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Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year from Fiji!

We spent the last two days taking in some sights outside the tourist area.

Picture of the Fijian Chief's governing building at the "first/head village".

The inlet of the "first landing" where the first Fijian people landed and colonized the islands from Africa.

We toured a local market. Lots of tropical fruits and vegetables. They had a whole room of just Kava in various states of processing (apparently not just a popular drink in Hawaii).

We had some local food. Sea Cucumber, Octopus, shrimp, mud bugs, Kokoda, clams, snails, spinach fritter, cassava and fish.

Sunset as we waited for midnight (frogs everywhere).

Happy New Year everyone!

TRIP: Flavours of Fiji cooking school

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While here in Fiji my wife and I decided to take a half day class at the Flavours of Fiji cooking school. It is located just outside of where we were staying at Denarau island it was a easy hop over from our hotel to the industrial estate.

The cooking facility was pretty impressive, they had cooking stoves setup for up to 16 people (one instructor 15 students). It was a large hall that had two primary vents in the ceiling and two massive AC units to help keep things cool (towards the end when we had our curries going it did get a bit hot).

Our host Ethee start off showing us the best way to pick between drinking and cooking coconuts. Ethee explained that you want young green coconuts (that you must pick off the trees) that don't actually slosh around when shaken (meaning there's no air space in the nut so it was full of jelly and water). Alternatively for cooking you want a brown coconut with plenty of flesh (just fallen off the tree would be good).

Next Ethee was showing us …

Happy Holidays 2015

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Happy Holidays from Fiji!

Just a few quick photos from the small island of Mana just off the coast of the main island.
Sunset Dinner

Hawaiian Bento 2

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BBQ (more accurately grilling) culture is pretty big here in Sydney, I was talking with my coworkers about my friends back home and their awesome briskets and pulled pork in their big green eggs. Here they are more into grilling kabobs and steaks on the "barbie" it's a little more rare to hear about smoking and slow cooking. So folks seemed pretty excited when I told them I had previous made pulled pork in a slow cooker, I ended up promising to bring in a "Hawaiian" bento with my slow cooker Kalua pulled pork.
I suppose this one is not much different than my first Hawaiian bento. The box is smaller and no compartments so I've had to learn to deal with "sauceless" dish (rather my backpack learned the perils of sauces during my walk to work).  One of the "cool" things here is that most everyone has standardized on "takeaway" boxes (the clear container above). They're all microwave safe and dishwasher safe, every lid fits on …

Ginger Chicken with Soba salad

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The Missus had a hankering for soba noodles so I did a little search in the backlog and found a cold soba salad that seemed pretty yummy. I paired it with a Japanese ginger chicken recipe to add a bit of protein to round out the bento.

First up the ginger chicken. There are quite a few variations of this recipe and it's been referenced as a "comfort food" with many tales recounting mothers or grandmothers serving this dish over a bowl of rice. They're all about the same recipe wise so I picked this one that I saw featured on pbs.org. The ingredients are pretty straight forward: chicken thigh soy sauce, sake, honey, ginger, vegetable oil, chopped scallions and sesame for garnish.

The marinade becomes the sauce, you cut the chicken in bite size pieces and drop it in a marinade. I let it go for a few hours as I ran some errands.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pan fry in batches until brown. Remove the chicken and then bring the marinade to boil and reduce it …

Aqua Dining Sydney

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I took the Missus for her birthday dinner over to Aqua Dining. It was located right off the water on the north side of the bridge next to Luna Park (literally). I was so delighted with the meal I had to share.

Aqua is located in same building as the North Sydney Olympic Pool. It's got a great breath taking view of the harbor bridge and opera house. It's situated over the main pool, I'll say it's a little weird having dinner overlooking a bunch of people in their speedo's doing laps it's a very busy pool. Since you're sitting above the pool it kind of fades into the background, eye level is the harbor view. The staff were very attentive (our waiter noticed the table was wobbly and brought over cork shims to immediately rectify the problem) and did a great job of checking on us without being intrusive. Normally this isn't worth calling out, but in Sydney service is a bit less attentive than what you might be use to in the US. On to the food:

I had their …