Oceania

108: Kiribati: Crab and Tuna Curry

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I’ll be honest… I had never heard of Kiribati! Kiribati is an island nation and consists of 3 island groups: The Gilbert Islands, The Phoenix Islands, The Line Islands. Unfortunately, due to climate change, two small uninhabited islands disappeared underwater in 1999, because of the rising sea levels. I always try to be positive about countries… but this has got to stop people! The sea level will have risen 50 cm by 2100 and then it won’t be just the uninhabited islands that will disappear in the ocean, most of Kiribati will be largely be submerged! So we really really have to change our lifestyle…Or this vacation paradise won’t be there for long.

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Things you didn’t know about Kiribati:

  • Kiribati is the only country in the world to straddle all four hemispheres. The islands spread across both the equator and the International Date Line. In 1995, Kiribati changed the date for the easternmost islands, effectively creating an indentation in the dateline. This was done so that it would be the same date and day of the week across the whole country.
  • Dancing in Kiribati is more than a form of entertainment. It is used to tell stories and as a demonstration of endurance and skill. Therefore, smiling while dancing is considered vulgar.
  • Kiribati is known for a number of traditional martial arts, which were kept a secret within families for many generations. All of them are believed to have been given to humanity by an ancestral spirit. For example, Nabakai was given to a warrior of that name by three female spirits who would manifest in the form of a crab. Another is Tabiang, named after the village in which it originated. It uses speed and accuracy and its principle is “you give me one punch I give you four punches”. The spirit who taught it was called “Teraka”, and legend has it that this spirit also traveled to Asia and taught it to the people there, who gave it a variant of the name – “karate”

This recipe I honestly really went with my gut and sort of made up by myself, I read a lot online about the eating habits in Kiribati and read they use a lot of soy sauce, curry powder, coconut, fish and crabs, and lobsters but really no specific dish. So I heated up my pan and the dish came together, and let me tell you this is one of the best curries I ever made! Since crab is quite expensive (at least where I live) this is more of a weekend thing but it definitely qualifies as comfort food to me! I don’t know what it is about curries but they always have a tendency to make me instantly happy

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82. Guam & Northern Marianas: Coconut Mango Latiya Cake

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Guam and Northern Marianas a few tiny dots in the middle of the ocean. Famous for being close to the Mariana Trench which is the deepest part of ocean anywhere in the world! Scientists say there are so many fish and other sea creatures that are undiscovered. Guam’s economy survives on Japanese tourists who come to visit these exquisite dreamy tropical islands! As Micronesia’s most populous island, Guam is about as ‘cosmopolitan’ as it gets in the middle of the ocean.
Some people are against it since the shopping malls are everywhere and the traditional Chamorro language is barely spoken on the islands. But then again if you think about it it’s kind of amazing, shopping malls in the middle of the ocean!

Guam

Things you didn’t know about Guam:

  •  Guam has the tallest mountain in the world 11 277,6 meters! Mount Lamlam is 1,332 feet above sea level. But thanks to the Marianas Trench (the deepest part of all the world’s ocean), it’s underground base becomes the greatest change of elevation on Earth compared to the height of Mt. Everest.
  • Brown Tree Snakes are pests to Guam. They are not indigenous to Guam. It has been theorized that they stowed away on ships from Australia and Indonesia and sneaked their way onto the shores of Guam. Since they are not naturally from Guam, they do not have any predators. Therefore killing Brown Tree Snakes is socially accepted, so if you see someone smashing a snake it is considered normal.
  • Guam is part of the USA!!! I never knew this. It’s closer to the Philippines then to US but still it’s part of the USA.

This cake tastes so tropical that it immediately transports your mind to white sand beaches and palmtrees. It’s very light because of the egg whites.Coconut Mango cake

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68. Fiji: Fish Curry

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The Fiji Islands, a dream holiday destination for everyone nowadays, but this wasn’t always the case. Before the early 1800 the Fiji Islands were avoided by explorers like Thomas Cook, who named them The Cannibal Islands. Yes the Fijians were cannibals. Not so paradise like now right? Nowadays Fiji is very popular honeymoon destination with it’s white sand beaches and perfect palmtrees.

