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Cooking Moreton Bay Bugs | Slipper Lobster Recipes

Cooking Moreton Bay Bugs - Slipper Lobsters:

Average yield is 30%, the edible flesh is only in the tail and larger Bugs have a lower yield due to their head size. Have a medium, sweet, rich flavour (milder than Balmain Bug but stronger than Rock lobster), low oiliness and dry, firm flesh. To remove meat from shells, either split Bug lengthwise, or, to keep meat in one piece, remove head, turn tail over and cut down either side of the tail using kitchen scissors, peel underside of tail back and remove meat. Do not recook cooked Bugs, eat cold in salads or with a dipping sauce. The most humane, and easiest, method of killing any crustacean is to chill it in the freezer for about 45 minutes until it becomes insensible (but not long enough to freeze it). Once chilled, it should be killed promptly by splitting in half or dropping into rapidly boiling water.

Cooking Moreton Bay Bugs - Slipper LobstersBugs are usually sold whole, sometimes live but often already cooked. If possible buy live from a tank, in which case they should be lively with a hard shell (indicating that they haven’t recently moulted) and all legs and antennae should be intact. Unlike Crabs and Rock lobsters, Bugs don’t survive well out of water; if buying chilled green (raw dead) Bugs, ask when they were alive, they should only be stored chilled for about 48 hours before being cooked. In cooked Bugs, look for brightly coloured, firm, intact, lustrous shells, without any discolouration, particularly at joints, and a pleasant fresh sea smell. They should feel heavy for their size and their tails should be tightly curled.

Live Bugs won’t survive long out of water and deteriorate quickly once dead. Live Bugs can be stored in a container, covered with a damp cloth, in the warmest part of the refrigerator (usually the crisper), for a few hours. If keeping any longer, chill them in the freezer to kill them quickly (see Killing below); wrap green or cooked Bugs or Bug meat in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days (from when they were alive) or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

The easiest and most humane way to kill any crustacean is to chill it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until it becomes insensible (but not long enough to freeze it). This should be long enough to kill Bugs, which can then be refrigerated as above (see for details on killing other live crustaceans).

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, grill, or barbecue Bugs. Moreton Bay Bugs have a sweet rich flavour, stronger than Rocklobsters but milder than Balmain Bugs, which have a more ‘fishy’ flavour. Undercook, rather than overcook, Bugs, as they will continue cooking in the residual heat; if overcooked the meat will be tough and leathery. Use the shell to flavour stocks, soups and sauces.

Lobster, Bugs & Slipper Lobster Recipes
 from How To Cook Fish & Seafood

Other Recipes suitable for Moreton Bay Bugs or Slipper Lobsters:
Grilled Lobster - Our favorite way to prepare lobster, simply grilled and basted with butter.
White Lobster - Canned or fresh boiled lobster in a mustard white sauce, served in scallop shells.
Broiled Lobster Tails - Lobster with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced parsley, and paprika topping

Video's Showing Cooking Crayfish or Lobster Recipes
Lobster in Ginger Sauce, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Lobster Risotto with Vanilla Bean Oil, Lobster Salad with Saffron Potatoes....


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Bug meat.

Kilojoules 399 (95 calories)
Cholesterol 121 mg
Sodium 185 g
Total fat (oil) 0.8 g
Saturated fat 36% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 23% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 41% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 39 mg
Omega-3, DHA 49 mg
Omega-6, AA 45 mg

Preparing Balmain Bugs to Serve:
Step 1
: Place bug, hard shell down, on a chopping board. Insert the tip of the knife under the joint between the head and body. Pull off head.
Step 2: Cut down the centre from the tail to the top. Gently split shell open to flatten bug.
Step 3: Remove intestinal tract (devein). The bug meat can be served in or out of the shell.

To boil an uncooked Bug, chill it well if it’s alive (see Killing Bugs above), then place into a large pot of rapidly boiling water that has been well salted (½ cup table salt to 2.5 litres water), for 6-8 minutes depending on size, timed from when the water returns to the boil. Refresh in iced water.

To serve in shell: place the chilled or cooked Bug on its back and, using a sharp knife or Chinese cleaver, split the length of the shell from head to tail. As Bugs have thick shells, which can be difficult to cut in half, you can always ask your fishmonger to halve them for you. Remove the digestive tract (grey thread) running down the middle of the tail meat and use a teaspoon to clean out the head cavity; some people retain the yellowy-orange tomalley or ‘mustard’ (liver), to enrich sauce or mayonnaise.

To serve meat only: either split Bug lengthwise (as above) and lift out the 2 pieces of meat, or, to keep the meat in one piece, turn tail over and cut down either side of the underside of the tail shell using kitchen scissors, peel shell back and remove meat.

Do not recook cooked Bugs, serve cold in salads or with mayonnaise (flavoured with garlic or herbs) or other dipping sauce; they’re excellent split in half as part of a cold seafood platter, and the meat can be used as a garnish for soups, tossed through hot pasta or in other dishes where it’s only lightly reheated, such as omelettes. To barbecue, cut in half lengthwise and cook in the shell with garlic or herb butter drizzled over the cut surface. The firm raw flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and threaded on skewers for kebabs. Bugs can be used in almost any recipe calling for Lobsters, Rock lobsters, Prawns or Freshwater Crayfish.


See Also:
Moreton Bay Bug (Thenus orientalis) Photographs and Information
Cooking Moreton Bay Bugs | Slipper Lobster Recipes
Commercial Fishery Moreton Bay Bug (Thenus orientalis) Slipper Lobster Buyers Sellers


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