• Hidden Gems - Samoa

    Hidden Gems - Samoa

    Tailani Salanoa goes on the hunt to find the 'hidden gems' of Samoa eats right in the heart of Apia and has a chat with locally owned food eateries who are making a move in Samoa to make it a more healthier country. Goodbye Keke Pua'a ;) 

  • Samoa Food Tips Pt 1

    Samoa Food Tips Pt 1

    Just caught Tuna, Hunks of steaming Taro, fresh coconut straight off the tree and beef so rare it melts off the bone! This is Island eating, dig in people!   Lisa Taouma takes us on a moving feast around Samoa. Join her as she samples the local favourites, discovers a few hidden gems and speaks to the people generating a food renaissance on the Islands. THANKS TO... Luna Paul Sharon Greene Joe Lam Women in Business Samoa All the amazing food and faleaigas in Samoa!

  • Samoa food tips PT2

    Samoa food tips PT2

    Just caught Tuna, Hunks of steaming Taro, fresh coconut straight off the tree and beef so rare it melts off the bone…This is Island eating -dig in people!   Lisa Taouma takes us on a moving feast around Samoa. Join her as she samples the local favourites, discovers a few hidden gems and answers the age old question...who makes the best kekepua'a in Apia? Camera: Jake Farani-Faga

  • FRESH KAIKOSO (Shellfish)

    FRESH KAIKOSO (Shellfish)

    Straight from the sea to the plate, you can’t go wrong with trying this refreshing seafood dish when in Fiji - and it's so easy to make!  Crack open the shell, tip the kaikoso flesh into a bowl, add salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, chilli, spring onions and coriander. You now have a summer seafood dish ready to be devoured!

  • OKA FESTIVAL 2018

    OKA FESTIVAL 2018

    Roko’s restaurant in Samoa once again took out the coveted Oka Fest top honours in Apia today, making it a 3 year trifecta for the popular local restaurant! {{7766}} The uniquely Samoan festival sees the best local restaurants and hotels put up their best team who must husk and valu a ton of popo in record time, and then be first to squeeze a carefully measured jug full of the precious cream. {{7773}} “It’s an awesum festival for Samoa because it’s everyone’s favorite dish, and it highlights all the best of our local organic ingredients as well as outstanding local creativity.”  Says organizer Joe Lam of Scallinis fame.{{7778}} Locals and tourists flocked to Home Cafe in Malifa to see the Oka making action and eat a variety of local organic produce and food stalls - Marquerita sorbet, hot roast pork, curries and baked delights offset the star dish of the day. {{7781}} The outstanding flavors and presentations included the winning coconut crusted dish, Taumeasina Resort’s concoction topped with palolo, and the Sheraton’s classic presentation that came second. {{7784}} The techniques of how to valu the popo to get the most coconut grated, the skills of filleting fish efficiently and the innovation in presentation were all on hand to witness at record speed in the cut throat completion. {{7788}} Turning Samoa’s classic soul food into works of art, wasn’t to detract from the classic taste as judges looked for a best pure oka flavors to come up with the winning dish. {{7797}} Oka Fest - elevating the humble oka to a place of honour in Samoan cuisine!

  • WHIPPED

    WHIPPED

    Handmade gelato with local flavours and fresh ingredients. Whats not to like? and what took so long for someone to come along and develop delicious cold products from the bountiful fruit bowl of Samoa? Chloe Fa'aiuaso is the creator of these creamy treats and says the key is all in using fresh local ingredients. {{7491}} “We're having fun getting creative with our flavours and, to date, have whipped up over 30 flavours in 2 months. Our cabinet is never the same, on any given day we've changed the flavours out at least 2 to 3 times. Our cabinet also includes local produce for sorbets (mango, pineapple, sasalapa, apiu, passio, esi, tipolo and guava) and gelato (local organic vanilla (Vaoala Vanilla), siamu popo, koko samoa, kofe samoa, misiluki bananas, avoka and of course, our faausi sosi gelato). We have such an abundance of tropical fruit, it would be silly not to make the most of it. {{7497}} Most of our fruit comes from my grandmother's (Gina Moore) garden. She was one of the first certified organic farmers in Samoa with her 10 acre block in vaivase-tai where she has a variety of fruit, coffee beans, peppers, chilli and herbs." The secret though is in the combination of Samoa's fresh fruit flavours with the creaminess of Italian gelato ingredients that Chloe has shipped in - making for a win/ win pairing of cultures and taste. {{7499}} There are up to 8 flavours a day that you can sink your face into at Whipped, from creamy coconut to the tangy taste of fresh pineapple, mango and esi.  But the standout flavours are the ones you won't find in any other ice cream shop around the globe. Fa'ausi ice cream. Seriously. And its painstakingly made the completely legit way with the te'epe'e roasted over a hot stone into the burnt sugar that creates that classic Samoan fa'ausi taste. Smoky, creamy, sweet deliciousness. {{7507}} Whipped is a family enterprise for Chloe and is the result of a gap she saw in the market in Samoa after a year of living in cosmopolitan London. What is both a labour of love and a business brainchild see's Chloe hand making the ice cream everyday for the little shop in Vailima thats becoming increasingly popular.  The shop often stays open after the standard 9-5pm working ours as they are on the premises making new batches of ice cream late into the night. {{7511}} Filling the gap for a hang out space after the cafes close at 3pm, Whipped stays open until around 7pm and is open 7 days a week and offers up a small indoor and garden setting to enjoy the creamy delights on offer. As well as the aisakulimi flavours they have smoothies made from the same fresh local ingredients on offer as well, and you can mix and match the flavours for the best creative combos! {{7513}}