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Things you didn’t know about Fiji:

  •  Fijian and Fiji Islanders are not the same! Don’t call everyone you see Fijians, as the indigenous Fijians tend to take offence. Fijians refers to a person of indigenous descent, with any other resident being called a Fiji Islander.
  • The whole of Fiji consists of just 10% land. Of the 322 islands and 522 islets, only 106 are inhabited. The two biggest islands are Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. 90% of the Fiji territory is water.
  • Since the beginning of time, the Fijian culture has always emphasized on strong family values and Fijians have maintained strong family ties even for those who have moved abroad. You hardly see any individuals living in an isolated house in the rural areas.

This fish curry is a perfect midnight meal, done in 30 minutes and delicious!

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Ingredients: 4 lean firm-textured fish fillets cubed, 3 tbsp oil, 1 garlic clove, crushed , 3cm square fresh ginger, finely grated, 1 onion chopped, 2 long red chillies, finely chopped, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, Juice of 1 lemon, Juice of 1 lime, 200ml coconut milk, 200ml coconut cream, salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chilli and cook until onion is transparant.

Add mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin stirring constantly until fragrant.

Lower heat and add fish pieces. Add lemon and lime juice over the fish pieces and stir fish lightly until just cooked on both sides.

Pour coconut milk and cream over the fish and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fragrant jasmine rice.

57. East Timor: Caril Dos Pescadores

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Welcome letter E! The continents of Asia and Oceania are the home of thousands of some of the most amazing species on earth. Here between these two continents there is an island where this couldn’t be more evident ‘East Timor’. Living it’s first few ages of independence this small territory is located on the far east of southern Asia between Indonesia and Australia, it is the home of an ancient civilization. They are descendents from Malaysian, Polynesian and Papuan people. They have strong believes that everything is connected to the nature in some way. The land changes from high tropical forests to savannah or to the incredible pristine beaches on the coast.

Schermafbeelding 2015-05-26 om 14.41.10Things you didn’t know about East Timor:

  • Over 16 different languages and more then 30 dialects are spoken in East Timor, a lot of them have a strong Portuguese influence.
  • There is a legend among people from East Timor that only a man with a bad soul will get eaten or bitten by a crocodile. This why most people aren’t terrified of crocodiles.
  • There are a least 9 bird (probably more) species that are exclusive to the island.
  • There are places in the mountains where scientists have never been. And it is almost certain that when scientists start researching there new species will be found.
  • During the ice age the islands stayed separated from the Asian continent, so there were nog big animals like tigers or elephants. Only the ones man brought for farming can be found on the island.

This is soon good the sweet and sourness of the tamarind is really good!

Ingredients: 6 spoons of tamarind paste, 1 liter coconut milk, 500 grams of shrimp, 1 onion, 1 dl oil, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, tiny bit of saffron

  1. Heat the finely chopped onion in pan with some olive oil until it’s a little brown.
  2. After adding tamarind sauce, coconut milk mixed where the saffron and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  4. Join the peeled shrimp, but his head, and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and serve with white rice

47. Cook Islands: Ika Mata

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You know the places you used to dream of as a kid. Blue lagoons, white beaches, girls with flowers in their hair etc etc? What if I told you a place like this still exists. On 15 tiny islands in the South Pacific you’ll find a thousand years of Polynesian culture sitting side by side with some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world. And the best thing is, the Cook Islands are not overrun by mass tourism yet. Probably because it’s very very expensive to go there. The Cook Islands is a  representative democracy  with a parliamentary system in an associated state relationship with New Zealand. Their currency is New Zealand Dollar.

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Here are some fun facts about the Cook Islands:

  • The Cook Islands are the world’s second largest producer of black pearls.
  • It is summer year-round in the Cook Islands. The drier months are from April to November with average temperatures between 20 to 26 degrees Celsius. The hotter, more humid months are from December to March with an average maximum temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. (Seriously??!). Oh yeah the ocean is also 29 degrees Celsius so swimming pool temperature! (Is this the actual paradise?)
  • The official language on the Cook Islands is English, but many people speak Maori. Still there is concern of the youth thinking that learning Maori language is irrelevant.
  • Cook Islanders are very religious (catholic) they have strong sentimental feelings towards their past, traditions and culture.
  • Dancing and music is a very important part of the Cook Island culture.

