2 pāua
¾ cup sake plus 1 tablespoon extra
1 small shallot, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1½ cups Japanese short grain rice, rinsed and drained
1½ cups light chicken stock or dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 3 tablespoons light soy sauce such as shiro shoyu)
2 tablespoons chopped spring onions, to garnish
a few torn shiso leaves, to garnish

This recipe is not Thai, but it’s a dish I do often while I’m in Auckland because I can easily find very fresh pāua. I usually get them shipped directly from the fantastic Tora Collective, or from the tank at the Auckland Fish Market. Every friend I’ve made this for has asked – no, demanded – a recipe, so I thought I’d do this here. Ideally you’ll need a Japanese donabe pot (capacity 2 litres) or a thick clay pot. You can also use a medium-sized enamel or cast-iron pot (such as a Le Creuset) that can hold heat well. Unfortunately a thin stainless steel pot won’t work.


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1.Slice the pāua as thinly as you can and put into a small non-reactive container with ¾ cup sake.
2.Give it a few squeezes to massage the sake into the pāua meat.
3.Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 4-6 hours to tenderise.
4.One hour before serving, place the clay pot over a medium heat and sauté the shallot and garlic in the butter until they become translucent and fragrant. Turn the heat off.
5.Add the pāua to the pot, discarding the marinade liquid.
6.Add the rice and the liquid ingredients, stirring well to combine. Let it sit (off the heat) to soak for 20 minutes.
7.After soaking, put the pot on a medium-high heat and cook for 14 minutes. Turn the heat off.
8.You’ll be so tempted to open the pot right now – do not give in to the temptation. Let the pot sit, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.
9.Bring the pot to the table with the garnish in a small side bowl.
10.Make sure all your dinner guests are paying attention, open the pot and let everyone take in the aroma, sprinkle the garnish on top and serve.
11.The rice is lightly seasoned on purpose; should you prefer it saltier you can always add soy sauce at the table.
12.If it is seasoned too heavily from the beginning, there’s no fixing it at the end!

Recipes & food styling Pim Techamuanvivit / Portrait & recipe photography Tony Nyberg / Restaurant photography Adahlia Cole, Anson Smart