  • SUPO ESI

    SUPO ESI

    SUPO ESI 3 c. water 1 papaya ¼ c. tapioca 1 c. coconut milk Papaya may not be sweet, add sugar Boil 3 cups water in a pan. Clean and cut papaya into ½ inch cubes. Add papaya into boiling water and cook until mushy. Beat with an egg beater to smoothen it. Add ¼ cup tapioca stirring constantly. Put lid on pot and let cook for 5 or 10 minutes over medium heat. Add one cup of coconut milk and boil gently for 5 minutes. Do not over boil or the coconut milk will curdle. Leave lid on the pan and stir the mixture twice in 10 minutes. Soup may not be sweet to papaya, if so, add sugar to sweeten it.

  • POI (Banana Pudding)

    POI (Banana Pudding)

    With the weather getting warmer, it's the perfect time for poi.  While Hawaiian poi is made from taro, Samoan poi is made from beautifully ripe bananas.  Poi is a chilled dessert that also makes a refreshing snack on a warm day. In olden times, poi was mashed with the hands and mixed with cool drinking water. Ourversion, updated for the 21st century, uses a blender and ice.  Some people use lautipolo/laumoli to flavour this, but I find that the lemon zest adds a nice texture to the poi. Also, the sugar is optional, but if you have really sweet bananas, it's not necessary. Bon appetit! . Poi (serves 2) 1 lb ripe (500g) peeled ripe bananas zest of 1 lemon or 2 lautipolo/laumoli ½ can (200ml) coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar to taste ice for serving Mash or blend the bananas until smooth. Add the lemon zest or lautipolo/laumoli. Add the coconut milk and vanilla. Mix until well-combined. Taste for sweetness. Add sugar if desired. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Immediately before serving, stir the discoloured top layer into the rest of the poi. Serve over ice in small bowls or wide-mouth glasses. * If you find your poi is too thick, add ½ cup of cold water to dilute it. * Keep refrigerated for up to a day, but best eaten with a few hours.

  • Coconut Oil Banana Choc Muffins

    Coconut Oil Banana Choc Muffins

    Ingredients:  2 cups of self raising flour 1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted) 1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2) 1/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup milk 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 3/4 cup chocolate (chopped/ crushed) {{5627}} Recipe:  Lightly grease and line a 12 hole muffin tray. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (fanbake). Sift flour and sugar into a mixing bowl and make a well and set aside, Whisk eggs, milk & oil together in a small jug. Pour egg mixture into the flour. Add mashed bananas and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle returns clean. {{5630}}  Source: I LOVE COCONUT CREAM

  • Coconut Poached Chicken Salad (Salati Moa Tonga)

    Coconut Poached Chicken Salad (Salati Moa Tonga)

