A SUM­MER OF SHELL­FISH

FOR­GET PRAWNS –UP YOUR SEAFOOD LIKES OF LOB­STER, GAME WITH THE MAR­RON, CRAB AND MORE.

GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE GQ - WORDS AN­THONY HUCKSTEP & RICHARD CLUNE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BEN DEARNLEY

With a glo­ri­ous bounty in Aus­tralia’s var­i­ous oceans, big­ger shell­fish are push­ing prawns aside for a right­ful spot on the sum­mer plat­ter. “The di­verse range and po­ten­tial culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences that other shell­fish of­fer can change your life,” says award-win­ning chef Brent Sav­age, with­out a hint of over­state­ment. “There’s more fat and sweet meat in the larger shell­fish. And a bit of ef­fort de­liv­ers mas­sive eat­ing re­wards.” Sav­age should know – hav­ing re­cently added the seafood-fo­cused Cir­rus to a Syd­ney sta­ble that al­ready boasts Bent­ley Restau­rant + Bar, Mono­pole and Yel­low. “The stand­out for me is the More­ton Bay bug – sim­ply cut it in half with a cleaver and bar­be­cue in the shell for a few min­utes. Add a flavoured but­ter and you can do the same for lob­ster, yab­bies and mar­ron too. Just keep it sim­ple.” Crabs, he adds, shouldn’t be a scary propo­si­tion. “I know they can ap­pear con­fronting, but you’d be sur­prised how easy they are – and more re­ward­ing than any other food. “We use mud crabs in the restau­rant, and at home I love span­ner crabs – a great size and with a won­der­fully sweet flesh. I steam them whole, lift the lid from the tail and pick the meat for a salad, pasta or just to eat on its own. Again, it’s so sim­ple and re­ally amazing.” So, sink the claws in.

Ac­claimed French chef Paul Bo­cuse named mar­ron as one of the world's great tastes. And he's right – this na­tive Aus­tralian fresh­wa­ter cray­fish a pow­er­house that pro­vides cleaner, sweeter flavour than lob­ster. Get to know the lo­cal fish­mon­ger to se­cure some, or check the lo­cal mar­kets – and al­ways buy fresh. As for cook­ing, keep things sim­ple by but­ter­fly­ing with but­ter and a sear­ing grill, or take it up a notch as part of a pot roast. Al­ter­na­tively, mix through a fresh salad.

THE BOOK THREE YEARS IN THE MAK­ING – WITH FOUR AU­THORS, ONE OF THEM GQ'S AN­THONY HUCKSTEP, WHO SAYS THE AIM WAS TO DE­LIVER SOME­THING THAT “CEL­E­BRATED THE BOUNTY IN OUR WA­TERS BY PRO­FIL­ING SPECIES AND DIS­CUSSING CULI­NARY AP­PLI­CA­TIONS, WHILE SHAR­ING RECIPES TO GIVE PEO­PLE CON­FI­DENCE… IT WAS A BONUS WHEN NEIL PERRY PUB­LICLY CALLED IT THE ‘BI­BLE OF SEAFOOD’.” AUS­TRALIAN FISH & SEAFOOD COOK­BOOK BY SUSMAN, HUCKSTEP, SWAN & HODGES; $79.99, MUR­DOCH BOOKS.

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