Moreton Bay Bugs

Available in store cooked ready to eat or green (raw)

The meat of bugs, found only in the tail, has a medium-to-strong flavour. They can be bought as frozen meat or whole, to be eaten on their own as an entrée, or as part of a main dish.

They are best prepared by poaching, steaming, barbecuing or grilling. As bugs provide good presentation and marry well with other seafood, they are excellent for cold seafood platters—served with a light lemon mayonnaise, aioli or dill vinaigrette.

When cut down the centre lengthways, bugs will grill and barbecue beautifully over a high heat. They are superb served on their own, with the above-mentioned dressings or pesto, or as a warm salad with fresh asparagus and parmesan. To prevent discolouration of the flesh, sprinkle with a little lemon or lime.

The flesh of the bug is an ideal, flavoursome filling for meats, such as an alternative in carpetbag steak or with veal, asparagus and hollandaise (the “veal oscar”). Bug meat is also an appetising additive to fish cakes—served with sweet chilli coriander.


Flavour Oiliness Moisture
Medium to Strong Low Dry


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4                     10 mins              7 mins                  8                                  Easy


  • 4 green Moreton Bay bugs, split in half lengthways
  • Olive oil, to drizzle
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Herb & garlic butter

  • 100g softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs finely chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  • 1   Preheat a barbecue with a lid to medium-high.
  • 2   For the herb and garlic butter, combine all ingredients in a bowl, season and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, then chill until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • 3   Place the bugs on a tray, cut side-up, then drizzle with oil and season. Place bugs, shell side-down, on the barbecue. Close the lid and cook for 6 minutes or until almost cooked through, then turn and cook, flesh side-down, for 1 minute or until lightly charred. Transfer bugs to a platter. Brush some of the butter over the bug flesh. Serve bugs with remaining butter and lemon wedges on the side.

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Moreton Bay Bugs are available in store at 98Fish

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