How to Pickle Yabbies

By Martin Woodfield

Aboriginal in origin, the name yabby refers to a group of 10-legged freshwater crustaceans species found throughout Australia. Yabbies fall in the same genus as crayfish, and Australians prepare them in much the same way as American crayfish. Pickling yabbies is a multi-step but quick process.

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Discard any dead yabbies right after you buy them.

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Step 1

Rinse the yabbies under cool running water, then soak them in ice water for about an hour to sedate them for a more humane cooking process.

Step 2

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and drop in the yabbies. Boil them until they curl and their shells turn reddish orange.

Step 3

Remove the yabbies from the hot water using tongs and place them directly in ice water to halt the cooking process. Pat the yabbies dry with paper towels.

Step 4

Sprinkle kosher salt liberally over the yabbies and set them in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Mix white vinegar and pickling spices, such as black peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaves, sliced onions and mustard seeds.

Step 5

Cut the tails from the chilled yabbies and pack them into jars. Pour in the pickling liquid until it reaches 1/2 inch from the top and secure the jar lids.

Step 6

Pickle the yabbies for 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving them. Store pickled yabbies for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. If they develop an off odor after pickling, discard them.