Kiwi shellfish: Making the most of what the ocean has to offer
As American novelist Paul Neilan observed: “The world is your oyster — too bad you’re allergic to shellfish.” He was talking about passing up opportunities. But savouring shellfish is an opportunity not to be missed.
Oyster farming in New Zealand is expanding and each area has its own particular variety offering different flavours depending on whether they come from warmer or cooler waters. Of course, if you’re a Bluff oyster aficionado nothing else will do.
Unfortunately I don’t get to the beach often enough to gather my own clams or pipis but conveniently there’s a growing supply at selected supermarkets, fish shops, delis and online.
Clam is the generic word for any bivalve mollusc including tuatua, pipi, cockles and mussels. They are mild-flavoured making them ideal for soups, salads, curries, pastas and risottos.
Mussels are sometimes called the poor man's oyster. They are a great source of protein, low in calories and fat, contain a number of vitamins and minerals and are easily digested. Mussels can provide a quick family meal or can be dressed up to enhance a posh dinner.
Scallops are always a treat and in New Zealand we are lucky enough to enjoy scallops with their juicy, bright orange roe something not readily available in the USA.
Large pipis could replace the mussels. Get the recipe
I used Omega Clams available in vacuum packs in supermarkets. Get the recipe