Wild paua's salty, ocean taste with a hint of sweetness is loved by Kiwis across New Zealand. From high-end restaurants to the classic kiwi BBQ, paua has a beautiful kaimoana taste but is subtle enough to be a hit with almost everyone.
The most common way to eat paua is in paua fritters; our fritters are one of the most popular recipes on our website, and with good reason! The unique flavour of paua, charred on the bbq with freshly squeezed lemon on a hot summer's day, is a quintessential kiwi delicacy.
Even though paua is well loved across New Zealand, knowing how to prepare it properly and incorporating it into other dishes above and beyond our favourite fritters can seem a bit daunting.
Here we explain how to expertly shuck and prepare whole paua and show you ways to elevate everyday dishes with the decadent taste of Chatham Island wild caught paua.
How to shuck and prepare paua
- Place the paua in your hand with the meat facing up and the 'pointy' end of the shell facing you.
- Slide your thumbs underneath the meat to remove the paua's foot. Only go two-thirds of the way to the end of the shell.
- Pull the other end of the paua directly back to the foot of the paua to remove the meat; this method separates the gut at the same time.
- If the gut remains intact, pull or cut it away to remove it from the paua meat.
- Remove the paua's teeth from the gut end of the paua. Pushing against the sides of the paua meat, the teeth will pop out for easy removal.
Your shucked paua is now ready to be prepared.
Don’t forget to keep your paua shells as they can be used as a garnish or around your home.
Ways to eat paua
Whole tenderised paua is delicious sliced thinly, fried on the BBQ or pan with garlic and butter. The tenderising process creates a texture somewhere between scallop and calamari that only requires a quick searing on a hot plate for a quick appetiser.
For main meals, paua is a beautiful way to add another layer of flavour to traditional dishes and works wonderfully with pasta and potato-based dishes. The salty tang of paua compliments rich, creamy recipes such as linguine or potato cakes for a decadent twist on these hearty dishes.
If you're trying paua for the first time, our paua mince is an easy, convenient way to incorporate the Chatham Island delicacy into home cooking. Pure Paua Mince is snap-frozen, and can be fried and sprinkled across pasta or noodle dishes, adding as much or as little as you like or turned into delicious patties as a burger or slider alternative.
Be adventurous this summer and incorporate the wild deep-sea jewels of the Chatham Islands into your summer cooking.