Abalone Fritters with Bread and Butter

Analiese Gregory Posted

Abalone Fritters with Bread and Butter
(AKA Tip Top Tacos)

These fritters are about as old-school Kiwi as you can get. They come with memories of the shore, attaching an old enamel hand mincer to a picnic table and mincing paua (the Maori name for abalone) to fry in patties on the barbecue. These days it seems like a very luxurious thing to do, and even though I now have more refined abalone recipes I still make them as a beachside snack for friends when I’ve been diving.

Serves 4
(2 frit ters each)


1 abalone (weight in shell 400 g/14 oz, or 170 g/6 oz abalone meat; you can use fresh or frozen, either will work)
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 egg white
¼ bunch coriander (cilantro)
½ teaspoon chilli condiment, such as sambal or sriracha
100 g (3½ oz) soft butter
8 slices soft white sandwich bread* any other condiments you deem fit


Clean the abalone by removing it from the shell, pulling the guts away from the meat and trimming off any leftover pieces. I often use a small pair of scissors for this.

Dice the abalone into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces and either run twice through a hand mincer or pulse in a food processor until no large chunks remain. Combine with the shallot, egg white, coriander and chilli condiment and season with sea salt to taste. Mix well, then use your hands to shape 8 balls.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan. Add about 20 g (¾ oz) of the butter, then drop an abalone ball into the pan – it should be hot enough that it sizzles – and flatten to form a fritter. Fry each for approximately 2–3 minutes, adding more butter if required, flipping when coloured underneath. 

Butter your bread, then add the fritters and any condiments you want, such as lemon, sweet chilli sauce or tartare sauce. * New Zealand’s cheap white bread is called Tip Top, hence this recipe’s name. Just grab whatever local brand you have that’s reminiscent of sausage sizzles and beachside snacks.

This is an edited extract from How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory, published by Hardie Grant Books , RRP $45. Available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Adam Gibson


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