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Queensland Garden Expo

By July 7, 2011July 17th, 20112 Comments

Queensland Garden Expo

It is great to be back at Queensland Garden Expo. This is where Phil and I had our first gig together as garden2kitchen and Nambour is the perfect place for us to be celebrating 12 months of spreading the good word of home grown and cooking. What an amazing year we have had. Here are the recipes we prepared at this years expo incorporating the very best seasonal home grown winter produce. Enjoy.

Vietnamese Sugarcane Grilled Pork Skewers

1 kg mince pork

4 cloves garlic, crushed

4 green onions, finely sliced

4 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/3 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

1/3 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

Vegetable or peanut oil

20 sugar cane sticks (soaked in water for 20 minutes)

If you don’t have a local farmers market that sells sugarcane you can buy a can of sugarcane from any Asian supermarket or use bamboo skewers.

In a large bowl combine the pork, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, white pepper, mint and coriander. Using your hands, knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined.

Rub a very small amount of oil into the palm of your hands so that the meat does not stick to it. Form the sausage shape and put through the skewers. You can roll into balls if you like.

Heat up a grill or barbeque and lightly brush with oil. Cook the pork skewers on the oiled grill, turning the skewers over when they are golden brown. Serve with Vietnamese Salad, recipe follows

Vietnamese Salad

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin slivers
½ Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot, cut into fine strips
1 stick celery, cut into fine strips
1 handful snow peas
2 tablespoon coriander leaves
2 tablespoons shredded mint leaves
1/2 cup roughly chopped macadamias, toasted (see notes)

To make the Vietnamese Salad, combine rice vinegar, limejuice, sugar, fish sauce, red chilli and pepper. Add the onion and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Combine cabbage, carrot, celery, snow peas, macadamias, coriander and mint in a large bowl and set aside. Pour over the marinated onion and chilli over the salad ingredients and mix well. Place onto a platter and sprinkle with the macadamias, serve with pork skewers.

g2k hits Nambour

Pan-fried Fish with Fennel, Cucumber, Radish and Lemon Salad

Serves 4


1/2 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons turmeric
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 x 70-100g white fish fillets
vegetable oil for shallow frying


2 medium fennel bulbs

1 lemon, segmented

4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 red chilli, finely sliced

1 small red onion, halved and sliced into thin slivers

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

To make the salad, combine lime juice, sugar, red chilli and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and leave to marinate.

Trim the fronds off the fennel and set aside, discard the outer leaves and trim the root. Set the mandolin blade to its finest, slice the fennel across the base.  Place into a medium sized bowl. Add the cucumber, segmented lemon, radishes and fronds. Pour over the onion, vinegar, chilli and sugar mixture with the oil and toss well, set aside.

Place flour, cayenne pepper, turmeric, salt and pepper in a large freezer bag, add the fish and shake well to coat.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add just enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Add fish pieces in a single layer (you may need to cook in batches), turn gently after 1 minute and cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Place the salad on a platter, top with fish and serve with steamed rice.

Phil showing off the Sticky Chicken Salad to the audience

Char-grilled Sticky Chicken Salad with a Ginger Lemon and Herb Dressing

Serves: 4

1 cup Sweet Chilli Sauce

60mls vegetable oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

4 chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally


1 baby cos lettuce, torn

1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 bunch tatsoi, trimmed

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

6 green onions, sliced

250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp macadamia halves, 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 Sweet Chilli Sauce, vegetable oil and fish sauce. Add the chicken to the chilli sauce mix, 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 4-5 minutes on one side and for 3-4 minutes on the other (depending on thickness) 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. Slice the chicken and combine with the salad ingredients.

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


  • Susanne says:

    Cook the Pork steaks!!!!! This recipe has not been copied properly:)

    • julie says:

      No it hasn’t…thanks for picking that up. We did this recipe with pork steaks at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney and I missed that change so thank you for letting me know. Have you cooked that dish or any other dish from my blog? Stay tuned for more recipes, just got back from Mudgee this afternoon, a bit chilly but a great part of the world.

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