When Twitter confounds @NotQuiteNigella

On Sunday, Lorraine Elliott, aka, NotQuiteNigella, posted about “Salmon and Bear” in Zetland.

Her first food photograph on that NotQuiteNigella post (apart from a photograph of a deer mounted on a wall) was a salmon burger. I managed to beat all the fans of NQN and get the first comment in and mentioned I would make a salmon burger.

Well yesterday, I was thinking of said salmon burger. Being Monday and being a salmon day I pondered the burger and all the yeasty foods I’d enjoyed over the weekend. Should I go with more bread or just salmon and a salad?

Ask Twitter and your questions will be answered

So I asked Twitter. Salmon burger or salmon salad?



I received a 3:1 response, salad over a burger. It was also a three women to one man response with the bloke from England suggesting I make a salmon burger.

This is the link to the full Twitter conversation Have a read

Well, last night I made a quick and simple salmon salad.

Salmon and mango avocado limey lummy salad Gary Lum
Salmon and mango avocado limey lummy salad

Salmon burger

Tonight I still had a piece of salmon, so a burger it is.

Because my bread roll was three days old I thought I should toast it, and rather than just shoving it into my little benchtop oven for a browning, I put some olive oil into a frying pan, heated it up and then liberally coated one side of the bread roll with warm oil. I then took both halves off and allowed them to cool while I cleaned off the frying pan.

Lash that roll

Then I applied a good lashing of garlic aioli to each half of the bread roll. On the bottom half I then added some rings of red onion.

Fill the hole in the roll

I then built the sandwich with the salmon that I’d baked for 13 minutes at 200 °C in my benchtop oven, some crispy iceberg lettuce and a couple of slices of vine ripened tomato.

I added a pinch of curry powder to the tomato as well as a good grinding of black pepper.

Which is better?

The burger of course. What could be better than a burger?

Baked salmon burger with lettuce, curry tomato, red onion, and aioli Gary Lum
Baked salmon burger with lettuce, curry tomato, red onion, and aioli

Can anyone tell me what a quoll tastes like?

Do Canberra quolls taste better?

I wonder what Canberra quolls taste like on a toasted ham, cheese, and tomato roll with Dijon mustard Gary Lum
I wonder what Canberra quolls taste like on a toasted ham, cheese, and tomato roll with Dijon mustard

What do you think of when you see the word pussy?


Last night’s podcast was on pus. Go on, have a listen. Let me know what you think. You can also read it on the blog


Heart shaped chicken schnitzel burger with lime avocado butter

For Sunday lunch I enjoyed a chicken schnitzel burger with a lime avocado “butter”. When I say butter, I didn’t use any real butter but mainly avocado, some lime zest, lime juice and a little olive oil. 

Purchasing a heart-shaped chicken schnitzel

After a morning walk around Lake Ginninderra, I stopped off at Coles and bought a piece of chicken schnitzel, a bread roll and an avocado. I am always amused when I see the chicken schnitzel pieces in the display case of the delicatessen section. The crumbed pieces of chicken are shaped into a ‘romantic’ heart shape rather than a real heart shape. I think a real heart is so much more attractive. Especially if it’s beating. It would have been great if I could by a piece of crumbed chicken in the shape of a beating heart 😂

One of the nice things about Brazilian cuisine is their love of chicken hearts. I don’t like eating a lot of them, one or two is enough, but they make for a great addition to a barbecue lunch or dinner. 

'Heart' shaped chicken schnitzel Gary Lum
‘Heart’ shaped chicken schnitzel

Avocado preparation

I chose a just ripe avocado. I prepared the avocado by dicing it, smashing it with a fork and then adding some lime zest, lime juice and olive oil. This makes for a very tangy and smooth “butter”.

Making the chicken schnitzel burger

I cooked the chicken by pan frying one side, flipping it over and then placing the frying pan with the chicken into a hot oven for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, I let it rest for five minutes. 

The bread roll can be spread with the avocado and then the chicken laid on top. To the chicken, add some aioli and a couple of slices of pickled jalapeño pepper. 

Portion control. Chicken schnitzel with limey avocado and jalapeño peppers. #lunch #yummylummy #foodporn #yummy #delicious #instafood #nikon Gary Lum
Portion control. Chicken schnitzel with limey avocado and jalapeño peppers.
#lunch #yummylummy #foodporn #yummy #delicious #instafood #nikon

I really enjoyed this burger. If you don’t have a nearby Coles you may not be able to get a “heart”-shaped chicken schnitzel but so long as you can get some crumbed chook you’ll be okay. 

If you’re interested in something to listen to that isn’t food related please check out my new podcast, Medical Fun Facts. I hope you enjoy it. 

Grease Monkey Double Deluxe burger

Introduction to Grease Monkey

On Wednesday evening I went out to dinner with a mate from Darwin. I’ve known Drapes for a long time. He worked out of Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs while I was the Supervising Pathologist for the Northern Territory of Australia. He was down in Canberra for a meeting.

We’d arranged to catch up and thought a burger meal would be the way to go. I did a little on-line searching and thought it would be worth trying out Grease Monkey in Braddon.

Grease Monkey

The restaurant is at 19 Lonsdale Street in Braddon and it opens from 11 am to 10 pm.


They have chairs, stools and tables inside and outside. Drapes and I sat on moulded stools at the front window looking out onto the sidewalk. It was good for watching people walk by. Mostly young Canberrans, the blokes with beards and women in summer wear.

The menu can be downloaded from the website and I’ve made the current one available here.

