Go native: Delicious Indigenous recipes for your next iso-dinner party
Discover dishes from Australia’s top First Nations chefs
Fancy yourself a freshly minted iso chef extraordinaire, but tired of the banana bread, handmade pasta, and DIY tom yum?
Take your iso cooking skills to the next level with these mouth watering gourmet recipes from Australia’s top First Nations chefs.
We all know that the connection between Australia’s First Peoples and the land and food practices has always been paramount. A culture that was once considered nomadic hunter-gatherers has been proven to have had established sustainable agricultural systems – living from and caring for the land. Nowadays in what is an intricately multicultural foodie scene in Australia, do we really know what native Australian cuisine is?
Discover new ingredients, techniques and methods, and be inspired to try something a little different for your next lockdown dinner party (remember no more than 5 guests!) It’s time to go native.
Clayton Donovan’s Oysters with Finger Lime Carrot Foam & Avocado Cream
Let’s talk texture. Fresh Sydney rock oysters are a delicacy long enjoyed by the Gadigal people on Sydney’s shoreline and in this recipe, Clayton Donovan, Australia’s first and only hatted Indigenous chef draws in other native ingredients to take this seafood starter to a whole new texture level.
While you may be thinking, ‘how in the world am I going to make carrot foam?’, the method is easier than you’d think. It’s a great excuse to whip out that Mixmaster you’ve had at the back of your kitchen storage.
Clayton Donovan’s Kangaroo San Choy Bow Lettuce Cups
Fusion frenzy! Recipe number two from Clayton Donovan, who grew up on the Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung lands, incorporates go-to native ingredients with a personal favourite Chinese small dish – san choy bow. The perfect second course for a little fun finger food addition to your dinner party menu.
Kangaroo has long been on my ‘must try’ list, and I can say with certainty that this dish will not disappoint.
Mark Olive’s Braised Wallaby Shanks
For those more adventurous iso cooks looking to shake up their Sunday stew, internationally recognised Indigenous chef and Bundjalung man Mark Olive has put an Australian twist on the traditional lamb shank by using wallaby with native spices.
Summed up in one word: flavour. The sweet and tangy native spices explode with flavour when combined with the deliciously lean wallaby shank. This dish is perfect for the chilly winter nights ahead.
Mark Olive’s Mixed Mushroom Ragout with Native Spice Polenta Chips
For the vegos out there, we haven’t forgotten you! This juicy mixed mushroom dish with crispy, native spiced polenta chips is an intricate recipe that is really worth the effort.
The tasty stir fried mushrooms mixed with bush tomatoes pack a whole lot of flavour with the polenta chips bringing the crunch.
Mark Olive’s Macadamia Baklava
Time for dessert with one final recipe from chef Mark Olive, and another native twist to a much-loved classic. Incorporating macadamia nuts and lemon aspen syrup, this original Greek dessert is sure to please your sweet tooth. Flakey, sweet and ridiculously satisfying, these are the perfect end to your indigenous iso dinner party menu.
Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo’s Lemon Myrtle Butter Biscuits
One easy recipe for the road comes from teacher, cafe owner, and Gamillaroi elder Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo. Enjoy these sweet and refreshing butter biscuits over a cuppa while stuck at home. Bake a batch for mum and dad, or sneak a couple before bed. Headed for a walk around Victoria Park? Check out Aunty Beryl’s cafe The Gardener’s Lodge to see what other native inspired goodies she has in store.
Cranberry, Native Finger Lime & Gin Cocktail
Finally, what would isolation be without a cocktail? Cranberry, finger lime and gin – need I say more? If your liquor cabinet is looking a little empty, head on over to our friends Archie Rose and snag some of the Sydney Opera House Inside/Outside Gin.
Make sure to support suppliers of sustainable native ingredients that support Indigenous communities. Here are some recommendations:
- The Outback Spirit Foundation – Coles Indigenous Food Fund
- Honest to Goodness
- The Essential Ingredient
- Outback Chef Wild Food Farm
- Bush Food Shop
- Tucker Bush
- Find more Australian Superfoods stockists near you
- Donate to the Orana Foundation to provide funds directly to Indigenous communities who are tackling supply chain concerns utilising ethical, sustainable, culturally-based production methods
Can’t be stuffed cooking? Here are a few delivery options for those living it up in lockdown: