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wildharvest
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Paua 101
Jun 5th, 2014 at 1:29pm
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Righto, weíve got a place on the beach down in North Otago and Iíve been a tad obsessed with paua diving and cooking over the last few years and thought Iíd pass on some things Iíve learnt.

Iíve spent a fair bit of time figuring out the best way to tenderize paua and I now firmly believe this has more to do with how it dies, rather than how you treat it after. Iíve tried killing them in fresh water and freezing them before shucking (both work OK) but by far the best method is to shuck and kill them minutes from when they leave the water. Find a good flat rock above the high tide mark to use as a table (a wee indent is handy to keep them in place) and a small rock to use as a hammer. Shuck each paua and as quickly as you can lay it black side down and give it a good couple of whacks in the center of the white part. Youíll feel the whole paua go very soft if you do it right. Youíll normally split the white part in half. At this stage I squeeze the teeth out and give it a good wash in a bucket of sea water. Repeat this for each paua. Remember to stay above the high tide mark, and it may pay to keep the shells in case they want to measure them.

As far as cooking goes, paua is very much the same as squid. To remain tender it either needs to be cooked for a very short time or a very long time. Iím mainly used to the former but have plans to get a pressure cooker to play around with slow cooked stuff. For all recipes below donít wash with fresh water, you should have cleaned them before you left the sea.

RECIPES

Cheats Steamed Paua

Theoretically this is steamed paua, but itís done in the microwave. Put a whole paua in a dessert bowl and apply a good pinch of salt. Cover with glad wrap and pierce with a fork a few times. Chuck it in the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute (older microwaves may need 1.20).

This between two pieces of white buttered bread is divine. You can also add rocket and sweet chilli to a sandwich (or salad) or even use this as the pattie in a paua burger.
You can vary this buy adding a bit of soy sauce, butter, garlic or even mushrooms to the bowl before cooking.

Paua Sashimi - Slice fresh paua as thin as you can and eat with soy sauce (kikkimon) and wasabi. 

Sweet Chilli Paua

Slice the whole paua about 5mm thick and add 1-2 tsp of soy sauce. Heat a pan or wok to medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil (or spray) to the pan. Add a good dollop of butter (50g) and the paua/soy. Make sure you donít crowd the pan. Stir fry for no longer than 1 minute (time it!) and then remove. Mix through a tablespoon of sweat chilli sauce to finish.

Tempura Paua

Slice the whole paua about 15mm thick. Make a tempura batter by beating one egg and one cup of iced water till frothy. Add ĺ cup of plain flour and a pinch of bicarbonate soda and mix quickly. Donít over mix. If itís too thick, add more water (Store in the fridge or freezer till youíre ready to fry). Heat a fryer or pan with oil to around 170-180c. Heavily season some plain flour on a dinner plate and roll the paua around in it before placing it in the batter. Cook each piece of paua in the oil for no longer than 1 minute (40 seconds seems about right) and drain on newspaper. Be sure not to crowd the pan by cooking 2-3 at a time.
NOTE: You can just as easily use beer batter for this recipe.

Paua Wontons

1 packet of wonton wrappers (45ish) 
5-6 Paua Sliced
150-200g Mushrooms
2 Cloves of Garlic
Large bunch of parsley, thyme and / or coriander (or herbs of your choice)
Rind from 1 lemon
5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
7 Tablespoons Sweet Chilli
Oil (for frying)

Mince paua, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and lemon rind through a fine plate. Alternate what you feed into the mincer to save on mixing later. Add Soy and Sweet Chilli Sauces, some pepper and mix thoroughly. Put a teaspoon of mix into the microwave for 5-7 seconds to check seasoning and add more soy, sweet chilli or pepper as needed. Lay out a batch of wonton wrappers on a floured surface. Using a brush, apply water the outside third of each wrapper. Apply a heaped teaspoon of mix to each wrapper and fold into a triangle, expressing the air out as you go. You can get creative here or just go for basic triangles. Ensure you roll each completed wonton in flour before placing on a tray (they will stick together otherwise).

Heat a fryer or deep pan to 170-180 degrees. Cook the wontons in batches for 40-60 seconds and drain on newspaper.

Serve with sweet chilli.   

Paua Sauce for Steak (Veni or Beef)

3-4 Diced Paua
1 Onion Diced
2 Cloves of Garlic Diced
100g Butter
Half a bottle of goodish white wine
250ml Cream
1 small bunch of fresh Thyme (Tied together for easy removal later) 
1  Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a food processor blend the diced Paua until a runny paste is created. Add salt and pepper. You will likely need to add some water and mix regularly to get your processor working effectively. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours prior to cooking. In a heavy based sauce pan or pot melt 2/3 of the butter on a medium / low heat. Add Onion, Garlic and Herbs and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent but not coloured. Add the wine and bring to a gentle boil until it reduces to half its original volume. Remove the herbs and then add the blended Paua mix. Return to a gentle simmer and cook for around 5-10 minutes. Add the cream and remaining butter and simmer as slowly as possible for a further 10ish minutes mixing regularly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Best served hot from the pot, but can be refrigerated or even frozen and reheated. 

Paua Ravioli with Beurre Blanc Sauce (Bustardized version of Al Brownís one)

Ok this dish is about as good as food gets in my opinion and its a piece of piss to make.

To make around 30 (Serves 8-10 people a decent entrťe with three each)

Ingredients:
50ml White Wine Vinegar
50ml White Wine
100ml Cream
250g Butter
1-2 Shallots
Whole Peppercorns
Lemon (Big Rind and Juice)
5 Paua
Bunch Parsley
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
Half an Onion
3 Tbsp Sweat Chilli Sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Pepper
Pack of Wonton Wrappers (From asain warehouse)
Egg

For the sauce put 50mls of white wine vinegar, 50mls of white wine, a few whole peppercorns, a bay leaf, a couple of halved shallots and the rind of a lemon (use a peeler and leave the rind big) in a small pot. Reduce the liquid to a quarter of the original amount which will only just cover the bottom of the pot. Then add 100mls of cream and reduce by half. Remove from heat and pick out the peppercorns, bay leaf rind, and shallot with a slotted spoon (sieve if needed). Cube 250gsm of butter into 2cm squares. Return to a low heat and add the butter piece by piece while stirring, waiting for each piece to dissolve before adding the next. Add juice from one lemon. Once all the butter is in keep the pot in a warm place and itíll be fine for a few hours.

For the ravioli filling mince paua, garlic, onion and parsley together. Add the wseat chilli, soy and pepper. Check the seasoning by putting a teaspoon of mix in the microwave for 7 seconds.

Lay the wonton wrappers on a floured surface and put a tablespoon of the paua mix in the center of each, brush the edges with the egg (mixed white and yolk) and stick another sheet on top leaving as little air in the parcel as possible. You can then trim around the paua using a cookie cutter or leave Ďrusticí. Flour each ravioli well before storing on a tray or theyíll stick together. Only go about 3 deep on a tray or again, theyíll stick together.

Cook the paua ravioli in a big pot of salted boiling water for 3-3.30 minutes and remove to warmed bowls. Spoon over the sauce and a bit of fine chopped parsley.   

ENJOY!  Smiley
  
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Salmoner
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Re: Paua 101
Reply #1 - Jun 5th, 2014 at 4:30pm
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Thanks for all that. You made me hungry Wink Grin Grin
  
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chris
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Re: Paua 101
Reply #2 - Jun 8th, 2014 at 10:30am
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dam those sound delicious!
pretty rare to get legal paua up here so not likely to be able to try them Sad
we have heaps of paua but the best of them are always a couple of mm under sized with the rare exception.
warm water does not grow good paua!
we should have a northern size limit.
thanks for taking the time to post wildharvest.
  
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Re: Paua 101
Reply #3 - Jun 8th, 2014 at 11:43am
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I love paua but it's been a while since I've had a good feed of them.† Those recipes sound pretty good!

There's probably two things better than paua, those being bluff oysters and toheroa.† I eat a lot of fresh bluff oysters during the season and if they are available.

But I don't know when the next feed of toheroa will happen.† Sad Sad† †I can remember spending early mornings on Oreti beach digging for toheroa's with my father when I was around 10 years old.† Getting a bucket full in fairly short order, but it was bloody cold work!!† Toheroa soup is hard to beat!!† Wink


  
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Re: Paua 101
Reply #4 - Jun 8th, 2014 at 9:44pm
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I am also are no stranger to north otago paua with the occasional diving at our local rock sea shores.
Good recipe ideas you have there wildharvest.... will have to try some for variety.
We generally just do the good old paua patties or sliced paua on the bbq.
  

Just got to keep on chipping away!
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Re: Paua 101
Reply #5 - Jun 8th, 2014 at 10:15pm
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Thanks for the ideas wildharvest me thinks some Kaikoura paua might be in for the bash in the near future.


Cheers 7x57 Snr
  
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