What did I eat?

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you’ll see over the last couple of days I’ve been trying to be mindful of portion size. So I limited myself. I didn’t get fried chicken, mac and cheese, jalapeño poppers or hot wings. I had just one burger and that was the Double Deluxe.

Photograph courtesy of Anthony Draper
Photograph courtesy of Anthony Draper

The Double Deluxe

This burger consists of double beef, double cheese, bacon, grease monkey sauce, grease monkey relish, onion and pickles. The bread roll was pretty good. It wasn’t sweet and it wasn’t too much. It was just right. The burger itself was nice, I’d happily do it again. The burger is also served with chips. The chips were cooked really well and nicely salted but they come with extra seasoning. So now I’m going to sound like a food wanker but I reckon on their own the chips would be awesome, but coupled with a nice burger, they’re too much. There is too much competing flavour.

Sorry about the backlighting on this photograph
Sorry about the backlighting on this photograph

What else?

Check out the comment from Kate on Instagram. You need to click on the image and it will open the page in Instagram and you can scroll down to see Kate’s comment. Kate is a friend who avoids animal flesh, so I’m guessing the mushroom burger is really good. 

Next time I’ll try the mushroom burger.

Final words

For $20 the Double Deluxe is not cheap. Is it worth $20? Not really. You can make a similar burger for less. What about the experience? It’s a good experience and I reckon Canberrans should check out Grease Monkey and have a burger or two. I’ll go back but it’s not a place I’d go to regularly.


Bacon or salmon

Well it’s not really a question of bacon or salmon. Occasionally it can be bacon and salmon.

***Please note the medical disclaimer****

I came home early today with ManFlu which gave me an opportunity to focus on work e-mail and do some reading. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on the potential causal relationship between the consumption of red meat and processed meat with neoplastic diseases. The paper in Lancet Oncology is available for free. The IARC paper’s authors reported that processed meat can cause bowel carcinoma and red meat probably causes bowel carcinoma. This doesn’t mean if you eat a tin of spam or eat a sausage you’ll develop bowel carcinoma nor does it mean you cannot enjoy a good steak or pork chop occasionally. In my mind if these are occasional treats I’m going to make sure I focus on quality rather than quantity.

What it does mean, and none of this is new information, is you shouldn’t eat bacon everyday but one or two rashers a week is probably okay. A small steak once a week is probably okay too. It also means we need to eat more fruit and vegetables.

What does it mean for me as a lover of red meat and SPAM? Well as I’ve written recently I’m taking my health a little more seriously especially after the faecal occult blood test gift from the government and my first colonoscopy which thankfully didn’t find a bowel carcinoma (yet). With an eye on blood biochemistry and bowel health I’ll still occasionally indulge in bacon and SPAM. After all Canberra boasts Australia’s best artisan bacon and my shelf of shame has three tins of SPAM after so much fun on the Hawaiian holiday adventure.

So tonight I just had salmon mainly because I felt unwell and just wanted something simple. Click on the photograph and you’ll see a short time-lapse video of me eating this bad boy.

Salmon cheeseburger with wasabi aioli
Salmon cheeseburger with wasabi aioli

How do you feel about bacon or salmon?

Double salmon burger

So what is a double salmon burger? I had some smoked salmon in the refrigerator which I was meant to eat for breakfast but forgot. It was at its use by date and I’m not keen on testing the dates given food safety is something I feel strongly about. I also had a fillet of Atlantic salmon ready to cook. If a little bit of salmon is good, more must be better.

I made a salmon mousse with the smoked salmon by combining it with avocado, fennel, red capsicum, red onion, salt and olive oil.

I then put it together to make a quick and easy meal for one burger.

Double salmon burger
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Australian
Author: [url href=”https://about.me/garydlum” target=”_blank”]Gary Lum[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • Smoked salmon (3 slices from a 4 slice packets from [url href=”http://coles.com.au” target=”_blank”]Coles[/url])
  • Avocado (1 whole avocado)
  • Fennel (peel off a layer and cut roughly)
  • Red onion (I used about 1 quarter of a small onion)
  • Red capsicum (I used about 1 quarter of a medium sized capsicum)
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (a generous pinch)
  • Atlantic salmon fillet (1 fillet from the middle of the fish from the deli section at Coles)
  • Bread roll
  • Basil (a few leaves)
  • Dill (a stem or two)
  • Aioli (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Wasabi (about 3 cm out of a tube)
  1. In a food processor add the Smoked salmon, Avocado, Fennel, Red onion, Red capsicum, Olive oil,
  2. and Salt
  3. Whizz for a few minutes and scoop the mousse out into a bowl
  4. Bake the salmon at 220 °C for 12 minutes
  5. Plate up with wasabi aioli and garnish with basil and dill


Wednesday dinner. Double salmon burger.
Wednesday dinner. Double salmon burger.

For breakfast today I had melted cheese on a bread roll with a Chinese gooseberry drink.

Melted cheese on toasted bread roll
Melted cheese on toasted bread roll

For lunch I had a gluten free steak sandwich at The Tradies Woden.

Gluten free steak sandwich
Gluten free steak sandwich

I’m grateful I’m do not have coeliac disease. Gluten free bread is okay but not as nice as bread with gluten.

If you want to see the photographs as a gallery click here. Click on one image to see it full size. To see the EXIF data (including a map if the photograph was geotagged) click on the information (i) icon in the top right corner. You can navigate through the gallery using the arrow keys or by swiping if you’re using a tablet or smartphone.