Tua Tua fritters with tartare

Definitely one of my favourite pastimes is digging for shellfish at low tide with my family. It’s a terrific way for the kids to connect with where their food comes from. They can help with the whole process; gathering, preparation, removing the meat from the shells and, of course, cooking the actual fritters. - Al Brown

  • 20 mins cooking
  • Makes 36
  • Print


Tartare sauce
  • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped capers
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tablespoon finely chopped gherkins
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green capsicum
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • flaky sea salt
  • 4 eggs (size 7)
  • 1/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • 500 gram steamed tuatua meat (about 2kg tuatuas)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • flaky sea salt
  • oil, for frying
  • 2 lemons, to serve


Tartare sauce
  • 1
    To make the tartare sauce, place mayonnaise in a mixing bowl and add the capers, onion, gherkin, capsicum, parsley and dill.
  • 2
    Stir in the mustard until well combined. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • 3
    Cover and refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    To make the fritters, whisk the eggs and flour together in a large mixing bowl until smooth. If the batter is too thick, loosen with a dash of milk. The consistency should be similar to golden syrup.
  • 5
    Chop the tuatua meat into a coarse mince with a knife or in a food processor. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the onion, lemon zest, 1½ Tbsp lemon juice, coriander, basil and sweet chilli sauce. Season to taste with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper then stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
  • 6
    When you are ready to cook, fold 1 cup of batter through tuatua mix.
  • 7
    Heat a skillet, or a barbecue flat plate, to medium heat and add a little cooking oil. When oil is hot, spoon in a small amount of fritter mix and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Check the consistency and seasoning and adjust if needed; add a little more batter if the fritter isn’t holding together. Repeat, cooking several fritters at once.
  • 8
    Serve fritters on a platter with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and tartare sauce on the side.


Wine match: Champagne Taittinger Brut Millésimé 2008 - With half its grapes chardonnay and the other half pinot noir, there are delicate hints of butteriness and tannin in this Champagne that make it a marvellous accompaniment for shellfish. Summerhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - Aromas of gooseberry and guava introduce this softly textured sauvignon, with its subtle flavours of fresh-cut herbs, yellow capsicum and hints of tropical fruits giving it a very gently acidic mouthfeel. Have another one, the wine seems to be saying.