International Dinner Project: Fiji (Sam’s Choice)

Fiji Night

Sunday, 1 April 2012

These dinners seem to roll around faster and faster. Sam was quite keen on Fiji Night, we went shopping, just the two of us, the day before to buy the fruit and fish needed, and the highlight of his trip was at the Asian Supermarket, the cashier, nudged him and handed him a small handful of chinese candy, and was greeted with a big grin and a quiet thank you from Sam.

“The doesn’t happen at the normal supermarket does it buddy?” A shake of his still grinning head told me he’d be happy to come grocery shopping in the future…

Fresh Fruit Platter

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Entree:
Fresh fruit and cocount
Lady finger bananas (you know the little short ones), Mango, Pawpaw (Papaya), Pineapple, Horned Melon and fresh coconut, drizzled wirth lemon and a sprinkle of salt.
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Let me start off by saying, I’m not sure how Fijian horned melon is, but it just looked cool when I bought it and thought the kids might think it was alien-like.

Entree was easy this week, simply cutting up some delicious fresh tropical fruits, scoring the flesh out of the coconuts took some time, Sam carefully arranged the coconut into the platter, and sampled some of the other fruit at the same time. The platters, were totally picked over with only a few slivers of coconut left. With the boys collecting a tall stack of banana skins each – bananas were by far the most popular with them, in fact I think Ryan was solely bananas, he does like mango, but he’s used to dried mango.

Kokoda - Raw fish salad/soupSweet Potato and Pineapple BakeCoconut Dressing Bok Choy SaladSam with his "cup"

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Mains:
Kokoda (like Samoan Oka, lemon marinated fish in a coconut milk sauce)
Cheesy Sweet Potato & Pineapple Bake
Fijian Cabbage Salad
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I think this would have to be the first meal where we had nothing left over. All the Kokoda disappeared, Jocelyn and I had ours in half coconut shells, Sam drank his mango juice very carefully from half a shell as well, he loved that coconut shell – he couldn’t put it down. Ethan and Ryan weren’t too keen on real coconuts, but used some 80s kitsch plastic coconut shell cups that had a pop-on top and a hole for a straw, that we seem to have inherited from a fijian resort.

I had originally decided against making kokoda since it was soo similar to Oka, but, the kids probably wouldn’t eat it anyway and I love it, so do Mum and Dad, so I thought we may as well use Fiji night as an excuse for me to have my favourite Kokoda again – the Fijian version is a little different, with no added water and a slightly different presentation – but it definitely didn’t disappoint – 0% left

The salad was quite simple, diamond cut bok choy (chinese cabbage) and onion, with a miti dressing, which consisted of coconut cream, lemon juice, tabasco or chilli and mint. It was nice and light and fresh tasting.

Now, this rather different Cheesy, Sweet Kumara, Pineapple, Fresh Shredded Coconut, and Green (Spring) Onion bake, I didn’t know what we were in for here, I could sort of see how the pineapple and kumara (sweet potato) could work together, but I though I might be chowing down of leftovers for the rest of the week – not so! I only managed to get a single helping before it had been demolished by everyone, Sam is not a big cheese fan (he had a dairy allergy when younger and has never really gotten a taste for cheese) , he was keen to try it, but he got a strong smell of cheese from it (although there’s not that much in it) and that was it, but he tried some salad, and he’d filled up on fruit earlier – so was hanging out for the dessert. Another success, more with the adults this one – 0% left.

Lolo Buns

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Dessert:
Lolo Buns (recipe)
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I’d never heard of these before, but we were out at dinner with another couple and I mentioned them – and they knew what they were, apparently quite a well-known Fijian dish. Extremely easy to make, Sam wasn’t interested in the kneading so much today (which is a surprise, he normally loves karate punching the dough around a bit), but he was all into rolling out the 32 bread dough balls and putting them in the car in the sun, to rise. Carefully carrying them back inside to the over an hour later and proudly showing Grandma and Grandpa.

These were a hit as well, I’ve got some tweaks to make to the recipe I think to make it just that tiny little more to our taste, but they were obviously to everyone’s taste already, as the first 16 diappeared in record time and almost all the second batch vanished as well. Very interesting pouring all that coconut milk over the raised dough balls and then putting them in the oven. The smell of coconut filled the room, plus the smell of bread baking – two very enjoyable smells at once!

We served these with a little vanilla icecream, but with a slight adjustment to the bread recipe I think icecream wouldn’t really be needed, may just some more fruit!! We did our math and told the boys they were allowed 5 each – but really, who knows how many they had… as long as they enjoyed them and weren’t sick the next day!

Our thoughts are with the people affected by the current flooding in Fiji. Donations can be made online at www.salvationarmy.org.nz . Please specify that the donation is to be directed for ‘Fiji Flood Appeal’ purposes when donating.

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4 thoughts on “International Dinner Project: Fiji (Sam’s Choice)

  1. Thanks for liking my posts! I’m an early childhood teacher and I just find your project interesting. I think involving the opinions of your children in deciding what dinner to have makes them feel they’re valued and that their inputs do count a lot and help in the decision making of the whole family. Also you’ve got nice, crisp and clear photographs. What sort of camera are you using? Cheers.

    • Hi! Thank you for your kind comments.
      I actually do a bit of photography and retouching for work, it’s not so much about the camera in these shots, it’s probably more the lighting, I have a hotshoe flash that I bounce off the ceiling to flood the room with light, so the ceiling acts as one big soft box giving a nice even light. Then I just do a little bit of tweaking in photoshop. If you’d like any other info let me know. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: IDP#24 Eating New Caledonia (Ryan’s choice) | The International Dinner Project

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