Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 3 May 2012 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
Page 12 | 3 May, 2012
We were on a surprise birthday
trip to Aitutaki, the gem
nominated by the founder of the
Lonely Planet travel guide as “the
world’s most beautiful island.”
A bonus surprise for me was
the innovative food and flavour
combinations of the cuisine at the
Pacific Resort Aitutaki – dishes
that could grace any top city
A prime Cook Islands’ attraction,
Aitutaki is a 45-minute flight
from Rarotonga. My husband
and I have travelled extensively
in the Pacific and always enjoy
the fresh tropical delights of
pawpaw, pineapples, bananas
and coconuts plus the abundant
local seafood. But it is not often
we’ve discovered such artistic
food presentation and delicate
flavour choices as those created
by the 28-year-old executive chef,
It began with our initial lunch at
the beachside Black Rock Café.
Burgers, sandwiches and salads
were on the menu but it was the
sashimi platter and the steamed
dim sum basket that attracted our
attention. Waiting for our meals,
we watched the staff delivering
elegant burgers to the next-door
table and wondered if we’d made
the best choice. However, we
relished the lightness of Afifud’s
interpretation of our choice of
staple Japanese dishes.
Dinner at the resort’s Rapare
Bay restaurant which overlooks
the spectacular lagoon, was
equally as inventive: tempura
chicken with grilled watermelon
and pineapple; local wahoo with
sautéed asparagus drizzled with
lemon and lime; a vegetable tart
of local spinach with mushrooms,
caramelized shallots and fresh
basil; or oriental duck rolls with
fresh coriander sauce.
The piéce de résistance of a
special birthday degustation
dinner was the dessert, Tears of
Joy – a hollow teardrop of blue ice
surrounding a cube of mango and
Baileys pâté, a slice of dried lime,
a dollop of ice cream and cubes
of caramelised banana. It was the
most remarkable dessert I’ve ever
Enjoy this selection of tropical
Sauce: 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Chicken: 200g chicken fillet or
skinned and boned chicken breast
4 teaspoons sesame oil
freshly ground salt and black
pepper to taste
1 small egg, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons cornflour
oil for deep frying
Stir-fry: 2 tablespoons extra virgin
1 medium onion, halved, cut into
6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thinly sliced ginger
100g snake beans or round beans
cut into 5cm lengths
1⁄2 cup coriander leaves and stalks,
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon butter
Garnish: 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Combine the sauce ingredients in
a small jug.
Cut the chicken into strips.
Marinate in the combined sesame
oil, salt, pepper, egg and cornflour
for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil for
deep-frying. Fry the chicken for a
few minutes until the coating is
cooked and lightly golden. Drain
on paper towels.
Heat a wok over high heat. Add
the olive oil. Stir-fry the onion,
garlic and ginger for 2 minutes,
until the onion has softened. Add
the chicken. Stir-fry for 1 minute
then add the sauce mixture, snake
beans, coriander, spring onion and
butter. Heat through.
Serve garnished with sesame
seed. Superb served with jasmine
rice. Serves 2.
Chicken and snake
6 large chicken portions
salt and pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup flour
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
Sauce: 1 ripe, medium-sized
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon each: arrowroot, soy
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the chicken in a large
plastic bag. Season the flour well
and add to the bag. Shake the
chicken until well coated. Shake
off the excess. Place in a large
oiled baking pan.
Brush the top of the chicken with
oil. Bake for about 45 minutes,
until cooked and crisp and golden
on the outside.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Peel and seed the pawpaw. Cut
Combine the juice, sugar,
arrowroot and soy sauce in a
saucepan. Bring to a simmer,
Cook, until thick. Remove from the
heat and add the pawpaw. Spoon
the sauce over the chicken and
Baked chicken with pawpaw
Coconut ice cream: 1⁄2 large
1 litre vanilla ice cream
Bananas: 2 tablespoons butter
4 small ripe bananas, cut into
2 tablespoons sugar
2-3 tablespoons orange-flavoured
1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Place the coconut in the oven for
about 20 minutes. Scoop out the
flesh and thinly slice with a potato
peeler. Spread the coconut on a
baking tray and brown in the oven.
Once nicely browned (but not
burnt), chop very finely. Cool.
Soften the ice cream slightly then
mix with the coconut and return to
To prepare the bananas, melt the
butter in a small pan. Add the
bananas and sugar. Sauté until
the sugar starts to caramelise.
Pour in the liqueur, warm slightly,
then flame. Add the orange juice
and serve immediately.
Coconut ice cream with orange bananas
Sauce: 1 tablespoon each:
soy sauce, fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
juice and finely grated rind 1
1⁄2 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot
freshly ground black pepper
Squid: 400g squid rings
2 tablespoons each: olive oil,
grated root ginger
1 teaspoon each: crushed chilli,
1⁄2 cup chopped coriander leaves
Combine the sauce ingredients.
Wash and pat dry the squid. Heat
the oil in a wok. Stir-fry the squid,
root ginger, chilli and garlic for 1
minute. Stir in the sauce mixture
and cook for 2 minutes.
Great served with stir-fried
julienned carrot, celery and red
Chilli lime squid
Based on a lunch dish from the Pacific Resort’s beachside Black Rock
One of my favourite tropical dishes, this chicken is a winner with family and friends.
One cup of long thread coconut could be substituted for the fresh coconut. Toast in the oven, until golden.
This is my take on a delicious tangy squid recipe from Rarotonga’s Sue Curruthers’ cookbook South
Seas Cuisine. Sue is the owner of the award-winning Tamarind Restaurant at Tupapa, Rarotonga.
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