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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

David Thompson's prawns baked with vermicelli


"This dish is found mostly in Chinatown in Bangkok, but it deserves to be eaten everywhere," says Long Chim and Nahm chef David Thompson. "The noodles are dry and that's why they really do benefit from a good marinade. Toss and turn the noodles often to ensure an even distribution of the sauce. I love it when the noodles are overcooked and almost burnt on the edges. Take them that far when you cook them and you'll see what I mean." This recipe can be started a day ahead to marinate the noodles.

You'll need

2 tbsp melted lard or white sesame oil 240 gm (about 6) large prawns, heads and tails intact, whiskers and legs trimmed, digestive tracts removed (see note) Coriander (about 2 tbsp), to serve   Marinated noodles 180 gm dried glass noodles (mung bean noodles) spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4cm lengths garlic cloves, bruised 15 gm unpeeled ginger, thinly sliced 2 small coriander roots with some stalk 120 ml oyster sauce 60 ml (¼ cup) lard, melted 60 ml (¼ cup) dark Chinese wine (see note) 1½ tbsp roasted sesame oil ¾ tsp white sugar Two pinches of coarsely ground white peppercorns Two pinches of coarsely ground black peppercorns Two pinches of coarsely ground dry-roasted coriander seeds (see note) Large pinch of ground dry-roasted Sichuan peppercorns (see note) Large pinch of Chinese five-spice Large pinch of ground star anise Large pinch of ground ginger Large pinch of ground galangal (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • For marinated noodles, soak noodles in a bowl of cold water until just softened (about 1 hour). Drain well, then cut with scissors into manageable lengths, about 10cm or so, and set aside in a colander. Lightly bruise spring onions, garlic, ginger and coriander root, then combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients and noodles. Turn to coat and combine well, then refrigerate tomarinate (6 hours or overnight).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 250C. Warm a 1.5 litre Chinese claypot or 1.5 litre flameproof casserole (see note) for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, reincorporate the marinade into the noodles by turning with your hands. Melt lard in claypot then add a piece or two of ginger and some spring onions from the marinade and stir until coloured (2-3 minutes). Add half the noodle mixture, followed by prawns, then add remaining noodles, stir, then cook without stirring, until sizzling and coloured (2-3 minutes). Cover with a lid and bake in oven, without lifting the lid, until prawns are pink and cooked (12-15 minutes).
  • 03
  • Turn and stir the noodles; don’t worry if they have stuck to the pot – these crunchy, charred bits are the best part. The finished dish should be quite dry and the prawns should be cooked through and tempting. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Additional Notes

To remove a prawn’s digestive tract, bend the head downwards and ease it out through the gap between the head and body with a wooden skewer. Dark Chinese wine is available from Chinese grocers; if it’s unavailable use Shaoxing wine. Dry-roast whole seeds, then grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Ground galangal is available from select large Asian supermarkets. If you use a casserole, the cooking time may vary.

Drink Suggestion

GranMonte Verdehlo or Collector Lamp Lit Marsanne.

Featured in

Sep 2016

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