Australia Day Poppy and Sesame seed crusted salmon and Moreton Bay bug salad
Friday, 26 January 2018 was Australia Day. A public holiday in Australia and a day of some controversy. Yummy Lummy isn’t keen on controversy, so let’s stick with food.
The Australian lamb industry over many years has endeavoured to socially engineer Australians into thinking the best meat element of a meal to serve on Australia is lamb. I love lamb, and I’ve certainly indulged in the heady heights of commercial supplication in years gone by. This year was different. Not because I was protesting the idea of lamb on Australia Day, no, it just didn’t happen. True story.
Where the bloody hell was I on Australia Day?
Yea, I know, when a sentence starts, “Where the bloody hell…?” You’re thinking Lara Bingle, and let’s face it, my face and body are just about as far removed from an image of Lara’s as you can imagine. I mean, who’d want to look like Lara, when you could look like me 😂🤣
For readers who aren’t Australian, this is what we call, “taking the piss”. You may find this post is a little more strine that normal. No apologies cobber, Straya day comes but once a year, which for every one else, means annually. 💚💛🇦🇺
Rather than baking in the hot dry heat of Canberra, I was lapping up the warmth and humidity of Brisbane. My vulgar ichthyoid skin was drinking in the sweet sultry nectar of balmy Brisbane. I was like a lizard sunning itself on a rock next to a hot misty billabong. I was happier than a pig in mud.
I was visiting my parents and children. In my other blog, viz., My Thoughts and Stuff, you may have read how I’ve had a sick relative who was diagnosed with bowel carcinoma and then had quite awful post-operative complications involving intensive care. I’m happy to report that my formerly sick relative is well on the road to recovery now.
So what did Yummy Lummy eat on Australia Day 2018?
I promise we’ll get to a recipe, but this post needs a little padding.
I enjoyed the breakfast of champions, or at least the breakfast of those wishing to shed some kilograms.
Scrambled eggs made with butter and seasoned with iodised salt and dried mixed herbs
My cousin and her husband were also visiting Brisvegas and they joined me, my parents and my children for lunch at Kinn + Derm Chermside. I like this particular cousin. She’s a fairly direct person and says what she thinks. No mucking around with her.
There were seven of us so we looked through the menu and asked for enough dishes to feed us all. A regular theme when I’m out with family at restaurants, is just how well Lums can eat. This meal was no exception. We asked for chicken pad Thai, basil beef and chilli with an egg, massaman beef, red duck curry, crispy pork belly, green paw paw salad, soft shelled crab with sweet chilli jam and extra soft shelled crab in a curry sauce. There was also another chicken dish but I can’t remember what it was. See what happened there? Beef, pork, chicken, duck, and crab but no lamb. It wasn’t intentional. It just happened. As far as I’m concerned, eating Thai on a Australia Day is a great thing to do, especially for dinkum Australians like the Lum family.
My first of many plates, yea, it’s all brown but the plate contained a heap of different flavours. We were in the back in the dark, so the lighting isn’t great.
Fair shake of the sauce bottle, stop yer whingin’ about the poor photography…
I rarely cook for anyone else and truth be told, I am very shy and nervous about cooking for others. I know it seems odd, but no one will ever get invited to the one bedroom flat I rent for a meal. It’s just too stressful. I’m also messy and I’m embarrassed by my mess.
Cooking for family though is different. I feel relaxed in the kitchen when I’m with family and it’s a good feeling when I have one of my children standing next to me and we’re chatting and doing knife work together.
For Australia Day dinner, I originally thought I’d do something simple like baked salmon and salad, but then on Friday morning, I noticed the fish shop at Westfield Chermside was open for business so I asked about their Moreton Bay bugs (Thenus orientalis). I bought four small bugs for $20. That meant I didn’t need to buy as much salmon.
My plan was to crust the salmon with poppy and sesame seeds to make it look like a Lamington which is an iconic Australian cake. I’d stir-fry a whole heap of kale slaw and flavour it with horseradish cream. I’d refrain from adding bird’s eye chillies because my mother isn’t too keen on very spicy food at the moment, so I got some hot chilli flakes so I could garnish individual dishes at the end.
Mum suggested for dessert we have some Cornettos. I chose the flavour. What could be more Australia Day than Golden Gaytime Gaynettos?
- 4 Cooked Moreton Bay bugs Thenus orientalis aka slipper lobster
- 3 Tasmanian Atlantic salmon fillets each cut in half
- Poppy seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Dried hot chilli flakes
- 2 packets Kale slaw with sesame and pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Horseradish cream
- 1 tablespoon Sour cream to cut the bite of the horseradish cream
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 lime quartered
- 50 grams Butter
- 1 splash Olive oil
Remove the shell from the tail of the Moreton Bay bugs, slice them sagittally and the make transverse cuts to give you large dices of tail muscle.
