Like lobster, crayfish are so luxurious that it’s good to eat them only occasionally. However, I can well remember the times as a child that Dad would go cray fishing with his mates and come home from Ngawi (almost the southernmost point in New Zealand’s North Island) with 20–30 crayfish. We’d all gorge ourselves stupid, then take a week’s break from them as they are really quite a rich meat.
You can cook them yourself, or buy pre-cooked crays or lobsters, which will be easier – but you do need to make sure you’re buying something that was ideally cooked that morning and not a week before. To cook a crayfish. If you can’t get a hold of crayfish or lobster, then use cooked prawns instead – allow about 180g cooked weight per person.
Thinly slice the ginger using a mandolin grater or a very sharp knife, then cut the slices into fine julienne strips. Mix with the lime juice, mirin and two pinches of salt, and leave to cure for 10 minutes, when it will pinken a little and loose its raw edge.
Segment the grapefruit and add any juices that drip off them to the ginger. Place the segments in a small bowl. Cut the avocados in half, twist out the stone and scoop out the flesh in one piece with a large spoon, then cut it into fat wedges.
To make the chive dressing, mix the chives with the oils and season with a little black pepper.
Divide the rocket and avocado between 4 plates and lay the crayfish meat on top, then scatter with the grapefruit segments and the ginger and its juices. Drizzle the chive dressing on last of all, mixing it as you do so.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.