Barbecued Crayfish with Lemongrass and Chilli Butter

, from Issue #39. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Barbecued Crayfish with Lemongrass and Chilli Butter

This butter, with fresh Asian flavours, goes well with most seafood. Add a spoonful when cooking scallops in the shell or thread onto skewers and baste several times during cooking. Brush firm fish fillets or a whole fish with the butter and grill over a medium heat.

Serves: 4


1 kilogram crayfish (see notes below)
4 large, shell on raw prawns, butterflied
2 limes, halved

Lemongrass butter
1 fat stalk of lemongrass, tender inner stalk only
100 grams butter, diced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
finely grated zest and juice 1 lime
1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Amp up the romance and serve this deliciously buttery dish with a crisp, refined rosé like the Dashwood Rosé 2017.


Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Butter: Grate the lemongrass on a fine grater or chop very finely with a sharp knife. Combine in a small saucepan with the remaining ingredients and season. Place on the hot grill plate and warm until the butter has melted and just started to bubble. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Crayfish: Preheat a grill plate. Place the crayfish and prawns, shell side down on the grill and brush the flesh side with the butter.

Cover and cook until the shells have turned bright red and the flesh is white then flip the seafood over and cook for a minute, flesh side down. Place the limes, cut side down on the grill and cook for
1-2 minutes.

To serve: Transfer the seafood to a platter and serve with the remaining warm butter and the grilled lime wedges. 

Cook’s tip: It’s best to buy crayfish live if possible. You can also buy one cooked for use in this recipe. If using a cooked crayfish, follow the same cooking method above, but only cook for 1 minute each side, to just warm through.