Put the Moreton Bay bug meat into a bowl with the quartered lime in the refrigerator.
Slice the salmon fillets in half so from the three original pieces you end up with six.
Place them in a plastic bag and add the splash of olive oil. Then gently massage the oil onto all the out surfaces of the salmon.
On a sheet of baking paper, pour half a cup of sesame seeds and half a cup of poppy seeds. Stick your finger into it and mix so you get a good mix of the two seed types on the paper.
Remove one piece of salmon and carefully coat the outer surface with the poppy and sesame seeds and then place the coated salmon onto a piece of baking paper which is on a baking tray. Repeat the process for all the pieces of salmon.
Bake the salmon at 250 °C for 15 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, get a large frying pan hot and them melt the butter.
When the butter begins to foam and turn brown, add the kale slaw and with chop sticks stir-fry until the kale has wilted. Remove the frying pan from the heat and transfer the slaw into a large salad bowl and stir in the horseradish cream and sour cream.
After the salmon has baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
As the salmon is resting, stir in the avocado through the stir-fried kale slaw. Add the juice from half a lime.
At this stage, you could also fold in the pieces of Moreton Bay bug to give your guests some nice flavour bombs in the salad. I elected to add my bug meat on top of the salad for the visual appeal.
Serve the salad onto a plate. Garnish it with dried hot chilli flakes if you know it’s safe for that person.
Place the bug meat on top of the salad.
Alongside the salad place a piece of poppy and sesame seed crusted salmon.
Shoot a photograph and then eat, savour and enjoy your 2018 Australia Day dinner.
Moreton Bay bugs
Dinner is served
Dessert is a Golden Gaytime Gaynetto
Questions and answers
It’s bloody Australia Day, where the bloody hell is the lamb?
Struth mate, just because some Aussie Rules buffoon of yesteryear gets on the bloody box and makes a few jokes at the expense of the less well off, that is, Australians not blessed to have been born in the greatest nation on earth, there’s no reason to get ya knickers in a knot.
I love lamb, I love mutton flaps, I like lambs fry and crumbed lamb’s brains in a delicate white sauce with onions, but just because it’s Australia Day doesn’t mean I have to bend to some commercial pressure to eat a baby sheep.
Will you ever cook for someone who isn’t in the Yummy Lummy family?
Nup, never. It’s not happening. I’m too shy to have people around. I get nervous just thinking about cooking for someone else. What if she doesn’t like what I cook? What if she spits it out? Too much pressure.
Sure I love to cook. Cooking is therapeutic for me. I prefer to enjoy my therapy alone and share it later online.
When will you have lamb?
Dunno mate. I might try those Vegemite lamb snags that Coles is spruiking. They look interesting and I mean mate, Vegemite is tops.
You look like a Chinaman, what’s with the Strine?
Bloody oath. I’m fifth generation. On my Mum’s side (Dad’s family is Chinese too but they come from Fiji), the family came out from China looking for gold in God’s own, that is, Queensland. They found a bit I reckon and then they owned and worked on sugar cane farms around Bundy (aka Bundaberg). After that, they moved to Sydney for some import/export work but when the Japs got into Sydney Harbour they moved to Texas (no not Texas in the US you drongo, the great Queensland town of Texas near the Cockroach, erm, NSW border). After that they owned and cooked in Chinese restaurants cooking chop suey for all the unsuspecting gwai lo truckies at the Rocklea truck stop. The Golden Pagoda was the name, but it got destroyed by the 1974 Brisbane floods.
Okay, I’ve had a bit of fun with this post. Australia Day is an important food holiday and being an Australian, I’ve taken a few language liberties. Yummy Lummy will be back to normal next post.
Check out what else I did on the weekend.
Click on this photograph of me
Anchor Note for young readers, I didn’t write a “steamy billabong” because I’m also pedantic, and steam, is an invisible gas. It’s the gaseous phase of water when water is boiled to 100 °C (that’s Celsius and not Centrigrade) at STP. That’s standard temperature and pressure and not sticky toilet paper.
Disclaimer and a note on mass and energy
I have no culinary training nor qualifications. This post is not intended to convey any health or medical advice. If you have any health concerns about anything you read, please contact your registered medical practitioner.
For recipe posts the quantities are indicative. Feel free to vary the quantities to suit your taste.
I deliberately do not calculate energy for dishes. I deliberately default to 500 Calories or 500,000 calories because I do not make these calculations.