Thursday, 28 March 2013

Tuatua- Bounty From The Sea

We fancied some fritters for dinner, so after finding out where the shellfish beds were we waited for low tide and then went digging for tuatuas.  Here in the Coromandel (& Auckland) you’re only allowed 50 per person, elsewhere it’s 150, which meant I’d have to get wet too if we were going to collect enough to make a few fritters for tea. Although it wasn’t the getting wet that bothered me, it was the crabs. I have childhood memories of digging for pipis & tuatuas & coming up with a crab attached to a finger or a toe. I hate the foreboding feeling of digging away knowing that if something moves it's probably a crab & it's likely to nip you or worse still latch on.
I overcame my fear & helped out although I’m sure David dug the most. Most of them were very small or extremely small so of course we threw the tiny ones back which in the end meant more digging & more chance of getting nipped. I felt a few moving away but thankfully nothing major latched on.

We brought the tuatuas home and kept them in a bucket of salt water overnight, changing it twice to keep them fresh & to encourage them to spit out their sand. There’s nothing worse in my opinion than a fritter with sand in it; crunch, crunch. David then went about the task of opening them all & presented me with a small bowl of tuatua meat.
I found a couple of fritter recipes I had been saving (I knew one day they would come in handy) & we had beer batter tuatua fritters with coconut curry sauce, which was delicious. I’m not so sure about the shellfish though; the batter & sauce seem to overwhelm the shellfish taste. It’s the same with whitebait & paua fritters; personally I think they’re all a little overrated.

More photos here of Port Jackson


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