Paddock To Plate

How To Cook Mud Crabs

There's nothing quite like a fresh Mud crab! Learn how to cook above with Matt Moran and learn more about these critters below.

Paspaley Pearls was founded in the 1930s by Nicholas Paspaley Sr in Broome. Broome was then the centre of a thriving pearl industry that supplied up to 70 per cent of the global demand for the mother-of-pearl shell, mainly for use as buttons. Over the next half a century, Paspaley Sr built the company into the world’s leading producer of cultured South Sea pearls.

The Pinctada Maxima oysters are removed from the wild by divers at three years of age and taken to pearl farms where they are nurtured and flourish in a natural habitat for about six years. They thrive in the warm plankton-rich waters in the Indian Ocean.

Once taken back to the pearl farms, a small bead is planted in the oyster, which then secretes a chemical called nacre that layers over the bead, eventually forming a pearl. Each oyster will bear 2-3 pearls in its lifetime. On rare occasions, a wild oyster may produce a natural pearl.

Paspaley are one of the few remaining pearling fleets licensed to dive and collect wild pearl oysters, most other companies have their own hatcheries.

Pearl Meat:

Pearl meat is the adductor muscle of the pearl oyster – which is responsible for tightly closing the shells when required. Once the oysters are deemed too old to produce more pearls, the pearl meat is harvested. It is considered a delicacy in Japan and has been adopted by several fine dining restaurants in Australia. Only a small amount of oyster meat is harvested annually and sells in Australia for approximately $100 per kilogram.

As pearl meat is pure muscle it has no fat and is high in iron and zinc.

Pearl meat has been described as having a sweet delicate flavour  - a cross between abalone and scallop. It can be eaten raw or flash fried.


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