Ma'oa and Pahua Tairo (Tahiti)

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 1
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2 dozen maoa (turbot snails) or pahua (clams)
500 gram taioro juice of grated -- coconuts, seawater
3 medium Onions
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt and pepper

Preparation / Directions:

Here's an illustrative recipe from "Tahitian Cooking". The turbot snails are available around here--in pet stores for something like eight bucks a pop! They might be available in a Chinese seafood market for a reasonable price. I'll check the next time I'm up that way. The snail of the ma'oa may be extracted from the shell either by breaking the shells with a hammer or by boiling them for a few minutes if you wish to keep the shells intact. Wash the snails and remove the pocket of black matter. In the case of the pahua, a bivalve, the muscle adhering to the shell should be severed, the animal extracted from the shell, and the black matter removed. Soak in fresh water for a few hours. Mix with the taioro, then add the chopped onions and garlic plus seasoning. Serve at room temperature. [Note that there's no mention of actually cooking the stuff... S.C.] From "Tahitian Cooking", Michel Swartvagher and Michel Folco. le editions du pacifique, Papeete-Tahiti, 1980. ISBN 2-85700-0

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