Marron are native freshwater crayfish and a West Australian delicacy. If you’ve grown up in south west WA you’ve probably tried catching one at some point…usually not successfully. They can be sourced from specialist fishmongers either fresh or cooked.
It’s pretty quick to whip up, but will impress every time! Serve with a icy cold, dry, white wine or a dry cider from Blackwood Valley Cidery and celebrate WA produce in style.
- 4 marron (fresh is best, but precooked is fine)
- cooking salt to add to water for cooking marron
- 2 Pemberton finger limes – pearls removed
- fresh lime juice
- good quality whole egg mayonnaise (or make your own, recipe here)
- 4 slices good quality crusty Italian loaf
- butter or good quality olive oil
- 4 cos lettuce leaves – washed and dried
- good quality salt for seasoning
- white pepper
- Chopping board and heavy, sharp knife
- Large pot
- Ice bath (large container or sink full of water and ice)
- Mixing bowl
- Kitchen timer
If using fresh then cook marron by doing the following:
- Place marron in freezer for 30 minutes. This slows them down and renders them “insensible”. As with all animals, they feel pain. So the most humane way of cooking them is to place them in the freezer before cooking.
- Boil a large pot of water with 1 tbsp of cooking salt added for each litre of water.
- Once water has reached boiling, add marron.
- When water returns to simmering, cook marron for 6 to 8 minutes (depending on size). I recommend you use a kitchen timer so you don’t over cook the marron.
- The shell will change to red in colour during the cooking process.
- Remove cooked marron from water and place in iced water bath for 10 minutes (this halts the cooking process).
To clean cooked marron:
- Remove legs and claws at trunk of marron. Set aside to snack on!
- Twist head to remove and discard.
- Place tail (underside down) onto chopping board.
- Using heavy, sharp knife press along centre of tail to cut it in two (lengthways). This is tricky, and I recommend you use both hands to press the knife onto the shell. This will provide more force while keeping your fingers and hands away from the blade. You certainly don’t want to slip and cut yourself.
- Loosen the tail meat and carefully peel it out of the shell.
- Repeat for all marron.
- Mix 6 tbsp of mayonnaise with 2 tsp lime juice.
- Add in 2/3 of the finger lime pearls and taste. Season further as required (ie add more juice, salt and pepper).
- Coarsely chop half the marron tail meat into large chunks.
- Mix with lime mayo until just coated (not swimming) in mayo.
- Dress bread by spreading with thin layer of butter or olive oil or lime mayo.
To construct dish
- Place bread on plate.
- Top with cos lettuce leaf.
- Add chunks of mayo coated marron.
- Carefully balance the remaining (whole) half-tail onto chopped marron.
- Garnish with reserved finger lime pearls (like caviar).
- Serve immediately.