Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


Aussie dinner tables would not be set completely if you’ve forgotten the barbecue sauce. I’ve been here for three years now and have come to find that this sauce, tomato (toe-mah-toe) sauce and sweet chilli sauce, mustards (like honey mustard), golden syrup, mint sauce (for peas), and/or tartare for fish (or tartar, like it’s called in America) are the norm… Speaking of which, why are we going this to ourselves with these pronunciation differences, my fellow English speakers?! I worked for a short while in an Aussie butcher shop and butchered your Australian English almost every single day. Scotch fillet to an Aussie is “Scotch fill-et,” but an American would say “Scotch fill-ay.” Now I read accounts and codes over a phone and butcher up your H “haitch” for me is “aitch” and Z “zed” for me is “zee.” Go figure.

Anyway. What a tangent.

Barbecue sauce. BBQ sauce. Whatever you call it. I have friends who are from the south in the U.S.A., and to them BBQ is religion. The sauce is often homemade, following Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle Cletus’s secret recipe, passed down in the family from the Civil War days. It probably could give some outsiders the runs, but it is unbeatably delicious. They marinade and slather the sauce on the, let’s say, ribs and cook them for a prolonged period of time on the grill or over the fire. This, my friends, is what they call a barbecue. Not sausages slung onto a barby for however-long. No. It’s a painstaking process filled with love and tradition. The sauce itself makes it so worth it. (Source here). But in Australia, just squeeeeeeze it on your food from a plastic squeeze bottle and…voilà. LOL.

I came to write this today because I’m making pizzas at home tonight. My husband asks, “Can you put barbecue sauce on one of them (instead of toe-mah-toe sauce)?” LOL. OK. You can even order pizzas here from Domino’s with barbecue sauce as the sauce base…

I have nothing against barbecue sauce and Aussies loving it. I don’t even mind when I order a bacon and egg roll and ask for toe-mah-toe sauce, but receive instead barbecue sauce. It’s tasty. Tastes like barbecue sauce. It’s not spicy or too zesty. It’s tangy, yet sweet. I rarely use it, but I think some Aussies love it so much that they would possibly bathe themselves in it, if they could (if they don’t already).

Australians have several brands of barbecue sauce to choose from: store brands, Masterfoods, Rosella, to name a few. But here’s a group of Aussies chattering about where to find American barbecue sauces in Australia.

I use Australian barbecue sauce to make Sloppy Joes! It’s really not healthy, this recipe, but I want to share it with you all because so many Aussies have eaten it and asked me for it. Seriously. And I never write the recipe down because each time the taste I want to achieve varies.

To feed 4-6 adults, you’ll need:

– 1 kilo beef mince (or turkey mince – it’s healthier and nobody will know!)
– Any Australian brand barbecue sauce
– Any Australian brand tomato (toe-mah-toe) sauce
(or substitute with 140g Leggo’s tomato paste)
– Brown sugar
– Worcestershire sauce
– Finely diced green capsicum and/or yellow onion, to taste
– Cooking oil
– Hamburger buns (or bread rolls) – Enough for everyone.

The trick to this is that you must taste as you cook -and- once the sauce ingredients are added, the consistency of the meat needs to always become like a thick sauce with cooking – not runny or too dry. If it begins to dry out, add a little more of something, but always taste-test to find your liking. It should be tangy, yet sweet. Never sour, bitter or tart. Follow the first step below before taste-testing your cooking too.

1.) Thaw the mince thoroughly. Crumble the mince with your hands into a large, lightly oiled skillet/frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, while the meat browns. While the meat is browning, add finely diced green capsicum and/or yellow onion, to taste. If you like a little, add only a little. A lot, add a lot. It’s up to you.

2.) As the meat finishes browning, add enough barbecue sauce to be soaked up into the meat. Don’t overly drown the meat.And keep on stirring.

