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SEAFOOD_01 A few days ago, Tony Harrison, local chef and seafood expert led a Seafood Masterclass at The Essential Ingredient’s Cooking School. On the menu were beautiful king prawns, fleshy Moreton Bay Bugs and fillets of John Dory, all to be shelled, veined, cracked, cooked and ultimately eaten by a lovely group of amateur cooks.

A few weeks ago, we interviewed Tony on his extensive knowledge about seafood: where to buy, how to store and prepare it. Check out the interview hereSEAFOOD_07 SEAFOOD_16 SEAFOOD_05Inspiring the feel of something like a ‘real’ commercial kitchen, the students were put to work at the brisk pace of a chef who works fast and hard. Chopping, straining, blending were all part of the ‘mise en place for’ the preparation of an aromatic clear fish stock, as well as a rich saffron infused bisque, which would form the base of the sauce for the Moreton Bay Bugs, served with heirloom tomatoes and a fresh sourdough baguette. 
SEAFOOD_19 SEAFOOD_06 SEAFOOD_21 SEAFOOD_11 SEAFOOD_04 SEAFOOD_20 The fish stock, made with the carcass of a snapper, was then used to flavor a preserved lemon and king prawns risotto. Both the stock and bisque came to life seamlessly and with an emphasis on flavor and using ingredients on hand rather than exact proportions, it seemed like something that one might actually be able to whip up without too much trouble. SEAFOOD_08 SEAFOOD_12 SEAFOOD_18 SEAFOOD_15 SEAFOOD_17 SEAFOOD_10Students enjoying a hard-earned entree of Moreton Bay Bugs and heirloom tomatoes in saffron infused bisque. Bon Appetit!



  • 1 snapper carcass
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 bunch celery


Saute leek and celery. Add fish carcass, continue to saute for 2 mins. Add 2 litres of cold water, bring to the boil, simmer for 45 mins. Strain. 



  • 2 litres of fish stock
  • Crustacean shells (prawns)
  • 2 red capsicums
  • Garlic
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Pinch saffron
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 1 large red chili
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • Salt


Place onion, chili, red capsicum, tomato, crustacean shells (smashed up), saffron and tomato paste in a large thick based pot, saute for 10 mins. Add fish stock, and simmer for 45 mins. Pulverise in a blender or food processor and strain through a sieve.

Check the Essential Ingredient Events page to register for your next cooking class.