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Moreton Bay Bug Spring Rolls

Moreton Bay Bug Spring Rolls

4-6 Servings

0:45 Prep

0:15 Cook

Moderate - you'll be right

Moreton Bay bugs are truly a hidden gem in Australia’s crown and as its name suggests, usually sourced from the pristine waters of Moreton Bay, Queensland. Smaller than a crayfish but larger than your average prawn, it is not to be confused with the Balmain bug.

Moreton Bay bug meat is moderately sweet but rich in flavour. In this recipe, I will highlight its richer elements and transform its firm texture into a bouncy paste.

Traditionally, Vietnamese spring rolls are made with pork. By replacing pork with Moreton Bay bugs, this recipe adds an Australian twist to the Vietnamese spring roll. Removing pork is essentially removing protein, and the textural element that is convivial to spring rolls. The idea behind the Moreton Bay bug paste is to replace that loss of texture.

These spring rolls are the perfect snack to enjoy on the couch - just add sweet chilli sauce and a six pack - while barracking for your favourite football team. However, the addition of the Moreton Bay bug also makes it a delicate appetiser best enjoyed with a glass of sparkling wine. A healthy scoop of caviar wouldn’t go astray either. 

A promising crowd pleaser at any house party, these spring rolls are guaranteed to be the talk of your event. So don’t wait, try it for yourself and do your friends a favour for flavour!

Moreton Bay Bug Spring Rolls
Moreton Bay Bug Spring Rolls


Moreton bay bug mix

  • 400g Moreton Bay bug meat

  • 1 egg white

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Duncan Lu Anchovy Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Prawn mix

  • 400g prawn cutlets (preferably tiger prawns)

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  • 25g rice vermicelli glass noodles (thin mung bean noodles)

  • 10g dried wood ear mushrooms (optional)

  • 1 packet of large spring roll pastry

  • 3 thinly-sliced spring onions (white part only)

  • 300ml-400ml neutral cooking oil (grapeseed oil recommended)

Special equipment:

  • Food processor


Preparing the spring rolls

  1. Rehydrate wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 20 mins then strain, rinse well and slice finely.

  2. Rehydrate rice vermicelli glass noodles in cold water for 20 mins then strain well and chop into 3-5cm strands.

  3. Separate tail third of prawns from main body. Cut the tail portion into small pieces and marinate with ingredients listed in a large mixing bowl.

  4. In the food processor, add the Moreton bay bug meat, the main body of the prawns, remaining Moreton bay bug mix ingredients and process for 2-3 minutes until it becomes a paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

  5. To the mixing bowl, add the tail end of the prawns, sliced wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, and spring onions then mix well.

  6. Cut square spring roll pastry diagonally in half to form two triangles. Place approximately 1.5 teaspoons of the mixture at the base of each triangle (longest side). Fold the pastry over the mixture, then using your fingertips and applying a firm pressure, roll forward to form thin cigar-sized rolls. Use a touch of egg yolk to seal the spring rolls when you get to the end. Continue with remaining ingredients.

  7. Store in an airtight container and place in freezer for 2 hours before frying. For best results freeze overnight.

Cooking the spring rolls

  1. Deep fry for 5-6 mins until golden in grapeseed oil at 180 degrees C or air fry at the same temperature for 15 mins, then flip/agitate and cook for a further 10 mins. NB: If using air fryer lightly coat spring rolls with oil spray.

  2. For a luxurious experience, serve with caviar accompanied by sparkling wine. Alternatively, try sweet chilli sauce and a beer for an indulgent snack while watching the afternoon footy.

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