3.) You’ll need to now add an even amount of tomato sauce or paste to the mix to be soaked up, like you did with the barbecue sauce. Not enough to overly drown the meat, though…

4.) Let the meat absorb the fluids, stirring often. If the meat has absorbed enough to be like a thick sauce and not runny, and if the meat is no longer pink in the center, taste it. Is it too tart from the tomato sauce/paste? Now is when you should add a little brown sugar. Add maybe one or two heaping tablespoons full, then stir it in. Is it still too tart? Add another tablespoon full of brown sugar -or- squirt more barbecue sauce into pan. Taste it. Is it too sweet? Add a few drizzles of Worcestershire sauce. Try to even out the tangy and tart: too tangy, add a little more tomato sauce/paste or Worcestershire sauce! And too tart, add a little more barbecue sauce or brown sugar. Stir that up until the meat soaks it all up, keeping in mind that the finished product needs to be like a thick sauce.

5.) If the taste is what you like, but it’s too thick, just add a little warm water to the pan, stir it in and let it simmer.

6.) Split some hamburger buns (or bread rolls) in halves, hamburger-style) and scoop the mix onto the bottom half. Plop the hamburger bun “lid” on top and serve.

Dutch people (typically not keen on eating “American” foods) LOVED these, and every single Australian that I’ve fed these to have loved them as well. Please let me know what you think, if you try it!


Read Full Post »

© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com


Never in my life had I ever seen anyone eat beetroot so often — Not until I came to Australia. Also known as the table beet, red beet, garden beet or just plain beet, this delicious and nutritious veggie has been a staple in Australian kitchens for nearly 50 years.

There are many benefits one can get from eating beetroots. It’s not only a natural detoxifier and blood purifier, but it is also an excellent source of iron. Beetroots are also an antioxidant and are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and B vitamins such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6 {source}.

Beetroot is often pickled and packaged in tin cans, sold more typically in this fashion in Australia, but the variety of ways that it is served in Australia is quite noticeable:

Dip: Beetroot dip is often found among the other dips at the supermarket. You’ll be safe to bring it with you if asked to bring any dips to a party because nearly everyone here loves it.
◌ Salad topping: Often I’ve seen it included in the ingredients of a variety of homemade garden salads here in Oz. Click here to see a few ways it’s used in recipes.
Roasted: Aussies seem to love roasted vegetables, especially potatoes. A few times I’ve had roasted beetroots served to me with horseradish and sour cream {similar recipe here}.
Risotto: Served with a chicory salad to balance sweetness, this is a very healthy and delicious comfort food.
Sandwiches: Good on a sandwich and great on an Aussie hamburger, which the Aussies call “the lot” — All about that here.

Do Aussies really love beetroots?
Yes. Check out this link, this linkthis link and this link to see the proof!

Does McDonald’s in Australia serve a burger with beetroot?
Every so often “Maccas” sells the “McOz” — As I write this, they are selling them again… I’ve never tried one because I’m not a fan of fast food places like McDonald’s, but here is a commercial with the burger:

I am in Australia and really would just like to try pickled beetroots. Where should I look?
The supermarket. One popular brand of pickled beetroots Down Under is Golden Circle, and with a selection of whole, diced, sliced and wedged beetroots you’ll be able to easily open a can and plop some into a dish.

Do you like beetroots?
I do, yes — Especially beetroot dip. But I’ve always like beets, so it took no adjusting for me… What about you? What do you think of beetroots?

© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com

Beetroot dip!

Read Full Post »

© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com

"The Lot"

Aussies also have their own version of a hamburger. This was introduced to me here immediately, as I am an American and everybody in the world seems to associate hamburgers and cheeseburgers automatically with Americans. This hamburger with “the lot” was shared with me as if it were meant to impress me… And it did. It was delicious, filling and almost impossible to eat without drooling at the first sight of it.

The burger with “the lot” in Australia is typically available at pubs, restaurants and take-away shops [or fish and chip shops] throughout Oz. The toppings between the buns are usually:

· Beef patty
· Cheese
· Grilled onion
· Beetroot
· Pineapple slice
· Fried egg [with soft yolk]
· Bacon
· Tomato slice
· Lettuce
· Pickle
· Tomato sauce [or barbecue sauce]
· Optional mayo and/or mustard

Who’s got the best “lot burger” Down Under?

© thingsaussieslike.wordpress.com

Burger with "The Lot"

You can be the judge yourself, or you can rely on word-of-mouth… Or a Google search, such as the results of Queenslander Sean Muir’s search for the “ultimate lot burger”, as seen here.

What’s served with Australia’s take on its American counterpart?

