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Mauritius: the seafood garden

Mauritius seafood

Before you can enjoy seafood, the fishing community must first find it. If you live near the sea, you will certainly see early in the morning men and women walking on the beach and in the lagoon at low tide with buckets collecting shellfish which can be tec-tec, crabs, kono-kono, sea cucumber, hermit crabs or others. All of this is then sold to restaurants and hotels on the coast. Further out, on the barrier reef at low tide, other people will be looking for larger crabs, octopus or even lobster. 

Mauritius is not a caviar or salmon paradise, but marlin is. Far out in the deep blue, boats and fishing enthusiasts fish for marlin. Once caught, the marlin is usually smoked with pine wood. You'll love a good slice of smoked marlin with a squeeze of fresh lemon to start the tasting of the local cuisine. Otherwise you will find in the restaurants dishes based on shrimps, lobsters, octopus, crabs… 

Here are some recipes for these seafoods from Mauritius

Seafood salad

Ingredients (for 4 people)

250 g clams
360 g shrimp
180 g squid
180 g white fish
50 g chopped red onion
10 g lemongrass
1 large tomato cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 green chillies, crushed
10 g chopped coriander
40 cl lemon juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
salt

Making the Mauritian seafood salad

Make a dressing by adding half the lime juice, sugar, garlic, chilli, coriander and fish sauce. Fill a pot with water. Add the lemongrass, the remaining lemon juice and a little salt. Bring to the boil. Poach the seafood and fish for 2 to 3 minutes. Place on a bed of ice cubes to stop the cooking process, then drain. Mix the seafood, fish, tomato slices and chopped onion in a bowl. Pour in the vinaigrette and serve.

Grilled lobster with lemon butter, Mauritian style

  • In a bowl, grate the lemon with a micro-plane. Cut it in half, and squeeze half the juice over the peel. Soften the butter in the microwave and warm the juice and zest. Mix the butter with the warmed juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oven grill to maximum.
  • Cut the lobsters or tails in half lengthwise so that the flesh is well exposed to the heat.
  • Place the lobsters in a lightly buttered dish (with lemon butter) and place the shells on the grill until the shells are reddened. They should be as close to the grill as possible!
  • Remove the lobsters from the oven, turn them over and coat the flesh with lemon butter. Place them back under the grill, but halfway up the oven, so that they cook gently and continuously. After a few minutes, add a little butter and continue cooking.
  • When the lobster is cooked, quickly squeeze the remaining ½ lemon onto the flesh side, and coat with the little butter that remains, to nourish it a little more and make it shine.

Crispy squid

500 g squid
2 eggs
100 g cornflour
salt and pepper
sunflower oil
500 g squid

Preparation of the crispy squid

  • Wash the squid and cut it into any size you like. Make crosswise cuts in the squid flesh with a knife. Season the raw squid with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a pan of frying oil. While the oil is heating, beat the eggs in a bowl and put the cornflour in a deep dish.
  • Once the oil is hot, dip the squid pieces in the cornflour once, then in the egg and again in the cornflour. Then fry them until they are golden brown on all sides.
  • Once crispy and golden, drain the squid on kitchen paper to remove the remaining oil, then serve them while still warm with chilli and garlic sauce as an appetizer.

Mauritian crab broth

Ingredients 

500g of crab
1 tomato
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
2 large green or red chillies (optional)
4 curry leaves
3-4 sprigs of thyme
Fresh coriander
Salt (to taste)
3 tablespoons oil
1.5 litres of water
½ minced onion
½ onion, chopped

Mauritian crab broth

Heat the oil in a pot.
Add the garlic, ginger, onion, curry leaves, chillies, thyme and salt and allow to sweat.
Then add the tomato, cut into small cubes, and leave to cook a little.
Put the crab in the pot, stir and cover for 5mins.
Add the water and boil for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.

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