Christmas crayfish served with festive fizz

By Nikki & Jordan Shearer

Featured in Capital #37
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Wellington coastlines are a “supermarket” for a range of kaimoana including  crayfish (Koura).

Often though, you need to have someone in the know or have a favour to call in to be able to access prime spots. Don’t despair, because we have amazing businesses in Wellington that provide the goods without the toil. It does come at cost, though. We were lucky enough to have Jordan’s gorgeous partner Jason, from Wellington Kayak Fishing, harvest a beautiful crayfish for our photo shoot all legs intact!

Make sure you leave these delectable crays alone during the mating season (especially females with eggs) as we need all the females for future baby crayfish.

On Masterchef we won the Samoa challenge with a version of this dish try it, we promise it will be a winner for you too. What better way to evoke Kiwi Summers than fresh crayfish washed down with gin and pomegranate spritzers? Christmas NZ Style!

Crayfish with mango salsa and pumpkin purée


1x 400ml can coconut cream
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut into 3 pieces
2 red chillies, finely diced
3cm ginger, peeled and diced
Zest and juice of one line
2tsp fish sauce
2tsp palm sugar, grated 
¼ pumpkin, peeled and cubed into 2cm chunks 
1x large fresh crayfish
½ cucumber, seeded and diced
2 red chillies, seeds removed and diced
½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 mango cheek, diced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Juice of one lime
50g butter 


  1. For the pumpkin puree: to a medium pot, add coconut cream, lemongrass, chili, ginger, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, and pumpkin. 
  2. Simmer on a low-med head until pumpkin is soft
  3. Remove lemongrass stalks and blitz the rest of the ingredients with a stick blender until smooth.
  4. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
  6. Drop in the whole crayfish and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove crayfish from the water and set aside to cool.
  7. For the salsa: miz together cucumber, chilies, coriander, mango, spring onions, and lime juice. Season with a touch of salt.
  8. Remove tail from crayfish and peel. Gather the rest of the crayfish meat.
  9. Heat BBQ or griddle pan, add butter. Sear crayfish tail in butter for approximately 1 minute each side. Quickly sear the remaining meat.
  10. To serve: for a gorgeous Christmas sharing platter, spoon pumpkin puree onto a platter alongside crayfish and salsa. For individual entrees, divide ingredients between for plates. Drool.

Gin and pomegranate spritzer 

2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds 
45ml gin (we use Rogue Society)
Pomegranate juice
Sparkling water with a twist of lemon
Rosemary springs-to serve 


  1. Fill a tall glass with ice and 2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds. 
  2. Add gin and top with half and half pomegranate juice and sparkling water.
  3. Stir to mix, and serve with a rosemary sprig…so super simple. 


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