Recipes by Neil Sapitula from Saltwater Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar, Images by Brydie Thompson
Our play on New England clam chowder and a favourite amongst New Zealanders. We use the tuatua clams, but if you can’t source these any clams will do.
500g tuatua clams
2 litres fish stock
1 litre cream
300g smoked bacon, diced
1 large or 2 small potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
2–3 sprigs of thyme
½ cup flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
Clean the tuatua, ensuring all dirt/sand is removed from the shell.
Bring the fish stock to the boil, then blanch the tuatua for 3–4 minutes. Remove the tuatua from the stock, then continue to boil until the liquid has reduced by half. Add in the cream, then reduce by half again.
In a separate large pot, cook the bacon in a splash of neutral oil over a medium-high heat until the fat has rendered and it’s brown and crispy. Add in the diced potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the carrots, celery, capsicum and thyme sprigs and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the butter and flour to the pot and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes until it forms a roux. Slowly add in the milk, followed by the reduced fish stock/cream into the pot, stirring constantly. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed. Add in the cooked tuatua and bring back to a simmer before dividing between 4–6 bowls.