Moreton Bay Bug Salad with Sesame Dressing


Sydney Seafood School

by Sydney Seafood School

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This Moreton Bay Bug Salad Recipe will challenge the Best of Seafood Restaurants

This Moreton Bay Bug Salad Recipe is a great entertaining dish that will leave an impression on all your guests. Showcase the fresh seafood that Queensland shellfish is famous for. Order your seafood online with our online fish market and ensure you get hand picked specialty items rather than the local seafood market. This is a beautiful seafood salad and will be perfect for the next event at home.

Moreton Bay bugs are very similar to Balmain Bugs; the position of the eyes is the main distinction with Moreton Bay’s on the edge of their shells and Balmain’s close to the centre. The brown rice gives this dish a lovely nutty flavour, which is enhanced by the almonds and sesame oil.

Recipe supplied by Sydney Seafood School.

Visit for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, answers to frequently asked seafood questions and the full program of Sydney Seafood School cooking classes.

Serves: 6


  • 12 cooked Moreton Bay Bugs Cooked
  • 1 cup brown rice, boiled in salted water until tender
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, trimmed, blanched and sliced (see notes)
  • 6 cups mixed baby salad greens, to serve
  • ¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted (see notes)

Sesame Dressing

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (see notes)


Step 1

Make Sesame Dressing: combine ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well. Set aside until needed.

Step 2

Slice bugs lengthways and remove the meat from the shells, remove the digestive tract (grey thread) running down the middle of the tail meat. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 3

Place rice, asparagus and salad greens in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine. Divide between plates, top with bug tails and sprinkle with almonds.

If asparagus is thick and woody, discard the woody bottom section and peel the spears with a potato peeler. Blanch asparagus in well-salted boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then refresh in ice water, or cold running water, to stop the cooking. Toast sesame seeds and almonds in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, tossing gently to prevent them burning, or under a griller (but watch them closely).

Alternative species:
Balmain bug, marron, prawns, redclaw, scampi, yabby.


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