It’ll be a seafood lover’s Christmas this festive season with file low costs on some species combining with unprecedented entry to delicacies we usually air freight to Europe and Asia.

The continued Chinese language import ban on Australian lobster sees the native market flooded with these freshly caught crustacea from across the nation. Western Australian lobster, weighing about 400g, are already in supermarkets below $25. 

Sydney Rock Oysters will be at the plump delicious best for Christmas Day.
Sydney Rock Oysters shall be on the plump scrumptious greatest for Christmas Day.  Photograph: Richard Cornish

Victorian southern rock lobster, thought of a few of the most interesting on the planet, as soon as offered for costs higher than $160 a kilogram. This 12 months it’s attainable to see discover a big frozen specimen for below $70 per kilogram with freshly caught lobster promoting this week for $90 a kilogram.

“The collapse of the Chinese language marketplace for numerous main exports is delivering a few of the greatest worth in different luxurious Australian seafoods, together with dwell coral trout,” says seafood professional John Susman. The extremely prized agency white fleshed fish is an attractive specimen with pink pores and skin and extremely versatile within the kitchen from grilling, steaming to baking.

“The standard is outstandingly good,” says Susman, “And, regardless of the shortage of exports the fishers have to preserve fishing, so the (home) value is eager.” Costs have dropped from $90 per kilogram to some fishmongers providing fillets for $56 per kilogram. 

Yuzu mayo lobster rolls are on the menu this year.
Yuzu mayo lobster rolls are on the menu this 12 months.  Photograph: Katrina Meynink

The seafood bounty continues with new scallop grounds off Victoria’s East Gippsland opened to business fishers for the primary time supplying the market with giant, plump candy scallops.

Historically, our greatest scallops are air-freighted to France. However COVID commerce disruptions has seen these exports curtailed, that means the very best scallops from Victoria and Tasmania are staying residence this Christmas. Costs are spherical $35 per kilogram for shelled scallops.

The scallop bounty will offset the dearth of bugs and wild prawns which might be at file excessive costs attributable to lowered quotas and elevated demand.

It’ll, nonetheless, be a roaring season for tiger prawns, farmed on the Queensland coast. The massive supermarkets have their orders in with the farmers and we’re already seeing costs as little as $20 per kilogram for medium tiger prawns.

Bigger, festive sized prawns will promote for round $35 per kilogram in comparison with wild-caught Mooloolaba king prawns are already pushing as much as $60 per kilogram.

Whereas South Australia’s Coffin Bay oyster producing area was nonetheless closed for harvest this week attributable to a gastro outbreak, different oyster areas are producing high quality oysters with the Sydney Rocks from South Coast of New South Wales fats, plump and prepared for the massive day.

Throw some more prawns on the barbie, as they are more affordable than usual this Christmas.
Throw some extra prawns on the barbie, as they’re extra inexpensive than regular this Christmas.  Photograph: Edwina Pickles

Farmed mussels will nonetheless be a discount at below $10 a kilogram whereas yabbies, native freshwater crayfish, are excellent for an all-Australian seafood desk and supply good worth. “I really like their candy flesh,” says Melbourne chef Alejandro Saravia from Farmer’s Daughters. They could be just a little bit of labor within the kitchen, however when the meat is cooked proper there’s far more flavour than a lobster, bugs and crabs. I really like them cooked on the fireplace. They’re king of crustaceans however so below rated!” Farmed yabbies are out there for round $35 a kilogram. 

Christmas Seafood Suggestions

  • Labour points on boats, farms, processing services and shops imply that seafood provide may very well be patchy this season. “To make sure you do not miss out in your favorite Aussie seafood place an order together with your native fishmonger early,” says Seafood Business Australia CEO Veronica. 
  • Take an Esky with you while you decide up your seafood full of ice bricks, not unfastened ice. Free ice melts quicker and may ‘drown’ seafood if it isn’t wrapped correctly.
  • If shopping for dwell crustacea make sure you euthanize them humanely by inserting them within the freezer for 30-60 minutes previous to cooking. New analysis proves many seafood species are sentient and really feel ache. 
  • Whereas lobster is being offered at traditionally low costs, it’s nonetheless a luxurious merchandise. You may unfold the enjoyment through the use of the lobster meat in a salad, or by making lobster rolls, or making an attempt dishes like lobster stuffed ravioli. 
  • Most seafood might be frozen. Thaw frozen seafood on a plate or in a container for twenty-four hours within the fridge. Sluggish thawing ensures higher texture. Do not thaw seafood on the kitchen bench. 
  • Do not waste lobster shells, they’re full of flavour. Roast lobster shells, crush, cook dinner in water with fragrant greens to make a inventory for bisque or paella. 
  • Freeze used seafood shells and different fishy detritus till bin night time to keep away from submit seafood feast fumes emanating from the rubbish bin. 

Good Meals Christmas, starring Adam Liaw, airs as we speak at 5.30pm on Channel 9 and 9Now. 

The Good Meals Information 2022 journal, with 350 critiques of Victoria’s greatest eating places, bars and cafes for summer time, is on sale in newsagents and supermarkets from Tuesday December 7, $9.95

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