Cooking with Australian Native Ingredients - Part 2

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CK Yao - Research Dietitian, 12 January 2021

We recently tested a range of uniquely Australian herbs and spices, otherwise known as 'bushfood' or 'bush tucker.' In part 1 of our native Australian blog series, we learned about Kakadu plum powder and the Tasmanian pepperberry. Bush tucker describes food that is native to Australia and has been used by Indigenous Australians for culinary or medicinal purposes. Part 2 of this blog series teaches us about Australian saltbush leaf, lemon myrtle and Gundabluey wattleseed. 

Australian saltbush leaf

Names: Atriplex semibaccata (plant name), “Oldman saltbush”; the Aboriginal name is “Purngep” or “Binga”. 

Appearance: Grey-blue leaves, commonly sold as crushed.

Taste: Salty, herby (earthy, mossy). Perfect substitute for salt.

Suggested uses:

  • Traditionally used in a damper 
  • Leaves can be fried in a batter and used as a garnish
  • Use a pinch of saltbush with lemon myrtle and Kakadu plum as a seafood rub or for grilled marinara
  • Use with dukkah and add to a garden salad, on top of poached eggs or to a veggie bake
  • Add as a flavouring agent in stir-fries, potato dishes, dips etc.
Try our low FODMAP saltbush leaf dukkah!

Lemon myrtle leaf (dried, ground)

Name: Backhousia citriodora (plant name).

Appearance: A green-brown leaves crushed into small pieces.

Taste: Lemon, menthol and sweet. Smells like a mix of lemongrass, lemon and lime.

Suggested uses: 

  • Wrap the leaves in paperbark to keep fish
  • Use as an alternative to salt with Kakadu plum to sprinkle on sandwiches, on seafood and most protein, and on veggies

  • Try this flavour combination: salt bush infused in oil with lemon myrtle as a salad dressing or a flavouring agent

Try our low FODMAP lemon myrtle sorbet!

 Gundabluey wattleseed (ground)

Names: Acacia victoriae (plant name), derived from the Acacia tree.

Appearance: Red-brown powder

Taste:  Nutty, savoury, coffee

Suggested uses: 

  • Add to pastas and to dukkah
  • As a sweetener in affogatos, cakes and general baking
  • As a savoury flavouring to with flour for batter with seafood and in white wine sauce
  • In hot chocolate or coffee drinks
Try our low FODMAP chocolate wattleseed self-saucing pudding! 

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