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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.