How to make tuatua fritters

Learned something new today, New Zealand, Octopus Tales — By on April 28, 2011 3:00 PM

Learned something new today … how to make tuatua fritters.

What is a tuatua you ask?

Tuatua is a shellfish that can be found in abundance on the northern half of the North Island of New Zealand during low tide. A local had suggested we find ourselves some tuatua and fry into “fritters”, a very simple recipe he happily shared with us. I am always up to try local cuisine but we were always kitesurfing at low tide and were never successful in digging up any tuatuas.

Thomas digging for tuatua

minced tuatua and onion

Lucky for us we met a very nice Kiwi couple would offered to share their tuatuas with us. They even put the tuatuas through a mincer so it would be easier for us to make our fritters. We were very excited to make our own fritters. All we had to do was add an egg, and a tablespoon of flour, and fry in butter.

fried fritters

The finished product looked similar to a crab cake but tasted like SAND! As much as we tried to ignore the crunching sound with every bite we could not truly enjoy the tuatua fritters.

Thomas said “It tastes okay as long as you don’t chew too much. Just swallow!”

We worry that the friendly Kiwi’s did not abide by the most important rule when making tuatua fritters. After gathering the tuatua, sit them in fresh seawater for an hour, this will enable the tuatua to spit out any sand.

Recipe for tuatua fritters

Shell about 500 grams of tuatua into a bowl
Peel and dice 1 average sized onion and with the tuatua, put through mincer.
Add 1 – 1 1/2 eggs to help bind the mixture, and also a small amount of corn-flour thickening, to add body to the mixture. Place a small amount of the mixture into a well oiled pan until medium brown on both sides.

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  1. Lisa says:

    When I saw the title for this blog I laughed thinking that a better one would have been “How to make tuatua fritters IN AN OCTOPUS VAN”. lol
    Love you and miss you. I’m so glad to see you guys having fun!!

  2. Mary says:

    Ha, nothing like a mouth full of sand!

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