The ultimate guide to crustaceans


Spanner crabs

How do you cook spanner crab?

With spanner shaped claws, this crustacean is beautifully coloured and has a delicate, sweet, subtle flavoured flesh – making it a favourite amongst chefs. Some like to highlight the flavour of crab with complementary Asian flavours while others may fold through an emulsion sauce to create a rich, velvety mouthfeel. One way of showing off its unique texture is to fold spanner crab meat through whole egg tortillas and even omelettes. As an attractive looking crab, it is perfect to use as an alternative to the classic mud crabs.

Blue swimmer crabs

Where are blue swimmer crabs found?

Blue swimmer crabs are wild-caught, coastal marine dwellers found mainly in bays, estuaries and intertidal areas up to about 60m – most commonly on muddy or sandy bottoms. They are found globally in a region stretching from Tunisia in the Mediterranean Sea, across the Indian Ocean and down through South East Asia to Australia. In Australia they are found around most of the country’s coastline, with a large proportion of the commercial catch being from southern Queensland.

What do blue swimmer crabs look like?

The male’s shell is a distinctive mottled bright blue to purple when uncooked, while the female’s exoskeleton tends to be a more mottled brown. Like all crustaceans, they turn orange when cooked (with the male’s shell remaining brighter).

What is blue swimmer crab meat like?

The average yield of blue swimmer crabs is 35%, with the majority of the meat coming from the claws and body. Their flesh is translucent when raw and white when cooked. It has a mild, sweet, nutty flavour, low oiliness and is moist, evenly textured and firm (with claw meat being firmer than that found in the body and legs).


The Moreton Bay bug is an Australian native – it’s a summer favourite and is great when barbequed over coals, used in cold dishes or served fresh on a seafood platter. Its notoriety has seen its value rise, but because it has a lovely robust flavour, sometimes a little can go a long way.


There are two main types of lobsters globally – rock lobsters which have no claws and the so-called ‘true lobsters’ which have claws and are found in the North Atlantic.

Rock lobsters

Rock lobsters are found in the waters around Australia and in the Caribbean/South American regions.

Who harvests rock lobster?

Western Australia is the largest producer of rock lobster in the world and is also one of the most tightly regulated. From Shark Bay in the north to Cape Leeuwin in the south, the WA Government allows a maximum of 6,000 tonnes of rock lobster to be harvested per annum. This is considered to be quite a conservative amount when compared to the actual sustainable limits of this species. Through this careful regulation, the fishery responsible for WA’s rock lobster production has been certified as sustainable by the MSC.

How are rock lobsters harvested?

Western rock lobsters are wild caught off the coast of Western Australia, kept in seawater tanks until arriving to shore and processed by being put to sleep in fresh water then cooked, rinsed, wrapped and quick blast frozen before being shipped around Australia.

What rock lobsters does Bidfood sell?

Bidfood have both whole rock lobsters and split rock lobsters. We stock a whole bunch of other options in our wholesale seafood range. Stop on by and check it out!

How do you cook rock lobsters?

After thawing, the lobsters are ready for prep. There are some great ways of preparing lobsters such as the classic lobster mornay – a grilled lobster topped with a golden, bubbling layer of cheesy bechamel. What also works well is a simple sauce of hot butter, salt and pepper, lemon juice and tarragone poured over a grilled split lobster. You can also take a serrated knife and cut across the tail to make lobster tail medallions. The shell protects the meat while it is cooking and imparts a little flavour. Medallions grill beautifully, taking on the bar marks of the grill and pair perfectly with plenty of sauces – from herbed butter to veloutés made with fish stock.

True lobsters

Where does Bidfood source true lobsters from?

Bidfood sources true lobsters from Canada and they are usually High Pressure Processed (HPP) in their shell.

Why are true lobsters High Pressure Processed (HPP)?

This process allows the flesh to come completely away from the shell after defrosting, giving a great look and maximum yield. The end user can defrost and cook the HPP lobster meat to their preferred texture and flavour profile. HPP lobster is the preferred choice of top chefs globally and the pinnacle of frozen clawed lobster products available in the marketplace today. This raw meat allows chefs to control the cooking times and seasoning which helps them to plate the best quality dishes for their guests.

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