Yabbie Paté

This tangy Yabbie Paté is perfect for a summer dinner party. With variatious substitutions, it is suitable for many diets including: Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free and Low Calorie.

Fish farming has become a growing industry here in Zambia where water is plentiful in many parts. At one time there was even a Yabby farm, yabbies being Australian freshwater crayfish. This introduced species unfortunately escaped and has since thrived in the wild, the consequence being that they are now a destructive force in the rivers and waterways of Zambia and beyond.

It was a few months ago, when at Masuku Lodge near Choma, that I ate my first African yabbies. They were delicious and I am now doing my best to help reduce this unwanted species by finding a sales outlet in Livingstone; promoting them to everyone I know in the food industry and beyond; and, of course, eating them myself.

In this simple recipe, yabbie can be replaced by prawns, crab or even a firm fish. I have added yoghurt to bind the ingredients and for a creamy texture and look. For dairy free diets use soya yoghurt or tofu; and for a Fodmap diet a little oil. I have selected lime for added piquancy, finding its flavour subtle. But whether you use lime or lemon initially add a very small quantity of zest as it can dominate if too much is used.

Diets for which Yabbie Paté is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free and Paleo.


Preparation: 10 mins | Serves: 1-2 cups
200g (7oz) cooked* yabbie meat**
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp lime zest
1 tsp fish sauce
A few drops of tabasco or hot chilli sauce
2 spring onions or 2 tbsp chopped chives (Fodmap, see notes)***
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp greek yoghurt (not Dairy Free or Fodmap)****
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt, if required

Lime wedges, to serve


CHOP the yabbie meat into small pieces, not to a purée texture.
ADD the lime juice, lime zest (a very small quantity), tabasco, spring onion and paprika.
TASTE and add more as required.
ADD yoghurt and black pepper.
TASTE and add more pepper and salt as required.
SERVE with lime wedges


– On dry toast or dry biscuits with lime wedges.
– On a bed of chopped lettuce as a starter.


* To cook: place yabbies in a pot of salty boiling water until they turn red. Leave in the water, to cool down for at least 10 minutes. Peel them in the same way you would peel prawns, remove the digestive tract.
** Replace yabbie meat with prawn, crab or firm fish.
*** For Fodmap diet use chives or the green tops of spring onions.
**** Select a thick yoghurt. Dairy Free diet replace yoghurt with soya yoghurt or tofu. Fodmap add a little olive oil to bind the ingredients.

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