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Redclaw is a type of freshwater crayfish belonging to the same family as yabbies and marrons. It  is native to Queensland and parts of the Northern Territory. It has a blue-brown shell and is very similar in appearance to the yabby but has distinct red markings on the bottom of its claws.

Garlic Baked Redclaw
Serves 4 as an entrée

16 x 75g green Redclaws
100g butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crusty bread, to serve
Green salad, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add garlic, parsley, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Halve crayfish lengthways, from the head down through the tail. Remove head contents, devein and arrange, flesh-side up, on a baking tray. Brush liberally with the butter mixture. Bake for 3-5 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and shells have turned orange.

Arrange crayfish on plates and drizzle with the cooking juices and any remaining butter mixture. Serve with crusty bread and green salad.

Alternative species: Bugs, Marron, large Prawns, Rocklobsters, Scampi, Yabby,

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Red claw inhabit rivers, creeks, lakes, dams and swamps and are mostly farmed in dams using simulated habitat such as a system of plastic tubing or car tyres. There are roughly 64 crayfish farms in Queensland producing around 75 tonnes per annum. Available year round, redclaw are fast growing crustaceans, which can breed in their first year and will breed several times in one season. They average 70g in weight and 12cm in length and yield around 30-35% in meat.  Redclaw are a medium priced crustacean and make an interesting alternative to prawns.

Redclaw are sold live, frozen and cooked, with live being higher in price.  Live redclaw should be active, be free of damage with lustrous blue to brown colour. Avoid buying green/uncooked redclaw it deteriorates very rapidly once dead. When purchasing, cooked redclaw should be free of damage, have a firm shell and a pleasant fresh smell. 

Live redclaw should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase. Keep moist, cool and dark. Redclaw will die within 4 hours when stored at temperatures of 10°c or less. There are two options for storing redclaw purchased live; 1 To keep live: place in a container, cover with a damp cloth and store in the coolest part of the house, no warmer than 20°c, for up to two days. Only cook live redclaw - discard any that have died.  2 To keep chilled: place live redclaw in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Refrigerate cooked redclaw for up to 2 days.  Freeze for up to 3 months, providing your freezer operates at -18°c or less.

Live redclaw that has been stored at room temperature will need to be killed prior to cooking. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours, in the freezer for 45 minutes or in an ice slurry (50% ice and 50% water) for 20 minutes or until the redclaw is immobilised. Redclaw can be cooked whole or in halves. Cut in halves lengthways, first through the head and then through the tail and devein (remove the digestive tract).

Redclaw flesh is moist with a firm texture and has a delicate and sweet flavour, the claws having the sweetest flesh. Redclaw cook very quickly, the flesh turns opaque and the shells turn orange-red in colour. Bake, barbecue, grill, steam, poach or use in soups.  They present well on seafood platters and salads.  The meat is used to fill ravioli or dumplings. Citrus, fresh herbs such as tarragon or dill and creamy sauces including coconut curries marry well with redclaw.

Energy (kj) 405, protein (g) 21, Fat (g) 1.0, Chlesterol (mg) 90, Omega 3s (mg) 115


*Nutritional information sourced from Australian Seafood Catering Manual and Omega 3 content from CSIRO Marine Research.  Values shown are for every 100g edible portion of the species only (not the complete recipe).


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