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A Feast with Ginger

By January 24, 2011No Comments

To cook, eat or to have ginger in the garden makes me feel warm and fuzzy, this is ginger doing it’s job. The Ginger and Flower Festival was on last weekend and the Garden2Kitchen duo travelled to Buderim on the Sunshine coast to spread the word on growing and cooking ginger and of course herbs and vegetables.

Garden2Kitchen hard at work at Buderim Ginger Cooking School

We cooked Sugarcane Pork Skewers with Paw Paw Chilli and Ginger Chutney and Cucumber Salad. You can find the Sugarcane Pork Skewers in the Byron Christmas Bites blog. The class was at 10am, morning tea time, Little Ginger and Yoghurt cakes were well received. In the afternoon we cooked Char grilled Sticky Chicken Salad with a Ginger Lemon and Herb Dressing and Quick Ginger Beer and a Tropical Fruit Salad with a Ginger Syrup (recipe on the Pinch and Punch New Years Day blog).

Enjoy the recipes and stay tuned  for a couple of seafood recipes from the festival where I put on my Sydney Seafood School hat and shared my passion of cooking with seafood. Enjoy.

Paw Paw, Ginger and Chilli Chutney

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 brown onion, roughly chopped

2 long green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped

10 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 paw paw, peeled, deseeded and diced

1 cup coconut vinegar

1 1/2 cups muscavodo (cane) sugar

Blend onion, chillies, garlic and ginger until well combined. Transfer mixture to a large heavy based saucepan with the remaining ingredients.

Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour or until thickened. Spoon into a hot sterilised jar and seal while still hot.

Vietnamese Cucumber salad

2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthways and deseeded

1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 green onions, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

2 tablespoons unsalted, macadamia nuts, chopped

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Cut the cucumber in to 5mm slices

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and lime juice, toss the cucumber slices in it. Stir through the green onion and coriander.

Sprinkle with the macadamia nuts and fish sauce just before serving. Serve with Sugarcane pork skewers.

Little Ginger and Yoghurt Cakes

Makes 12

125g unsalted butter, softened

1 cup raw sugar, lightly packed

2 eggs, lightly whisked

4 tablespoons golden syrup

1/2 cup thickened plain yoghurt

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1 cup almond meal

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

70gms glace ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tin. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric beater beat until thick and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Stir through the golden syrup and yoghurt until just combined.

Fold the almond meal, flour, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into the butter mixture. Use a large metal spoon to fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture until well combined. Fold in the glace ginger, fresh ginger, lemon rind and vanilla.

Spoon the cake mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes are light golden. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Char grilled sticky chicken salad with a ginger lemon and herb dressing

Serves 4

1 cup sweet chilli sauce

60mls peanut oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

600gms chicken breasts


1 cos lettuce, torn into small

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths, blanched

200g green beans, top and tailed, cut in half

6 green onions, sliced

250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp chopped pecans, toasted


1 cup basil leaves, shredded

1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

1 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp grated palm sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

4 garlic cloves, crushed

In a large bowl combine chilli sauce, oil and fish sauce. Flatten the chicken breasts slightly between plastic cling wrap and add the chicken to the chilli sauce, coating well. Cover and place into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Heat a char grill on a high heat and lightly brush with oil. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on one side and for 3-5 minutes on the other (depending on thickness of breasts) or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients and set aside. Place the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Shred or slice the chicken breasts and combine with the salad ingredients.

Pour the dressing over the chicken salad and gently toss. Sprinkle over the nuts and serve.

Quick ginger Beer

Serves 6

200gms fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 cup muscovado sugar (cane sugar)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 litre soda water or sparkling mineral water

A few sprigs of fresh mint, roughly chopped

Ice to serve

Combine the ginger and sugar  in a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and stir over a low heat until sugar has dissolved. Stir through the lemon juice, cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes .

Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and add the soda water, fresh mint leaves and ice and serve.

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