Chuck a bug tail in the pan: Moreton Bay bug, saffron and fennel risotto recipe

article1We think it’s time to throw convention to the wind! Instead of throwing a shrimp on the barbie, chuck a Moreton Bay bug into your saucepan with this recipe for Moreton Bay bug, saffron and fennel risotto.


  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • Pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1.2L chicken stock, heated
  • Meat from 4-6 raw Balmain bug tails
  • 1 small handful chopped tarragon
  • 1 ¼ cups (100g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Lemon quarters to serve


In a large heavy-based saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the onions and thinly sliced fennel and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Add the wine and saffron and stir for 2-3 minutes to reduce down a little.
Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously and allowing the stock to be absorbed before adding the next cup, until only one cup of stock is left. This will take about 20 minutes. Add the bug meat and the final cup of stock and stir to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. The risotto should be a creamy consistency.
Add the tarragon and parmesan and stir all the ingredients together. Serve immediately with extra parmesan shavings, a small knob of butter and lemon wedges.

Serves 4