Melbourne-based chef Ross Magnaye says he was blessed to grow up surrounded by delicious food, and his recipe for Thermidor is a mash-up of Australian produce teamed with the flavours of his childhood.

“Every time there is a celebration, we are gifted with beautiful food,” says Magnaye. “My Grandmother Carol used to prepare Thermidor during Christmas.”

While Thermidor is traditionally a French dish that combines lobster with a creamy sauce, Magnaye’s version uses a Moreton Bay bug instead with a punchy sauce. “My twist is that I use coconut cream to make the sauce instead of cream and cheese,” says the chef.

To achieve a balanced flavour profile, Magnaye uses ingredients, which he says “celebrate South-East Asian flavours” such as lemongrass. The final touch is adding TABASCO® Habanero Pepper Sauce to add fruity but serious heat. “It has the true flavours of Jamaican-style peppers blended with mango, papaya, tamarind, banana and ginger.”

Follow the recipe to make Moreton Bay bug Thermidor with TABASCO® Habanero Pepper Sauce.

2 Moreton Bay bug tails
For the coconut béchamel sauce
10g garlic
5g ginger
20g minced lemongrass
500ml coconut cream
Fish sauce to taste
Shaoxing wine
Tapioca flour
5g chilli
Chopped mixed herbs
Shiso to garnish
TABASCO® Habanero Pepper Sauce

1. Deshell and dice the Morton Bay bug meat into small cubes.
2. Mix tapioca flour with water and stir until it has formed a smooth paste. Set aside.
3. To make the coconut béchamel sauce, sauté garlic, ginger and lemongrass in a sauce pot.
4. Deglaze with shaoxing wine.
5. Add TABASCO® Habanero Pepper Sauce to taste.
6. Add the coconut cream and fish sauce to taste.
7. Add the tapioca slurry and cook out.
8. Add the bug meat into the coconut béchamel sauce and mix until just cooked.
9. Take the bug meat off the heat. Add chillies and chopped mixed herbs.
10. Serve the mix in the shell and finish with shellfish oil and shiso.

For more information, visit

TABASCO®, the Diamond and Bottle Logos are trademarks of McIlhenny Co.