Barramundi To Mud Crabs, 8 Distinctive Australian Seafood Dishes
Image Credit: Barramundi dish served at an Australian restaurant in Queensland. Image via Wikimedia Commons

If you're a seafood aficionado looking to explore unique and authentic culinary experiences, look no further than the diverse range of native Australian seafood preparations. With its vast coastline stretching over 35,000 kilometres, Australia is blessed with an abundance of fresh and flavoursome marine treasures that have been enjoyed by its residents for thousands of years. Prawns, oysters, barramundi fish, mud crabs—these are just a few examples of the exquisite seafood found in these fertile waters.

Prepare yourself for an exploration of authentic Australian seafood preparations that capture the essence of this stunning country's maritime treasures:

Barramundi with Bush Tomato Relish

Barramundi—known for its firm white flesh—is one of Australia’s most prized fish species. Enhance its natural flavour by pan-frying fillets until crispy while keeping them moist inside. Serve alongside a zesty bush tomato relish made from sun-dried bush tomatoes blended with onions, garlic, vinegar, and a touch of sugar—a perfect balance between sweet and tangy.

Oysters Kilpatrick topped with Bacon

Oysters Kilpatrick is an Australian dish consisting of oysters topped with bacon and Worcestershire sauce. The oysters are cooked in their shells on a baking tray and then topped with crispy cooked bacon. The bacon is then mixed with Worcestershire sauce and spread over the oysters. The tray of oysters is placed under a hot grill until the bacon is browned and the oysters are cooked through. The result is a delicious blend of salty oysters, smoky bacon and tangy Worcestershire sauce. Oysters Kilpatrick is a classic Australian pub snack and party food.

Balmain Bugs Dished Up

These short-legged mud crabs, are a popular crustacean found in the waters around Sydney, Australia. They have a maximum width of around 15 centimetres and are characterized by their short legs and oval, flattened body shape. Balmain bugs are usually cooked whole with the shell on and served with a garlic butter or lemon sauce for dipping. Their sweet, delicate white meat makes them a favourite ingredient in Australian seafood dishes due to their unique flavour and texture. They are typically enjoyed steamed, boiled or baked, allowing their natural taste to shine through.

Battered Flathead

Battered Flathead is an Australian pub classic made with flathead fillets coated in beer batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden. The flathead fish is an Australian native with firm white flesh that holds up well to batter coating. The beer batter adds a light, crispy coating and contrasts nicely with the mild flavour of the flathead. The whole dish comes together quickly and is best enjoyed as pub grub with a cold beer, making battered flathead the quintessential Australian fish and chips experience.

Seafood Pie topped with Mashed Potato

Seafood pie is an Australian classic, filled with a creamy mixture of seafood such as prawns, fish and mussels topped with mashed potato. The seafood is cooked in a white sauce made with milk, butter and flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and bay leaves. The cooked seafood and sauce is transferred into a deep pie dish, covered with mashed potato and baked until the topping is golden brown. Seafood pie is comfort food at its finest, with a rich filling of mixed seafood in a creamy sauce and a fluffy mashed potato topping.

Rock Lobster

Rock lobsters can be prepared in a variety of ways. Boiling or steaming the lobster and serving with drawn butter is a classic preparation. The tail and claw meat can also be removed from the shell and sautéed with garlic, shallots and white wine. The sautéed lobster meat can then be used to make lobster rolls, pasta dishes or lobster mac and cheese. 

Morton Bay Bugs Grilled with Garlic Butter

Morton Bay bugs are a delicacy found off Queensland’s coast—resembling small lobsters with tender meat nestled within their shells. To enjoy their succulent flavour at its best, grill these delectable creatures until lightly charred while basting them generously with garlic butter for added richness.


Oysters are best simply shucked from the shell, topped with seasoning or sauce, and eaten raw on the half-shell.  Mignonette sauce, made from shallot, red wine vinegar and cracked black pepper, is a classic accompaniment for oysters. The oyster meat can also be battered and deep fried for oyster po' boys or fritters. Grilled oysters are a popular preparation where the oysters are topped with butter, breadcrumbs, parmesan and herbs then broiled until the edges curl.

These authentic and original Australian seafood preparations offer a unique opportunity to indulge in the rich flavours of this coastal wonderland. From succulent barramundi fillets to tender Morton Bay bugs, each dish tells a story that spans generations—celebrating age-old traditions, honouring cultural heritage, and showcasing the natural wonders found within Australia's pristine waters.