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Kai Moana

Jemma Lam from New Zealand

5 minutes
Cooks in
6 minutes
Country of origin
New Zealand

I was part of a culinary group tour in Saigon. Travelling by scooter at dusk, followed by cheerful horns and engulfed in an organized chaos. We stopped at a bustling street cafe and sampled food from the sea. A beautiful plate abruptly hit the table. Gorgeous fried mussel tossed with herbs and served in the largest mussel shells I had ever seen. A person from the group refused to eat, claiming the ‘sea insect’ was untrustworthy.

What puzzles me is how others can pass judgement without having ever tasted it.

And that’s when I realized.

How enlightening the taste of another culture can be.

How lucky I was to grow up in the the raw and honest surrounding beauty of Aotearoa.

How food can be nourishing, tantalizing and nostalgic all at the same time.

I guess anything can be a fritter and it really is an effortless meal to whip up – but that’s exactly what I love about them. They remind me of home and remind me to appreciate the simple things in life.


  • 1/3 cup Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • Splash of milk (optional)
  • 500g Fresh Mussels
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onions (finely diced)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Coriander (roughly chopped)
  • Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper


  • Whisk the flour and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. If the batter is too thick, loosen with a splash of milk.
  • Wash and shuck the mussels and roughly chop the meat (I prefer chunky pieces)
  • Add the chopped onions, squeeze of lemon, chopped coriander to the meat mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix together with the fritter batter.
  • Fry over a medium-high heat. I find about a minute and a half per side works best for me.
  • Best served between pieces of buttered white bread or just as delicious served as is.


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