Healthy Eating

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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Pan-fried pei pa tofu with Chinese sausage and prawns (heung jin pei pa doufu)


This dish is named after a pear-shaped Chinese string instrument, the pei pa, and the recipe uses Chinese soup spoons to produce the same shape. The Chinese method of mashing or chopping some of the prawn meat to make a paste and beating it against a bowl is used to produce a slightly bouncy texture on the palate. The recipe is pretty straightforward, though you will notice the cooking time is quite precise.

You'll need

4 large uncooked prawns (70gm each), peeled and deveined 390 gm silken egg tofu, coarsely chopped (see note) 1 lap cheong sausage (about 40gm), finely diced 2 spring onions (white part only), thinly sliced into rings 2 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced 1½ tsp sesame oil 2 tsp potato starch (see note) 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing 12 sugar snap peas, trimmed   Crystal sauce 125 ml (½ cup) chicken stock 1 tbsp oyster sauce ½ tsp vegetable oil Dash of dark soy, or to taste ½ tsp potato starch mixed with 1 tbsp water

Method

  • 01
  • Cut half the prawns into small dice, add a pinch of salt, then chop finely to form a paste and combine in a bowl with tofu, lap cheong, spring onion, shiitake mushrooms, ½ tsp sesame oil, potato starch and salt. Mix well, then dice remaining prawns and stir into mixture.
  • 02
  • Brush 12 Chinese soup spoons lightly with oil. Divide half the tofu mixture evenly among the spoons, spreading to fill. Place spoons in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water and steam until firm (4 minutes). Remove and, when cool enough to handle, gently ease the cooked tofu onto a plate. Set aside and repeat with remaining tofu.
  • 03
  • Blanch sugar snap peas until just tender (1-2 minutes), refresh in cold water and toss with remaining sesame oil.
  • 04
  • Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add tofu pieces in batches and pan-fry, turning once, until just golden (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a serving plate.
  • 05
  • For crystal sauce, bring chicken stock, oyster sauce, oil and dark soy to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add potato starch slurry and stir continuously over high heat until thick (1 minute). Spoon sauce over the tofu and serve with sugar snap peas alongside.

Note Silken egg tofu is available from Asian grocers. Potato starch is available from Asian grocers and select supermarkets. Potato starch is available from Asian grocers and select supermarkets.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Rousanne will complement both the prawns and the Chinese sausage.

Featured in

Sep 2014

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