Ika Mata is sort of a ceviche like salad. I absolutely loved it! I felt like I a wizard when the fish sort of cooked in the lemon juice :P. I put in the fridge raw and took it out cooked! TADAAA!! And it was yummy, tasted so summery and tropical. It would be perfect starter or side dish on hot summer day. Really something to impress people with and believe me it is so easy that you could train a monkey to make it! 😀

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Ingredients: salt to taste, 1 cup of coconut cream, 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 kg firm fish (I used monk fish), tabasco to taste, 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 spring onion, 1 cup of chopped coriander, 1 cup of chopped mint leaves, 1 cup of parsley.

  1. Cut the fish into small dice and put into a bowl. Tip over the lemon juice and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the fish and the juice into a colander and drain.
  3. Return the fish to a clean bowl and add the coconut cream, salt and Tabasco. Taste and add more salt and Tabasco if desired.
  4. Stir through the onion, capsicum and spring onion while reserving a little of each to garnish. Refrigerate before serving in small bowls. Garnish, adding optional torn fresh coriander leaves

11. Australia: Shrimps on the BBQ and Chocolate Banana on the BBQ

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Aaaah Wednesday my favorite day of the week! Love waking up with the thought in my head that I can publish another recipe! “Put another shrimp on the barbie!” I think this is the best known quote non-australian know. That why I of course made shrimps on the BBQ also because the weather is so beautiful that it would be a shame not to eat BBQ. S0 Australia,… The first thing that comes to mind when I look at the map of Australia,is that al the big cities are centered around the coast. This is because the interior of the continent is mostly hot desert. What else’s comes to mind when I think about Australia: Surfing, field hockey, AFL, cricket, crocodile dundee, kangaroos, koala’s, Steve Irwin. And the Aborignals with their amazing art But what about the stuff you don’t know about Australia.

  • Australia has the world’s largest cattle station (ranch). At 30,028 km2 it is almost the same size as Belgium. (For me this is kind of a shocker since I was born and raised in Belgium)
  • Melbourne has the second largest Greek population in the world, after Athens. (wait WHAT how the hell did they end up there?! I tried to find out why they went to Australia but here doesn’t seem to be a specific reason)
  • Apparently the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.
  • The native people of Australia are called Aboriginals and their art is world famous!
    Shrimps

 Ingredients: 1 kg tiger prawns,shelled and tails left intact, 4 cloves garlic finely grated, 1 tbsp chilli flakes, 1½ tsp ground pepper berries, sea salt, 1½ tbsp macadamia oil, juice of ½ a lemon, 1½ tbsp coriander leaves, chopped, thumb sized piece of ginger grated. 

Place the prawns, garlic, chilli, pepper berries, ginger and a good pinch of sea salt into a bowl, Mix well and refrigerate until needed. Heat a barbecue grill or griddle pan over high heat. Cook the prawns a couple of minutes on either side and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle the lemon juice  over the prawns then sprinkle with the coriander leaves. Sprinkle a little more chilli flakes over, if you wish. Eat immediately.

I did a second recipe this week I am not 100% sure that it’s australian but it might as well could be. And honestly you can hardly call it a recipe! It’s an epic way to use up leftover ripe banana’s!

chocolate BBQ banana

Ingredients: chocolate chips (as much as you’d like!), a ripe banana

after BBQ cut the bananas as you can see on the picture, add chocolate chips. Put on the BBQ and wait until the banana starts to brown and the chocolate has melted and is nice and gooey!

Here is a playlist with epic music to enjoy while eating or cooking! http://8tracks.com/doe-like-eyes/aussie-aussie-aussie
O
h yes I almost forgot to mention that this week Australia won the Fieldhockey Worldcup! Congrats Australians! Well played! It was painful to watch how my country (The Netherlands) lost!