low oil content. Distinctive flavour. Texture unlike other molluscs, a unique balance between soft and firm. Live in shells or on half shells.
Cooking Method
Bake, deep fry, grill, smoked, natural, soups.


Periwinkle illustration by Peter GouldthorpeCommon around Tasmanian waters all year.
Low oil content. Flesh slightly 'chewy' with pronounced flavour. Live in shells, frozen precooked.
Cooking Method
Bake, grill, marinate, soups.

Prawns and Shrimps

Prawn illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

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.
Cooking Method
Barbeque, grill, deep fry, shallow fry, stir fry.


Scallop illustration by Peter GouldthorpeCaught 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.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, deep fry, grill, marinate, poach, shallow fry, stir fry.


Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeTwo 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.
Low oil content. Excellent protein content. Delicate flavour. Firm texture, tender when cooked correctly. Crumbed rings, hoods or whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbeque, casserole, deep fry, grill, marinate, shallow fry, stir fry.

Alternative Fish Species to Use

Abalone - None.
Crab - Lobster (in some recipes).
Cuttlefish - Octopus (after tenderising), Squid.
Lobster, Crayfish - Bug Tails, Crab (in some recipes).
Mussels - None.
Octopus - 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
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