Chips [fries], which are often seasoned with chicken salt. It all depends on your taste. You might also find burgers served with one of a variety of salads, such as potato salad, macaroni salad, or a vegetable salad [“dinner salad”].

Do Australians call hamburger meat at the supermarket “ground beef”, like what it’s called in American supermarkets?

No, they refer to it more commonly as “mince”.

Do Australians like to cook hamburgers on the grill [“barby”]?

Yes. Click here to read more.

Why do Aussies add things such as fried egg, beetroot and pineapple to their burger?

I’m not sure why. I’ve asked around and a few responses from Aussies were that pineapple possibly adds the flavor flavour of summer, and the toppings seem to speak for the individual taste of Australians [who really seem to love beetroots, by the way]. You can read more about the Australian hamburger here.

Read Full Post »

Vegemite, Mate!

“Buying bread from a man in Brussels. He was six-foot-four and full of muscles. I said, ‘Do you speak-a my language?’ He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.”  Men At Work – Down Under

Vegemite, an Australian cultural food phenomenon, is basically concentrated yeast extract made from beer. Yes, beer. Actually it is made from used brewers’ yeast extract, which is a by-product of beer making. It is also made from celery and onion extracts.

I recall the first time I tried it.  The flavor flavour: was very salty. Bitter. The spreadable concoction has a texture which is thick, grainy and is dark brown in color colour.

I immediately tasted that it has a malty, soy saucey-like flavor flavour…

Do Aussies really love it?

Usually, yes.

Do I like it?

With an acquired taste, I find that I will like it eventually. Hugh Jackman got Oprah to try it and she liked it!  I already expected it to be different, kind of like eating the Dutch drop candies for the first time…


Have you ever heard of Marmite?  Vegemite is not quite as intense as Marmite from Great Britain, and it is not as sweet as Marmite from New Zealand.  Now owned by American corporation Kraft Foods Inc, Dr. Cyril P. Callister created Vegemite in 1922 for Fred Walker Company, when the company gave him the task of developing a Marmite-like spread from the yeast that breweries were throwing out. It took a while before Vegemite caught on with the Aussies. For two years, a jar was given with every product the company sold, and by the late 1940s the country was in love with the stuff — It was even in Australian Army rations during World War II.

Today: Each year more than 22 million jars are produced. Callister’s recipe has remained unchanged, and in Australia Vegemite outsells Marmite and other spreads like it.


Vegemite is best used as a bread spread, an Aussie favorite favourite on breakfast toast. They first toast a slice of bread and they butter the toast, and then they top it off with a very thin layer of Vegemite. Australians are practically weaned on it from the first day they can eat it, but it’s definitely an acquired taste.

Other ways to eat it:

Now that I’ve tried it, I can’t imagine it on anything but toast with butter, but some also like it on their sandwich with cheese and often veggies as well.   A Vegemite sandwich {mentioned in the Men At Work song “Down Under”} is typically two slices of buttered bread, Vegemite & cheese, but you can also add other ingredients like tomato and avocado slices.

· Kosher {click here} — Since 2010, they’ve made kosher Vegemite.
· Cheesybite {click here} — Vegemite + cream cheese.  I haven’t tried it yet.
· My First Vegemite {click here} — Wean your children into the addiction.
· Recipes {click here} — Not sure I’ll attempt to make any yet…

Soldier Cup

Soldier Cup Kit

· ‘Vegemite Soldiers’

Done in the UK as well {called ‘Marmite Soldiers’}, also called ‘Dippy Eggs,’ are one other common way to eat Vegemite. Cut toasted bread, spread with butter and Vegemite, in small pieces and dip them in a soft-boiled egg. They’re more commonly called ‘Vegemite Soldiers’ because to the toast slices resemble soldiers standing in formation. For the bigger fans, you can even buy a special soldier egg cup and toast cutter here or here.

Where to buy Vegemite:

In Australia, it is found in every supermarket in a variety of sizes, but worldwide Vegemite can be found in some specialty and gourmet stores {often a small jar would be seen on the same aisle as peanut butter in Dutch supermarkets} and is also available through online mail order {like here}. Note: Promite is similar to Vegemite, if Vegemite is not available.

Official Vegemite website: here.  Read more about Vegemite: here.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: