Skip to content

Paua with Tarragon & Lemon Butter and a Nod to Al Brown

DSC_0008Again we are enjoying the bounty of our local beach. With low tides and virtually no wave swell the boys had been out snorkeling around the rocks just off our Bay and diving for Paua. They didn’t get huge amounts, but one is enough for two people and you want to leave some to the sea so we have it in the future too. I had never cooked Paua, but I had been told it needed to be tenderized and cooked very briefly otherwise it would be like eating elastic bands. Google is every chef’s friend and I found Al Brown’s recipe, his posh version of shellfish & chips. For those who don’t know Al Brown he is one of New Zealands favourite chef’s and I am a frequent dinner at his restaurant The Depot.

The recipe below is for two people using one Paua.  I have added shaved fennel and rocket to make it more of a warm salad with the pan fried potatoes but I didn’t use garlic of parsley.

Below are a few more photos from our West Coast beach which turned on it’s spectacular waves this weekend.


1 large Paua, removed from shell

2 cups of small potatoes, pre boiled but still firm

Olive oil for frying

Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp butter, softened

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 handfuls of rocket salad leaves

Salt & cracked pepper


Arrange the fennel and rocket leaves on two plates

To tenderize the Paua, beat it with a tenderizer tool or a rolling pin as I did. I also cut away the muscle that attaches it to the shell and the tough frilly edges edges.

Slice the Paua ‘wafer thin’, as thin as you can possible slice it.

Mix the chopped tarragon into the butter and put it aside.

Cut the pre cooked potatoes to the size in the picture.

Put a few 3 tablespoons of olive oil into  cast iron frying pan over a high heat. Season with salt. Once it is hot add potatoes and fry on at least two sides till golden brown.

Remove the potatoes from the pan and put aside.

Place the frying pan back on the high heat and allow the pan to get really hot before you cook the Paua.

Because I only had one Paua I cooked it all in one batch but if you have more Paua meat then do the next  stage in batches and do not over crowd the pan.

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the frying pan base then add the Paua slices. You want to only sear the Paua on eat side for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan onto a plate.

Turn the heat off and add the potatoes back to the pan, add the butter and everything will sizzle. Cook for barely a minute to heat butter through. Add the Paua to the pan too.

Spoon out the potatoes & Paua slices and arrange over the top of the rocket & fennel on each plate.

Spoon or pour the remainder of tarragon butter over the salads, season with cracked pepper.

DSC_0054 DSC_0030

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. I tried paua once (even though I didn’t want to!) freshly caught in the Wairarapa, simply cooked on bbq – was much nicer than I expected. Some cool shots there especially first one of ocean.

    February 2, 2013
  2. Beautiful!

    February 2, 2013
  3. Pauas are expensive so I havent cooked it either, youre lucky you can just dive and get some fresh ones. Nice recipe

    February 3, 2013
  4. A fabulous salad! So flavorful and refined.

    Gorgeous waves too!



    February 3, 2013
  5. I have no idea what Paua is, but that dish looks and sounds delicious! And those pictures of the ocean are beautiful! I’m so jealous.

    February 3, 2013
  6. I wondered as I was reading if paua wasn’t what we call abalone. And wikipedia proved me correct. What a nice dish. The potatoes look incredible!

    February 3, 2013
  7. I’d love to try those. Great surf too 🙂

    February 3, 2013
  8. Tessa #

    What a delicious recipe! Abalone is a rare treat in our home. It’s absolutely delicious! Lovely photos as usual!

    February 3, 2013
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks Tessa, rare to find in our household too!

      February 13, 2013
  9. i admit i had to hit your wiki link to understand – i thought we were talking about something like abalone. i think i was close! the shells are beautiful. what lovely flavours to have with deafood, tarragon and lemon. delicious.
    i have to ask, every time i come to your site i see the lovely thumbnail of the ‘taste’ mag – but i can;t find a site for it. does it have a foodie-friendly site i can check out?

    February 3, 2013
  10. every paua I ever ate was of the elastic band version! I am sure yours is much better and look at that surf!! wow.. c

    February 4, 2013
  11. mairi29 #

    The first time I had paua was paua ravioli at Logan Browns….loved the sweetness. And this is a great take on “fush & chips”! And that surf looks fierce & beautiful 🙂

    February 9, 2013
    • peasepudding #

      sounds perfect as ravioli, must send the boys diving again so I can make some.

      February 13, 2013
  12. Sam #

    I’m loving your blog! Your photos and recipes are making my mouth water – such delicious combinations

    March 4, 2013
  13. Thanks for finally writing about >Paua with Tarragon & Lemon Butter and a Nod to
    Al Brown | Pease Pudding <Liked it!

    July 28, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Fennel fritters – Finocchi fritti | Chocolate Spoon & The Camera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: