Paua Fritters with aioli

hunters kitchen spread

One of the best things about New Zealand, and something that we probably take for granted, is our free and easy access to wild game and fresh seafood. If you’re into your hunting and fishing and like to go for a dip in the ocean, or know a mate who does then here’s a classic recipe to cook at home or chuck on the flat top of the BBQ. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be doing a stint as a chef in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and have access to paua fresh as you can get. We would slice thinly and fry it quickly in butter with a squeeze of lemon and they were amazing. If you’re using great, fresh ingredients often the more simple recipes are the best.

Paua can be pretty tough and everyone has their own theory on how to tenderise them. The general rule of thumb is once they’ve been removed from the shell, gutted and the teeth removed you need to slice them thinly and fry them quick and fast, slowly braise them or mince them which is the method I am using for this recipe. These fritters are great thrown between two slices of fresh white toast bread with some aioli or you can serve them with some buttered new potatoes and a salad for a full meal. As always, it’s up to us to be responsible and ensure the future prosperity of our resources so make sure you stick to your bag limits and know your minimum sizes so we’ll all be able to enjoy nature’s bounty for years to come.

Paua Fritter Image



Paua Fritters with Aioli
Yields 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Paua Fritters
  1. 3cl garlic
  2. 1/2 onion
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 C flour
  5. 1/2tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2tsp salt
  7. 1tbs chopped parsley
  8. 3 large paua minced
  9. 4tbs milk
Aioli (makes 500ml)
  1. 5 yolks
  2. 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. Juice of 1 lemon
  5. 400ml canola oil
  6. 100ml olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper
For the Paua
  1. Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic. Place the onion and garlic in a large bowl with the minced paua, a whisked egg, chopped parsley and the salt. Combine well. Mix together the flour and baking powder then add to the paua mix. Lightly fold in the flour and don’t mix too much, too much mixing will make the mix tough and rubbery. Add the milk, using a little less or a little more if needed to get a stiff batter.
For the Aioli
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and blend well for 1-2 minutes. With the blender running on high, slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify and create the aioli. If your aioli is too thick you can add warm water at the end to thin it down if necessary.
MacLean Fraser





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