Indulge in Nature’s Bounty: Chef in the Wild’s Paua Recipe

By Norka Mella Munoz

Indulge in Nature’s Bounty: Chef in the Wild’s Paua Recipe
The Southern Wairarapa coastline produces some of the finest kaimoana in the world.

With this fresh bounty at the doorstep of Wharekauhau Country Estate, Executive Chef Norka Mella Munoz invites guests to not only learn about the region’s quality produce, but to savour it whilst fully immersed in the very environment where it is sourced.

On the Chef in the Wild experience, Norka and her guests venture to the Palliser Bay clifftops for an interactive dining experience, where she often prepares paua, freshly caught from the coastline below, alongside potato bread, fennel relish and lemon mayo.

Chef in the Wild Paua Recipe



Potato Bread 

500g strong flour

10g castor sugar

10g yeast (dry)

5g salt

100g potato mash

125ml warm water

1 tbs olive oil


Fennel Relish

1 medium fennel bulb (cut into fine slices)

1 cup orange juice

1tbs lemon juice

2 tbs olive oil

Pinch of salt


Lemon Mayo

2 egg yolk

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs lemon zest

1 tbs Dijon mustard

250 ml sunflower oil

Salt and pepper



1 whole paua

30g butter

1 tbs oil

Salt and pepper




Potato Bread Method 

In a bowl combine all ingredients and knead until a smooth dough. Cover the bowl and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. Press dough down with your hand to deflate and transfer to a loaf dish lined with baking paper, prove again until double size. Bake in preheated oven 190 degrees for 35 minutes until golden brown. Cool down and slice. 


Fennel Relish Method

In a warm pan add olive oil and fennel then sweat for 5 minutes. Add the lemon and orange juice and cook on a low heat until the fennel is soft, around 20 minutes. Season with salt then leave to cool down.


Lemon Mayo Method

In a bowl add egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Gently mix with a whisk to combine. Slowly add oil and whisk constantly until all the oil has been added. Check for seasoning and add the lemon zest. Reserve for later.


Paua Method

Tenderise the paua with a meat tenderizer or mallet then rinse flesh in iced salty water. Pat dry. In a hot pan add oil then pan fry the paua for 30 seconds. Add the butter, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 1 minute. Cool down and finely slice.

Arrange sliced potato bread on the base, spread the mayo on top, then add fennel relish and the paua slices. Finish with more mayo and garnish with fennel tips to serve.


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