    Check out this fresh, healthy and DELICIOUS chicken salad recipe with a coconut twist; courtesy of I LOVE COCONUT CREAM  Ingredients:  2 cans of coconut milk (400ml) 1 tablespoon grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, grated 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thigh cutlets 3 tablespoons of fish sauce ½ cup of water ½ red onion, thinly sliced ⅓ cup of apple cider vinegar 3-4 cups of red cabbage, finely shredded 1-2 carrots, coursely grated (fine jullienne) Handlful each of mint leaves & thai basil and coriander (leaves picked) Dressing: 2 limes, juice of 1 teaspoon of grated ginger 1 clove garlic, grated 1 red chilli finely chopped or grated ¼ cup of water 2 tablespoon of fish sauce {{5620}} Recipe:  Combine the onion and the apple cider vinegar in a small container or cup and allow to pickle, about 30 minutes. Rinse the chicken pieces in water and place it in a small saucepan with the coconut cream, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, ginger and garlic. Cook on medium high heat until chicken is cooked through (around 25 minutes). Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and allow to cool enough to shred. Shred chicken and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of the broth to add more moisture and flavour. Combine Dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust the dressing adding more limes, water or chilli as required. Combine cabbage, carrots, mint, thai basil and coriander in a medium salad bowl. Add shredded chicken, dressing and pickled onions. Gently fold through. Serve immedidately. {{5623}}  Source: I LOVE COCONUT CREAM

  • Takihi Taro & Pawpaw Bake

    Takihi Taro & Pawpaw Bake

    Ingredients: 1-2 medium taro (fresh or frozen) 1 medium pawpaw or papaya 800 ml coconut cream 1 tablespoon sugar (optional) ½ onion thinly sliced (optional) ¼ teaspoon of Salt {{5612}}  Recipe:  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Peel and remove seeds of pawpaw and slice into thin slices. If using fresh taro, peel and slice taro into thin slices. If using frozen taro, firstly cook taro in a pot of hot water until the taro is cooked and is soft but firm. Then allow to cool enough to slice into thin slices. Take a large casserole dish and place a layer of taro slices into the dish. Then sprinkle a few onion slices, then add a layer of pawpaw and a sprinkle of sugar. Continue this process, layering until all the taro and pawpaw is used. Season with salt. Pour coconut cream until just covering the taro mixture. Top up with a little water to fill the dish if required. Sprinkle extra sugar on top, then cover with foil and bake for around 1-1&1/2 hours* or until the taro and pawpaw is soft and cooked through. *If you were using frozen taro and had already cooked it before slicing, then reduce cooking time to around 50 minutes. {{5615}}  Source: I LOVE COCONUT CREAM

  • Coconut Seafood Pasta

    Coconut Seafood Pasta

    Our friends at I Love Coconut Cream have shared their Pasta recipe with Coconut Seafood Sauce...Mouthwatering!! Ingredients:  1 kg seafood marinara mix (salmon, prawns, squid, fish, mussels) 200 ml coconut milk (Kara or similar brand) 50g butter 2 limes 1 small onion (finely chopped) 2 cloves of garlic 1 tomato (diced) 1 tablespoon of parsley (finely chopped) Coriander leaves for garnishing (optional) Garnish with extra lime wedges Chilli flakes Salt ¼ teaspoon of chicken stock powder About 300grams of pasta (enough for 6 servings) Recipe:  Fill a large saucepan ¾ full with hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and bring to the boil. Add pasta and cook until al-dente, then drain. In a large frypan on medium high heat, melt butter and saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add chopped tomatoes and stir fry for 1 minute. Add seafood and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the seafood is 80% cooked. Add coconut cream, chicken stock and fresh lime juice and cook to reduce the sauce for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt, add chopped parsley and serve with cooked pasta. Garnish with chilli flakes and lime wedges Easy to make, and delicious! Try this recipe ASAP for a guaranteed seafood fix.  SOURCE: I LOVE COCONUT CREAM

  • FIRI FIRI

    FIRI FIRI

    Learn how to cook Tahitian Firi Firi. A delicious Tahitian coconut donut traditionally served for breakfast & dessert. Check out the very easy-to-make recipe below!   . INGREDIENTS S350 gms – 0.75 lb. – 2⅘ cups all purpose flour 100 gms – ½ cup sugar, plus more to coat 1 pinch salt 7 gms – 2.5 tsp dry yeast 80 ml – ⅓ cup water, lukewarm 200 ml – 6.75 oz. Ccoconut milk Vegetable oil for deep frying (I use sunflower oil) INSTRUCTIONS Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Add 1 tbsp of the sugar, mix well and leave the yeast aside to activate until frothy. Put all the ingredients (including the frothy yeast) in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk well. You need to obtain a thick and smooth batter. (You can also do this by hand) Cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place to rise for 3 hours. Put the batter into a piping bag and cut a 5 cm – 2 inch hole (or use a 5 cm – 2 inch round tip). Heat the vegetable oil until it reaches 170°C – 340°F. Pipe the batter into the hot oil cutting out pieces of approximately 13 cm – 5 inches in length. Fry them on both sides until golden brown (they need to be more brown than golden!). Put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil, then roll them in granulated sugar and serve!NOTESMake sure the oil is at 170°C – 340°F. If the temperature is lower your Firi Firi will become soggy and if it is higher, they will burn and will not cook inside! . PREP TIME    3 hours 20 mins COOK TIME   30 mins TOTAL TIME  3 hours 50 mins Author:  Manuela Zangara Recipe type:  Breakfast, Dessert Cuisine:  Tahitian

