Oh, you probably want the recipe though. I guess I'll have to finish the entry.
You probably know something about Fiji already. At the very least, you know it is one of those tropical paradises that everyone wants to go to. I'm sure that's because of the food. Well, maybe the beaches and the weather also have something to do with it, but mainly I'm guessing it's because of the food.
|Photo Credit: Flickr user flip.01.|
The majority of Fijians live on the coast since the inland regions are mountainous and overgrown with thick tropical forests. While not very habitable, those inland regions are rich in forest and mineral resources—and the coastal regions, of course, are rich in ocean resources. Together all those resources help make Fiji one of the most economically developed nations in the Pacific island region. The very active tourism industry doesn't hurt, either.
Anyway I will just say that modern Fijian cuisine as I understand it depends heavily on seafood, typical tropical-type root vegetables such as taro and cassava, lots of coconut and probably not very much human.
On to the menu:
(from The Fijian Kitchen)
- 2-3 lbs firm white fish (I used cod)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- 3/4 cups white wine
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp ginger root, grated
- 2 tsp sugar
- Parsley, coriander or slivered ginger root (for garnish)
Baked Pineapple and Sweet Potato
(from The World Cookbook for Students)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, boiled until just tender and thickly sliced
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced thin
- 4 tbsp freshly grated coconut
- 4 tbsp green onions, chopped
- Grated cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
(from The Fijian Food Safari)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup grated fresh coconut
First the fish:
Rinse and pat dry the fish. Rub the lemon juice all over the fillets and refrigerate for about an hour. Then brush on the vegetable oil and place in a shallow casserole dish.
Grease a casserole dish and put the sweet potatoes into it. Season with salt and pepper. Add a layer of pineapple and more salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, toast the grated coconut in a dry pan until golden.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until frothy. Stir in the coconut milk and vanilla extract.
Now pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I really, really liked the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Not just because pineapple is hands-down my favorite fresh fruit, but also because it was a very unusual combination of flavors that tasted delicious together. (Once upon a time I would not have expected pineapple/cheese to be a good combo but I actually suspected I would like this recipe based on how much I enjoyed that combo back on Bouvet Island.)
And the coconut bread, ah, yes, the coconut bread. Martin said, "So how many times a week will you be making this?" Happily—I mean, sadly—my children did not enjoy the coconut bread. So Martin and I were forced kicking and screaming to devour the whole loaf. Did I mention how much we loved it?
Anyway that was Fiji. Another gem, and it was a particularly happy day because that gem was also easy to prepare.
Next week: Finland
For printable versions of this week's recipes: