Manuka Smoked Eel Clubs with Wasabi and Cress

From issue #5.
Photography by Photography by Aaron McLean.
Manuka Smoked Eel Clubs with Wasabi and Cress


200 grams manuka smoked eel
2 teaspoons fresh wasabi or horseradish cream
4 tablespoons sour cream
sea salt and pepper
9 slices white sandwich bread
soft butter


Remove the skin and any bones from the eel. Shred into chunky pieces and set aside.

Mix together the wasabi paste and sour cream and season well with salt and pepper. Combine with the eel.

Butter each slice of bread. Spread the eel mixture evenly over 3 slices of bread. Top with another slice of bread, place a good handful of cress on top and cover with the remaining bread. Cut off the crusts and cut each into 3 finger sandwiches or 4 squares or triangles. Makes 9-12 club sandwiches depending how they are cut.

Smoked Eel: There are several brands of smoked eel available. We particularly like Paku and Sons brand – it is
moist and succulent and has a delicious natural smoked flavour. You’ll find it at good delicatessens.

Fresh Wasabi: Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish and most commonly seen as the bright green paste served with sushi and sashimi. For this recipe we used Pure Wasabi, produced in the South Island and available from good delicatessens nationwide or through

Tea Match: For this wonderfully rich, smoky club I have chosen, unusually, a blend of two very distinctive teas. Firstly, Lapsang Souchong from the Fujian province of China, which has a distinctive, exotic, smoky flavour. This is a very bold and assertive tea, so I wanted to find another tea to mellow the intense smoke of the
Lapsang and not overpower the food.

For this I went west from Fujian to Yunnan, where tea is thought to have originated almost 5000 years ago. The best black teas are bright and malty, with distinct peppery notes, and are robust enough to carry the smoky flavour of the Lapsang whilst rounding off the blend.A 50/50 blend of these two teas will be the perfect complement to the club sandwich.