Mofo guide to pairing | Jo Barrett's Yabbie dumplings
Jo Barrett is one of Australia’s most respected chefs (Good Food Guide Chef of the Year 2024, no less) and was part of the team behind urban eco-house futurefoodsystem, a landmark experiment in zero waste living. "Sustain" is her debut cookbook, with innovative and inspiring tips to help you connect with your food, through over 90 purposeful, nutritious recipes.
And here's one of our faves - Yabbie dumplings, with nasturtium and chilli oil. Plus, our buyer Pete's been busy sipping out the perfect wine to pair alongside, and we've included his reccos + key pairing tips along with the recipe.
Nearly all of my food and wine pairing is based around acid - bristly, energetic acidity that excites the palate. That’s especially important when dealing with complex flavour profiles in food. Both of these wines champion freshness and zeal, and will bring the delicate yabby meat to the fore without overpowering the intricate details and spice in the dish. - Pete, Senior Wine Buyer
Naked Run Wines are pretty fantastic. Clare Valley riesling is pretty fantastic. And this single vineyard wine combining the two? Pretty fantastic. This lot have won the best small producer at the Clare Valley Wine Show for 3 consecutive years, not faulting on quality in a single one of their wines. ‘The First’ riesling is grown at high altitude at the Sevenhill vineyard, and made only with free run juice (the really really good stuff that comes out of the berries). It sings with the hallmarks of the region, with citrus and floral notes on the nose and a palate that is bright and lively. There’s grapefruit pith, lime cordial and minerality jumping out from this balanced and long wine. When we say it’s just fantastic, we’re not messing around - and it's fantastic to pair with this too, the fresh zesty profile of the wine complimenting and contrasting with the savoury spice of the dumplings in all of the best ways.
All the fun and pleasure of Champagne, but without the hefty price tag. That's our kind of bubbles; and this Crémant is serving some serious game. Made from aligoté and chardonnay in the traditional method - this is your go-to for a sophisticated time on a budget. Aromatically powerful, with candied lemons and brioche mingling with a mineral fleshiness and balanced acidity, it'll bring just the right amount of freshness (and fizz) to set this pairing off nicely.
Yabbie dumplings, nasturtium & chilli oil
2kg yabbies (4lb6oz)
1 teaspoon tamari
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
16–20 large nasturtium leaves
chilli oil, to serve
black vinegar, to serve
If you are working with live yabbies, place them in the freezer for 30 minutes before cooking to humanely dispatch them.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and prepare a bowl of ice water.
Place the yabbies into the boiling water for 40 seconds, then remove them from the pot and immediately submerge them in the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove the flesh from the tails and claws by cracking the shell. Finely chop the meat.
Add the yabbie meat, tamari, garlic and ginger to a bowl and mix to combine.
Holding a nasturtium leaf in your hand with the stem pointing down between your fingers, place approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture on the centre and fold the leaf around the filling to enclose it. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Preheat a steam oven to 100°C (212°F) and line a tray with baking paper. Alternatively, place a bamboo steamer lined with baking paper over a pot of boiling water.
Place the dumplings, fold down, on the tray or steamer with the stem facing up and steam for 2–3 minutes, or until firm when pressed. Serve with chilli oil and a drizzle of black vinegar.
This is an edited extract from Sustain by Jo Barrett published by Hardie Grant Books.
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