  • BEST ISLAND EATING in TONGATAPU

    BEST ISLAND EATING in TONGATAPU

    No matter where you're visiting for the first time, it's always great to know the best places to eat & drink and where to get a good coffee!  The islands are no exception! Here are our tips for the Kingdom of Tonga as well as some recommendations on where local Tongans like to get their favourite Tongan dishes if they're eating out. . SABRINA's CHICKEN VILOVILO  Sabrinas is located on Railway Road which runs parallel to Taufa'ahau street (the main street which runs through Nuku'alofa) to the right.   According to our local Tongan mates it's a popular spot for all the locals to get their fave Tongan dishes like Pele Sipi, their BBQ mix AND they're also great value.  All the dishes are about $6 - $8 Pa'anga which is the equivalent of $4-$5 NZD! {{5466}} SABRINA's BBQ SPIT  If you head down to the wharf almost opposite the Waterfront Lodge you'll find where Sabrinas BBQ a lot of their meat if you want to get it hot off the spit as well. {{5499}} MUM'S CAFE  Mum's Cafe is another popular spot with locals for local Tongan dishes.  Again, it's not on the main road going through Nuku'alofa so it may pay to ask someone to point you in the right direction. They have a great selection of local dishes like Lu Sipi, Kale Moa & Sapasui Pulu as well as yummy chow meins & pasta. The cafe also sells clothing, Basketball singlets, caps, kicks and Havaiana jandals!  {{5514}} ISLAND STYLE TAKEAWAYS There are also a number of street vendors selling island dishes where you can easily stop by and get the likes of 'Ota ika (raw fish), curry chicken & even BBQ sausage & chicken to go. {{5529}} PANGAIMOTU ISLAND RESORT  On Sundays Nuku'alofa shuts down so you won't find restaurants, bars or cafes open (except for at the resorts & hotels) but we recommend going over to Pangaimotu for the day! Ferrys generally go over at 11am, 12pm & 1pm and then return at 4pm, 5pm & 6pm. Big Mama serves up a choice of Fish & Chips, Chicken teriyaki & Chips, Cheese Burger & Chips, Grilled fish burger & chips plus a lamb curry. Lunch is included in your ferry ticket over to the island which is $50 Pa'anga per adult ($32 NZD) & $25 Pa'anga per child ($16 NZD) Don't forget to sign your name before you leave - there's still a few empty spots there. {{5444}} STREET VENDORS  Plenty of fresh produce in the Kingdom mostly sold along the side of the road not only in Nuku'alofa but also throughout the villages. Huge watermelons, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, cabbage, drinking coconuts, cassava and more. {{5454}} TALAMAHU MARKET  We couldn't find hot meals or ready made food like 'ota ika or BBQ like they have in other Pacific Island markets but there was lots of fresh produce sold. {{5459}} VUNA BAR  One of the newer if not the newest eatery in Nuku'alofa (has been open less than 6 months) and was a definite crew favourite!  We ALMOST ate here every 2nd night.  Great atmosphere, great pub food and really reasonably priced. It's open from 11am - 11pm Monday to Saturday and is located on Vuna Road (On the left hand side of the palace when you're looking out to sea) They also show a lot of the overseas sports fixtures so if you're looking for somewhere thats playing the All Blacks - Vuna Bar would be a safe bet. {{5476}} LITTLE ITALYS  Still everyones favourite place to get pizza & pasta in the Kingdom.  The owner is married to an Italian so they boast the best authentic Italian food on the island. They're located on the Sopo side of Vuna Road (Same side as Vuna Bar). It doubles as both a hotel and restaurant so although they're closed to the public on Sundays, they're still open to inhouse guests. {{5486}} BILLFISH BAR & RESTAURANT  A much loved family owned and run bar & restaurant, it opened over 20 years ago and is still one of the most popular night spots on the island. They're located on the Hala side of Vuna Road - right hand side of the Palace. They're open from 9am daily and serve up a delicious lunch & dinner pub style menu.  We recommend the fish burger and chips!  {{5492}} COWLEY BAKERY  In need of some good hot bread? Cowley's Bakery provides 80 - 90% of Tonga with bread and also have a range of cakes & bakery goodness. You can find them on the corner of Salote Road. {{5503}} We're going to give a few of our own 'Best of' awards out now .... BEST KEKE This place has amazing Keke and is located opposite the police station and diagonally opposite the markets.   {{5507}} BEST ICECREAM  Super Scooper I-Scream! {{5519}} BEST CHEESECAKE  Cafe Escape.   They also offer a small internet cafe area with a range of Western/palangi style food including cooked breakfasts. {{5525}} BEST COFFEE  Utu'ongo Cafe next to Christ Embassy church opposite Tungi Colonade. The owner Moana came back to Tonga to pastor a church and decided to run the doffee place as a not for profit.   They also sell delicious chocolate croissants, pretzels, banana, coconut bread AND plates of island food - Lu Sipi with cassava and coconut cream. Utu'ongo has been open for 4 years and are run by all volunteer workers. They're open 7am - 3pm Mon to Fri & 7am - 12pm on Saturdays. {{5540}} BEST WAFFLES  Leihuni Waffle Bar  {{5469}} BEST HEALTH FOOD OPTIONS  Coffee Post. We featured the owner Rose Fangupo in our Humans of the Islands section as she also runs Health bootcamps out of Teufaiva Gym. You won't find Fries or burgers here but you will find healthy wraps and yummy smoothies. Check out some of the other food options in the pics below and get to know Rose here. {{5549}} And lastly we didn't get to eat at these places but we've been recommended them for next time! BEST LOBSTER - Waterfront Lodge (not far from Billfish) BEST INDIAN - Little India (not far from Little Italys & Vuna Bar).  The chef is Indian so good authentic Indian cuisine.  .  Thank you to Vila Day

