Tigers Den crayfish are in season and are very succulent at this time of the year. Crayfish are a real New Zealand delicacy found all around our wonderful coastline and especially in and around the Marlborough Sounds .
We recently pulled up along the Kaikoura Coast ,put on a set of goggles and had a quick look in the water while standing waist deep in the surf. In a very short time we had two nice size crayfish in our catch bag . They were just hiding under some kelp in very shallow water. Just goes to show if you make the effort and take a look you just may get lucky. No need for big pots or expensive dive gear , we just had a pair shorts and goggles.
Now lets get to Cooking The Crayfish . We recently met with an old timer while having a beer at Jolly Roger Pub in Waikawa Marina just beneath Tigers Den and got to talk about best way to cook our Crayfish . First job put them in tub of fresh water for five minutes which will humanely kill them . Get hold of grannies roasting dish with lid or similar large pot and lid . Put in bottom an oven tray or some rocks will do so crayfish are NOT IN WATER at all . Put in SEA WATER not fresh water, about two or three cups will do fine .
We are going to steam the crayfish not boil all the flavour out of them like most people do . We find it best to do this outside on the BBQ . This is what we use the little burner on the side of the BBQ for . Place the dish on the burner with all crays in and the lid on . Steam crayfish for 13 minutes ,then remove and hang up for 5 minutes to cool . Trust me you will never boil another crayfish again .
The next big tip from the old timer was taken with a lot of trepidation but proved to be right on the mark. Before we cooked the crays put in one tea spoon full of Mustard powder into sea water . I was in horror thinking this would taint the meat as i am sure we all could expect. What the mustard powder did was colour the shells of the crays this most wonderful red colour . It was like we had spray painted them . It created a most beautiful visual when we took the lid off.
The old timer was waiting at Jolly Roger pub next day eagerly awaiting our results especially how we got on with the mustard powder tip. It goes to show us all if you don’t stick your head in the water or listen to well healed advise we will not learn anything .
Plan you next holiday or vacation and stay at Tigers Den Waikawa Bay New Zealand for a relaxing holiday in a luxury location . Try this peace of Paradise when visiting the Marlborough Sounds or Nelson areas.
Team At Tigers Den.