On the banks of Cabbage Tree Creek in Shorncliffe, where it runs along Sinbad street, you can buy fresh prawns direct from the trawlers on Saturday mornings (click for map). This is something I discovered for the first time last weekend.
Coraki’s Catch is run by Sam and her partner Steve. They are clearly visible at the end of the car park, operating out of a van thats parked next to their trawler berthed on the first jetty.
They only sell what they catch during the week and do not spray with sodium metabisulphite. Sam prides herself on careful attention to storing the prawns as even small variations in temperature can quickly degrade the quality.
September is not prime prawn season and I was told that some of the other vendors along the creek are selling thawed product under the banner of fresh. This is a concern as fisherman giving fisherman a bad name is the last thing a small competitive industry needs. Sam can give you the names of the trawlers that went to work during the week if you want to know if a particular vendors product is a fresh catch.
As freshness is almost always a pre-requisite for quality there is a lot of truth in the saying ‘ the proof of the pudding is in the eating’. While I was standing in the car park on Saturday taking a few photos I got chatting to a lady from Alderley who has been buying from Coraki’s Catch every week for years. They keep coming back because quite simply the prawns taste great.
At the moment Coraki operates 3 days a week from Tuesday through to Thursday out in the deep water past Moreton Bay. On offer this particular Saturday was a collection of cooked & green ocean king prawns, Moreton bay bugs and a few squid. The headless prawns available are considered seconds on presentation grounds only and work out much cheaper per kilo.
I wanted a subtle marinade that would bring out the ocean taste without overpowering it.
I mixed up honey, macadamia oil, lime zest & juice and let it sit for 30 minute while I prepared the BBQ.
Sam told me that they use 450L of fuel each day to operate the trawler so they need to be confident they will land a good catch to cover these costs. This fact has really stuck with me. I am becoming increasingly aware of the real expense of a diverse food menu. The journey of my prawns from ocean to plate involves a complex environmental cost when you consider the resources used to farm, pack and store.
The main prawn season starts in October/ November and runs right through to April. If you are interested in buying fresh from Coraki trawler I suggest you give Sam a call (click here for contact details) to find out the best time to meet them on Saturdays. Reserve a bag too as often the popular items (such as medium king ocean prawns) can sell out before the trawler gets back to shore.