"Yabbies are a great starter to a casual meal," says Burgess. "Simply put them in the middle of the table for guests to peel themselves. The tangy vinegar dipping sauce is even better when blood oranges are in season, so if you can get your hands on them, swap out the regular oranges for their more fragrant cousin."
- 1 kg live yabbies (see note), chilled for 1 hour
- ½ cup coarsely chopped coriander (firmly packed)
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds, finely ground
- ¼ tsp white peppercorns, finely ground
- ¼ tsp finely grated orange rind
- 60 ml orange juice (¼ cup)
- 125 ml sugarcane juice (see note) (½ cup)
- 1 tbsp sugarcane vinegar (see note)
- 1½ tbsp dendê oil (see note)
- 1For sugarcane and coriander vinegar, combine ingredients in a bowl, whisk to emulsify and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
- 2Bring 4 litres of well-salted water to the boil in a large saucepan, add yabbies and boil until they change colour (2-3 minutes). Drain and cool for 5 minutes, then serve with sugarcane and coriander vinegar.
Yabbies need to be ordered ahead from a fishmonger. If they're unavailable, substitute large prawns. Sugarcane juice, sugarcane vinegar and dendê oil (also known as palm oil) are available from Latin American grocers. If sugarcane juice is unavailable, substitute a light sugar syrup (2 parts water to 1 part sugar). If sugarcane vinegar is unavailable, substitute white vinegar or coconut vinegar.
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