Australia is surrounded by rich saltwater fishing grounds, home to species like bluefin tuna, monkfish, and barramundi. This recipe showcases tuna, but halibut, swordfish, or even salmon could be substituted. Garam masala is an Indian spice blend (see the recipe for Aussie Meat Pie), available online or in the international aisle of larger supermarkets.
- Four 6-ounce tuna steaks
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons brined capers, drained
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the tuna steaks in a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold them. Trim the zest off one lemon in broad strips. Juice the lemon. Whisk the lemon juice, anchovy paste, if using, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into the olive oil. Pour the mixture over the steaks, then generously season the top of each with garam masala. Place the strips of lemon zest and garlic cloves in the oil surrounding the tuna, turning to coat. Sprinkle the capers evenly in the baking dish (in the oil and over the tuna).
Roast the tuna for 10 minutes, then baste with the olive oil mixture. Continue to bake the fish until it flakes easily when pressed with a fork, about 5 minutes more, or until done to your liking.
In the meantime, slice the remaining lemon into 4 wedges.
After removing them from the oven, baste the tuna steaks once more. Using tongs, remove the lemon zest and garlic cloves from the olive oil mixture and discard.
Arrange the tuna steaks on a platter or plates, then spoon some of the lemon and caper sauce over them. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Immigrants from Northern India have popularized dishes like this one in Australian cities. The Sanskrit word saag means “greens”—not just spinach (known as palak). Paneer is a firm cheese with a high melting point made from milk curdled with lemon juice or another acid. If you cannot find it, halloumi, feta, or queso fresco make good stand-ins.
- 1 pound baby spinach, cleaned of any sand or grit
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 8 ounces paneer, halloumi, feta (drained), or queso fresco
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon pure chili powder, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Basmati rice and/or naan, for serving
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the spinach, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Place the spinach and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid in the jar of a blender or the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Set aside.
Cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes. (If the cheese is damp, dry it on paper towels first.) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as the cheese cubes. Sauté the cheese in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary), until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towels (again, in a single layer).
Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the oil that remains in the skillet. Add the onion and chile and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 3
minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the reserved spinach mixture and the cheese and heat gently. Stir in the lemon juice and cream and add salt to taste. Serve warm with basmati rice and/or naan.
Serves 2 to 3 as a main course
Canned green curry paste, available in stores and online from Maesri, makes quick work of this dish. Feel free to add in other vegetables that you have on hand, sautéing them along with the onions and peppers. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice or rice noodles.
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 large bell peppers (any colors), seeded and cut into wide strips
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- One 4-ounce can green curry paste
- Two 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
- Two and a half pounds shrimp, peeled
- One 8-ounce can water chestnuts
- Rice or Asian noodles, for serving
Heat a wok or a large, deep frying pan over high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then the onions and about half the peppers, depending on what fits in your pan. Stir-fry until the onions are slightly brown but not yet completely soft, about 5 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the wok and stir-fry the rest of the peppers with the carrots, about 5 minutes. Return the cooked vegetables to the wok and cook over low heat for another 3 minutes; transfer all the veggies back to the bowl.
Add the final tablespoon of the oil to the wok and add the curry paste, whisking it into the oil to soften it. Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add back all the vegetables along with the shrimp and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until the shrimp are pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in the water chestnuts, cover the wok, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
With store-bought dumpling wrappers, available in rounds and squares that typically come in packages of 50, making homemade dumplings is a breeze. (If buying wrappers from the refrigerator case, freeze half the package for a future use.) You can buy ground chicken, but I’ve included a quick DIY hack. Sherry makes a good substitute for the Shaoxing cooking wine.
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 scallions, trimmed and sliced into thirds
- 4 ounces of raw peeled carrot chunks
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 25 to 30 round dumpling wrappers
- 10 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Place the chicken chunks on a rimmed sheet pan and freeze for 10 minutes (this makes grinding easier). Meanwhile, place the ginger, garlic, scallions, and carrots in a food processor and process until finely minced; transfer to a large bowl. Add the chilled chicken to the food processor bowl and process until finely ground, about 10 to 15 pulses; add in the soy sauce, cooking wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and pulse a few more times until well blended. Transfer to the bowl with the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
Line a clean rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Dampen a clean dishtowel or paper towels and place them over the sheet pan. Fill a small bowl with cold water and set it between the package of wrappers and the chicken mixture. Use a fingertip to thoroughly wet the circumference of a dumpling wrapper and then place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center (don’t overfill or it won’t stay sealed). Fold over the wrapper to make a half-moon shape, pressing down along the edges to seal, then crimp the edges to further seal in the filling. Place the dumpling on the sheet pan under the damp toweling. Repeat until you’ve filled all the wrappers.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 tablespoons of water, and a layer of dumplings to the pan (fry in two batches, if needed, to avoid crowding). Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the cover and keep cooking until the liquid evaporates and the bottom of the dumplings are browned, another 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
For a dipping sauce, combine the 1/4 cup soy sauce and the rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and serve.