Skip to main content

Cooking Around the World: Fiji

We kicked off our 'F' countries - in this cooking around the world adventure of ours - with an easy Friday foray into Fijian cooking.

Fiji is comprised of 300 mountainous islands populated with a multi-cultural society formed by people from Polynesia, India, Melanesia, China and several European countries. And the complex cuisine of Fiji reflects the culinary influence of different cultures.

The Dutch introduced the local population to the sea cucumbers. The British brought cattle and some exotic fruits from Africa and the Americas. Indian cuisine developed in this country because of the Indian slaves that the British brought here to work on the sugar plantations.

Present day Fiji cuisine is a great mixture of Polynesian, Indian, Melanesian, Chinese and Western cuisine. Some of the most used ingredients in Fiji cuisine are yam, breadfruit, cassava, taro root (dalo) and leaves (rourou). Beef, poultry, pork and seafood are an integral part of Fijian food.

 Shrimp in Coconut Cream

3 T butter
2 bay leaves
1 3-inch piece cinnamon
5 cardamom pods, crushed
1-1/2 pounds large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 T white whole wheat flour
3 T ground almonds
2 C coconut cream (not coconut milk)
salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice

Heat the butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the shrimp and set aside. Add the ginger, onion, and garlic, and saute until the onion is softened. Add the flour and almonds and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the coconut cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Return the shrimp to the curry, add salt to taste, and simmer for about 8 minutes. Add the lemon or lime juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon. Serve over rice garnished with the cilantro leaves and sliced almonds. 
Coconut-Cassava Cake
adapted from The Polynesian Kitchen here
I liked the idea of this Fijian cassava cake that has nothing more than cassava, coconut, coconut milk, butter, and sugar; the Filipino cassava cake is far too sticky sweet with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and sugar, sugar, and more sugar. I am not a fan, needless to say. But since the recipe from the Polynesian kitchen didn't include any proportions, I was winging it. It wasn't my favorite, but I did succeed in making a less sweet cassava cake, so that was a triumph.
1 packet grated cassava (in the frozen section of the Filipino store), thawed
1 packet of young coconut (in the frozen section of the Filipino store), thawed
1/2 C organic granulated sugar
1 can coconut milk
1 egg
Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl until you have a well-blended batter. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake - at 350 degrees - until the cake is set. Serve as is or with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
This Global Table Ambassador is signing off for now. We're headed to Finland next.


Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur