Chef's Recipes

Fried sea urchin roe and clams with tomatillo salsa

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for fried sea urchin roe and clams with tomatillo salsa by Luke Burgess from Garagistes in Hobart.

By Luke Burgess
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Fried sea urchin roe and clams with tomatillo salsa
"Most sea urchin roe is exported, which is a great shame," says Luke Burgess. "When it's fresh, it's like a taste of the sea. This pairing with clams makes a quick and simple snack. Tomatillos, a tomato relative, are a classic salsa ingredient in Mexico. They're sold canned in Mexican grocers, although you may be lucky enough to find them fresh at a farmers' market."


  • 12 large clams
  • 12 pieces sea urchin roe (about 10gm each)
  • 150 gm potato flour (1 cup)
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: fennel pollen (optional; see note)
Tomatillo salsa
  • 1 cup pickled tomatillo, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • 1
    Bring a saucepan of water with a steam basket to the boil, place clams in a steamer basket and steam until clams open (1-2 minutes). Remove meat from shells (discard shells) and set aside.
  • 2
    For tomatillo salsa, pound tomatillo and garlic using a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, add olive oil, honey and ½ tsp sea salt and mix to combine. Set aside until required.
  • 3
    Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 180C. Dust clam meat and sea urchin roe in potato flour, shaking off excess, then deep-fry in batches until crisp (1-2 mwinutes). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve hot with tomatillo salsa, and scattered with fennel pollen.


Drink Suggestion: White Rabbit White Ale.