Tuatua Fritters and Tartare Sauce

, from Issue #94. December, 2020
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Tuatua Fritters and Tartare Sauce

Growing up, the highlight of summer at the beach was gathering tuatua and pipis or mussels off the rocks and making fritters on the barbecue. Always to be sandwiched between buttered white bread with a squeeze of lemon juice and a slathering of mayo.


2 kilograms tuatua or clams

½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 large eggs, size 7
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce
finely grated zest 1 lemon
sea salt and ground pepper

To cook and serve
neutral oil for cooking
Tartare Sauce (see recipe below)
lemon wedges
white bread and butter (optional)

Tartare Sauce (gf) (v)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped gherkins
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped capers
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt


Put the shellfish in a large saucepan. Cover and place over a high heat and steam until they start to open, removing them to a sieve set over a bowl. Take out the meat and set aside to cool.

Batter: Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, spring onions and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, both sauces and the lemon zest together then stir into the flour mixture to make
a thickish batter. Stir in the cooled tuatua.

To cook and serve: Heat a sauté pan with a little oil and cook spoonfuls of the mixture over a medium heat until puffed and golden and the fritters are firm to the touch. Serve piled up on a plate with the tartare sauce, lemon wedges and a stack of buttered fresh white bread.
Makes about 10 fritters depending on their size

Tartare Sauce (gf) (v)
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl. 

Makes about ¾ cup