Salt and pepper yabbie skewers

Serves: 4

20 yabbies (prawns, shrimp or squid)
100g rice flour or breadcrumb
5g salt
10g Alpine Pepper
80g rocket (arugula) or mizuna leaves
2-3 litres vegetable oil


Start out by freezing your catch for 2 hours immediately before the preparation.

Begin by heating up vegetable oil in a deep pot on the stove. Take a lot of care when deep frying and watch the protruding handle on some pots since bumping it can splash the oil and lead to a fire. I like to use vegetable or peanut oil as the plain flavours don’t over-power the subtle flavours of the seafood. (Vic tells me that they also have a higher smoke point than olive or other nut oils so you reduce the oxidation of the fats and this makes them better for deep frying.)

Remove the head from each yabby and peel off the shell by snipping the edges of the shells with kitchen scissors. You can reserve the shells and heads, roast them and make a delicious stock or bisque (not needed for this recipe) so freeze everything but the tail meat for up to a few weeks until
you need it.

Depending on the size of each yabbie, you may need 5-6 smaller tails per skewer or 2 – 3 larger ones. Mix the salt & pepper with the rice flour and coat the skewered yabbies generously.

Before you cook the yabbies, you’ll need to test the heat of the oil. As we demonstrated on the show, you can do this by placing a skewer in the heated oil. If bubbles come out of the end of the
skewer, the oil is hot enough. Lower the yabbies into the hot oil, they will need only 2-3 minutes to cook and the coating should be golden brown. Drain on paper toweling to soak up any excess oil.


Arrange the skewers as shown or simply stack them and serve with a small salad.

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Dining Downunder Cookbook
This Australian recipe of Salt and pepper yabbie skewers is included in the Dining Downunder Cookbook which can be purchased online at the Dining Downunder Online Shop. Also available online is a wide range of native Australian herbs and spices, sauces, syrups, infused oils and bush tucker ingredients such as wattleseed and paperbark rolls.

Episode: Margaret River and restaurant Vat 107

Recipe By: Benjamin Christie

Benjamin ChristieLate at night down in Chinatown, many restaurants serve up this treat using either fresh prawns or squid in their own unique salt and Szechwan pepper blends. I thought yabbies would bring sweetness to the dish giving it a further dimension. Nowadays, most fish shops and seafood markets in Australia have live yabbies available or you can catch your own in farm dams and most of our larger inland rivers. Try this recipe with chicken strips as well.

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Vic Cherikoff