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MasterChef New Zealand


Episode 27 - Warm Crayfish (Matt Moran)

MasterChef New Zealand on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Warm Crayfish with ricotta gnudi and Sturgeon caviar


1 crayfish

4 tbs lemon oil

Buttermilk puree

500 ml Pepe Saya buttermilk

6 g Agar

25 ml Greek yoghurt

Ricotta gnudi

125 g Panzanella ricotta (hung for 24 hours)

20 g Plain flour

15 g Finely grated parmesan reggiano

2 g Corn flour

15 g Beaten egg

25 ml Cream

1 tsp grated lemon zest

250 g Semolina


Chive dressing

1 Tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

20 ml Chardonnay vinegar

60 ml Grape seed oil

½ bunch chives (finely chopped)


To serve

Sturgeon Caviar

12 Edible flowers

12 sprigs Bronze fennel



To prepare the crayfish, Place the crayfish into the freezer to stun the crayfish. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the stunned crayfish to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove the crayfish from the water and then plunge into iced water. After 2 to 3 minutes remove the crayfish from the iced water and cut off the claws. Return the crayfish claws to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the claws from the water and then break the shell of the claws and remove the meat. Set the claws aside. Remove the head from the tail by twisting and pulling apart, discard the head. Using a pair of scissors cut the shell of the crayfish tail and remove the meat in one whole piece making sure that you remove the intestine trail. Season the tail and claws with salt and place in a small vacuum bag with the lemon oil. Vacuum pack the bags and then store in the fridge until ready to cook.

To make the butter milk puree, whisk together the butter milk with the agar and then bring to the boil in a sauce pan, boil for 1 minute then strain and leave to set. Once the butter milk has set chop it up and place in a blender with the yoghurt, blend until smooth and season to taste, store in a squeeze bottle until needed.

To make the ricotta gnudi, beat all the ingredient together and season to taste. Dust a tray with some of the semolina then pipe the ricotta mix into small ball onto the semolina, cover the ricotta with the remaining semolina and then place in the fridge to set.

For the chive dressing, whisk the mustard, honey and vinegar together with a little salt and pepper then emulsify the grape seed oil, add the chive and set aside.

To serve pre heat a deep fat fryer to 180`c and set up a water bath at 64`c.

Place the crayfish in the water bath and cook for 7 minutes. Deep fry the gnudi in the oil until golden brown, then drain on paper towel and season with salt. Remove the crayfish from the water bath and remove from the bag, slice the tail into 5 pieces and season the crayfish with a little salt and lemon juice, arrange on the plate and then make 5 dots of the butter milk puree, place a gnudi on each dot of butter milk then spoon the chive dressing over and around the crayfish, garnish with the flowers, fennel. Garnish crayfish with caviar and serve.