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Mooloolaba Seafood Jambalaya with Cajun Spice Mix

Ben O'Donoghue travels to sun-kissed Moolooolaba where he creates this beautiful seafood dish with local prawns.


  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil

  • 100gm spicy chorizo sausage, thickly sliced

  • 4 chicken drumsticks, skin off

  • 250gm raw king prawns, peeled and deveined, heads and shells reserved

  • 1 large white onion, diced

  • 1 green capsicum, diced

  • 1 stick celery, diced

  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 6 sprigs of thyme

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 250gm long-grain rice

  • 1 litre chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix (see Ben’s recipe on page 2)

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium male blue swimmer crabs, cooked, halved and cleaned

  • 2 large Moreton Bay bugs, halved and cleaned

  • 100gm cleaned squid

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced, to serve

  • 1 long green chilli, chopped, to serve

  • Lime wedges, to serve

  • Cajun spice mix

  • 2 cups sunflower oil

  • 3 tablespoons fried Asian shallots (buy in Asian grocers)

  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic (buy in Asian grocers)

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon celery salt

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds


  • For the Seafood Jambalaya::

  • 1.

    Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or electric frying pan and cook the chorizo and chicken over medium–high heat until the chicken is golden and the chorizo is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan. Reduce the heat to low–medium. Fry the prawn heads and shells for 5 minutes, squashing them with a potato masher to extract their flavour.

  • 2.

    Remove with a slotted spoon and discard. Add the onion, capsicum and celery and sauté until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice, stock, chicken and chorizo to the pan, then season with the Cajun spice, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Place the crab halves into the rice. Push the bug halves into the rice and place the prawns and squid on top. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Stir the rice to loosen it and arrange the seafood and check that it’s all cooked.

  • 3.

    Serve the dish sprinkled with the spring onions, chopped chilli and lime wedges.

  • For the Cajun Spice Mix::

  • 1.

    Place the fried onion and garlic in a bowl, along with the remaining ingredients, and blitz

  • 2.

    To a fine powder using a hand-held blender. The spice will keep for one month if stored in

  • 3.

    An airtight container.

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Posted by BevReport
Has anyone cooked the Mooloolaba Jambalaya? Where does the 2 cups of sunflower oil come into the cajun spice mix. Surely not added to dry spices? Any ideas