Cooking with Australian Native Ingredients - Part 1

native

CK Yao - Research dietitian, 21 December 2020

We recently tested a range of uniquely Australian herbs and spices, otherwise known as ‘bushfood’. Bushfood or bush tucker describes food that is native to Australia and has been used by Indigenous Australians for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Here we describe the features of each ingredient and provide tips on how to incorporate these highly versatile bushfoods in everyday cooking.

Kakadu plum powder

Names: Terminalia ferdinandiana (plant name); the Aboriginal name is ‘Gubinge’ meaning “good belly”.

Appearance: A yellow-green powder, the Kakadu plum powder is the crushed and freeze dried form of the Kakadu plum fruit.

Taste: Tart/tangy, strong flavour.

Suggested uses:

  • Use a pinch with lemon myrtle to season fish
  • Great ingredient for baking e.g. combined with wattle seed in a brownie or mixed with ginger in energy balls
  • Great addition to smoothies
  • Complements well with rhubarb
  • Diffused in tea with lemon myrtle

Try our low FODMAP kiwi Kakadu plum smoothie bowl!

Tasmanian Pepperberry

Names: Tasmanian lancelata (plant name), mountain pepper.

Appearance: Black and round, and is the same size as an everyday peppercorn.

Taste: Woody, hints of pepper with cinnamon notes. It doesn’t taste like regular pepper but is a great alternative to black or white pepper.

Suggested uses:

  • Grill or roast whole pepperberries with zucchini wedges, capsicum and eggplant
  • Great addition to bland dishes e.g. sprinkle a small amount with sliced cold cucumber or celery and in casseroles 
  • Salad dressing infusion: use whole pepperberries in oils or boil 3 tablespoons with vinegar and allow to infuse (make sure you strain pepperberries before use)
  • As a marinade e.g. with fresh ginger, garlic infused olive oil, ½ cup pepperberries, oyster sauce (allow to stand for 1 hour before use)
  • In a jus with beef stock, pepperberries and a pinch of Kakadu plum powder
  • Goes well with game meat (small kangaroo, crocodile, camel) and fish – use in marinades with skewered meats on the barbeque or in gravies 
Try our low FODMAP Tasmanian pepperberry chimichurri! 


Special thanks to Julie Morris for the wonderful meal inspirations. Julie is the owner of the #MonashFODMAPcertified brand Pincha Salt based in the outback town of Katherine, Northern Territory. Check the Pincha Salt online store or our app for a list of their Monash certified products.


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