Kaimoana Chowder

10:00 pm on 5 February 2005

(Serves 12)


  • ½ C flour, sieved
  • 150-200 gms butter
  • 1-2 ltr milk
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1-2 C cream (optional)
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • ¼-½ tsp spices (eg, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cayenne, chilli powder and curry powder)
  • salt and pepper

Depending on what is available use all or some of the following. Frozen is also fine:

  • 1 C chunky ika (fish)
  • 1 C chopped wheke (squid)
  • 1 C koura meat (crayfish)
  • 3-4 sml kutai (mussels), pipi, tuatua, tuangi (cockles)
  • 3-4 tio (oysters), prawns, koroura (shrimps)


Cut the ika and wheke into mouthful-sized chunks and wash the koroura. If using shellfish, keep these in the shell, but rinse thoroughly in fresh water.

Once prepared keep each type of fish in separate containers as they require different cooking times. Splash a little white wine over each container if desired.

Make a white sauce by melting the butter then mixing in the flour. Slowly add milk and keep stirring. Keep adding the milk and whisking until it has a smooth, runny consistency. Cook on a very low heat.

Cook the onions in a pan with a little butter until soft and clear then add to the white sauce. Add the spices, salt and pepper. Top up the pot with enough milk to make a generous soup base and keep stirring. Don’t worry if the base looks thin; it will bulk out when you add the kaimoana.

Add the shellfish first, cooking for four to five minutes, then the larger fleshy pieces, followed by the softer, smaller fleshy pieces. Cook until the ika turns white, stirring gently to avoid it breaking up. Add the cream just before serving, ensuring that the chowder is heated through.

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