Whole, local BBQ calamari served atop finger lime pearls and a creamy tarator puré of macadamia, sourdough and chardonnay vinegar.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (9 votes)


  • 120 g saltbush leaves
  • 600 g whole local calamari, cleaned, tentacles reserved
  • 120 g finger limes, split and pearls removed

Macadamia tarator

  • 150 g macadamias
  • 1 slice sourdough baguette (about 25 g), crust removed
  • 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp chardonnay vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1 small garlic clove

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the macadamia tarator sauce, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the macadamias on a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  2.  Soak the bread in 150 ml cold water for a few minutes or until soft. Place the nuts, soaked bread, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency with a little extra water if necessary and check the seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat a chargrill pan over high heat. When hot, add the saltbush and cook until lightly charred.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the calamari hoods down the centre and use a small sharp knife to score the flesh in a cross hatch patten. Cut into 4 long strips each. Cook the calamari for 3-4 minutes or until lightly charred and tender.
  5. To serve, spread some tarator on each plate, top with the calamari, then garnish with the saltbush and finger lime pearls.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.