Crayfish Risotto


  • 1 medium sized crayfish
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 250g risotto rice such as Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 litre of crayfish stock
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 1 tomato, diced2 tablespoons of chopped chives
Crayfish stock ingredients:
  • The head and shell from 1 crayfish
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 handful of parsley stalks
  • 1 tablespoon of white peppercorns
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1.5 litres of water


  1. To cook your crayfish first place it in a freezer, this will shut the crayfish down, effectively putting it into hibernation. Leave it in the freezer for forty-five minutes while you bring a big pan of seawater to the boil.
  2. If you don’t have sea water, try to make the water you cook your crayfish in as salty as the sea, this will keep the meat of the crayfish sweet and tender.
  3. Plunge the crayfish into the boiling water and simmer for 8 minutes for an average size crayfish.
  4. When the time is up, remove from the water and leave to cool on a plate; never drop shellfish into ice water to cool it down faster because this will make the meat tough and slightly bitter.
  5. When cool enough to handle, twist off the head and reserve, then cut the tail in half with a heavy knife.
  6. Remove the meat from the shell, which is always easier when it’s still slightly warm, remove the intestinal tract which will be a thin tube like piece running through the middle of the tail, near the top, and then chop the meat into bite size pieces.
  7. To make the crayfish stock, roughly chop the head and shell into pieces and roast in a hot oven for fifteen minutes.
  8. While this is roasting, sweat the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a little olive oil. Use a few fennel tops too if you have them.
  9. Add the roasted crayfish shells, a tablespoon of tomato puree, a pinch of saffron, a teaspoon of coriander seeds, a little salt and a glass of white wine.
  10. When almost all of the liquid has evaporated, add the water, turn down the heat and simmer gently, without a lid on the pot, for an hour,
  11. When the stock is done, pass through a sieve into another saucepan, pressing as much of the soft vegetables through the mesh as possible.
  12. To cook the risotto, sweat the chopped shallot over a medium heat in a little olive oil and a teaspoon of sea salt until soft and translucent, then add the risotto rice and continue to cook for a few moments until the grains of rice also start to become a little translucent.
  13. Add the white wine and begin stirring the rice.
  14. When all of the wine has been absorbed, you can start adding ladleful’s of the hot stock, waiting until each one has been absorbed before adding the next.
  15. Continue to keep stirring the rice all the while it’s cooking; this will make your risotto nice and creamy.
  16. After about fifteen minutes cooking, start tasting grains of rice: they should still have a bit of crunch in the middle but as soon as you notice that the solid resistance has gone, the risotto is ready.
  17. Remove from the heat and begin vigorously beating in the diced butter, grated Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish the risotto.
  18. Check the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, and also check the consistency of the risotto: it should not be too stiff or stodgy, but be slightly runny like a good porridge.
  19. It will stiffen up while it rests so don’t be afraid to make it slightly runnier than you think it needs to be at this stage.

Plating Up

  • Serve the risotto into shallow bowls and scatter with the diced meat from the tail, the chopped tomato and a few chopped chives.
  • Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the top of each risotto and add a little more shaved parmesan.

Chef Anthony McNamara

Anthony McNamara
Popular english Chef Anthony is back in Series II, with more recipes all dealing with fish and shellfish caught off Great Barrier Island. A keen fisher Anthony jumped at the chance to come out fishing with Clarke, cooking the catch each night. The following are his recipes. Anthony runs his own catering company on Waiheke Island called Luxe Waiheke.

Wine Match

Yealands Rosé
Peter Yealands Rose 2018
This pretty light peach coloured rosé has an enticing bouquet of pomegranate, fresh strawberries and honeysuckle.  A juicy, rich palate with warming flavours of strawberry shortcake, which is given focus and length by well-balanced acidity. This vegan friendly rosé has won silver at both the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018 and the NZ Wine of the Year Awards 2018.