Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Seaside Harvests

Exploring our environment and finding forage bounty at every turn is a significant joy. I never fail to feel blessed by the coastal and rural offerings that can be found, feasts for the eyes, bursts of activity, tranquil moments, skillful pursuits and sheer delight in our surroundings.
Foraging and finding wild foods is an integral part of how we chose to live as Locavores. So far we have availed ourselves of some pretty amazing ingredients freely available allowing for regulations and lawful procurement of course. Always ensure you have the right advice and the full knowledge of licensing requirements, sanctuaries, bag limits, size limits and protected species before you start out and if in doubt ... don't take it.

Our Foraged and Fished Species to date

Dusky flatead


Our first seafood harvest was a dusky flathead that was a complete and utter shock and awe moment for us all. I don't think you can go fishing expecting to catch anything and then when something this amount of awesome comes your way it always excites the fisherman. Fisheries NSW have limits on flathead such that minimum length is 36cm, with only 1 over 70cm allowed in a bag limit of 10. This one was 75cm and we only caught the one. Filleted, battered and deep fried a tasty treat for the family.

Sea Urchin

A favourite occupation and source of exercise and fun is scampering over the twisted and overturned rock strata that forms so much of our local coastline and spying the creatures that call it home. One such foray lead us straight to the crevasses that housed plump and spiny sea urchin. Returning home with all the thoughts of harvesting them lead us on a merry internet chase of what to do with a sea urchin.

Sea urchin
sea urchin roe

You Tube furnished us with many amusing How To's for opening and cleaning these gourmet creatures where the roe is the prized bounty from within a tough shell.
There is no size limit for sea urchin with a bag limit of 10 creatures each fisher.

We have included our sea urchin roe, or uni, in many a culinary adventure such as sushi, creamy pasta sauces and uni butter.



Snorkeling extended our forage range into the pristine waters around us and opened up a world of visual delight. This healthful pursuit with full body resistance workout included allowed us access to abalone as well as glimpses of crayfish and schools of trevally to encourage greater forays into our watery neighbourhood. With Fisheries NSW limits of minimum size 11.7cm with a bag limit of 2 each it still became a substantial meal component to sashimi, fried rice, BBQs or simply fried in garlic butter.


Our beautiful shallow draft bay is full of oft neglected seafoods and with reference to our Mediterranean culinary experiences we were delighted to find cockles in vast numbers. These baby clams, or vongole, are plump and very tasty and easily found their way onto our menu.

Cockle meats
We have never managed to take the whole Fisheries NSW bag limit of 50 clams each and only take as many as the night's menu requires.

Pasta fillings, potted clams, meaty sauces and smoked in salads are all ways we have served these wonderful seafood.

Potato cod

Some of the creatures we have caught or foraged for are not pretty, but awesome food is out there for the looking. Less known species that don't fulfil commercial needs and market quantity are none the less truly tasty and worth considering for our plates. Taking the initiative to make use of less commercial species takes the pressure off the fish stocks of these species and as long as we fish responsibly and within limits set out by our legislated bodies and only take what we need we can be a part of a thriving ecology and economy.


  1. This all looks amazing! Your foraging adventures are so inspiring!