  • COOK ISLANDS DOUGHNUTS

    COOK ISLANDS DOUGHNUTS

    Big as a wheel, flaky, tender & sweet as! Our friends at I Love Coconut Cream have shared their Cook Islands Doughnut recipe with us Ingredients 1 kg bag plus 2-3 cups extra of plain flour 3 cups warm water 2 1/2 tablespoons of active dry yeast (or 3 sachets) 1 cup warm milk 2 cups of sugar 1/3 cup of oil (or melted butter) 3 eggs Solidified vegetable oil (1500 g) or Canola oil (6 litres approx.) for deep frying Instructions Whisk yeast and warm water together in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. In an large mixing bowl, combine 1kg flour and sugar together and make a well. Whisk milk, oil and eggs into yeast mixture then pour into flour bowl. Using your hand, mix the ingredients together, scooping and squishing the mixture between your fingers until the dough is smooth. Mixture will be quite sticky. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (60-90 mins). Using your hand, scoop dough away from the side of the bowl, reducing it down. Cover a large clean work bench with 2-3 cups of flour (aim at 1cm thick of flour) around a large pizza sized shape on your bench. Transfer dough onto floured bench. Working on outside of dough, gently lift the sides up, covered in the extra flour and using your fingers, fold it over towards the middle of the dough. Continue lifting and folding the edges in until dough begins to have had sufficient flour added so that it is less sticky, more manageable. Using a 5 cm cookie cutter or a similarly shaped lid, measure and break off a chunk of dough for each doughnut. Using your fingertips again, lift and fold the edge of the dough in towards the centre working right round the piece. Pick it up and press between your palms then form a firm round and leave on a floured tray. Continue until dough is used up. If the rounds are still too soft, just work it in with more flour until it firms up a bit more. Heat oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven on medium heat 15-20 minutes. Test oil with a small piece of dough (should rise and brown lightly within seconds). To make donuts, pierce a hole in the middle of the dough with your finger, then slightly stretch it out or spin it around your finger to enlarge the hole to about 3cm, then lower the donut into the hot oil, turning the donuts as you go. Batch fry the donuts for about 3 minutes each batch or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer onto a rack to drain and cool.

  • FA'APAPA - Baked Coconut Bread

    FA'APAPA - Baked Coconut Bread

    Ingredients for Old school Fa'apapa  - Makes 2 . 2 cups (250g) flour ⅓ cup (65g) sugar 1⅓ cup (120g) unsweetened coconut flakes ½ can (200ml) coconut milk Recipe Put everything together in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Divide into two equal portions. Generously grease some baking paper with butter. Flatten each portion of dough into a slab no bigger than 1 inch/2.5 thick. Wrap each portion tightly in the baking paper. Bake at 390°F/200ºC for 35-40 minutes or until crust is well-browned. {{5148}}

  • Mango flower cheesecake

    Mango flower cheesecake

    Check out this beautiful mango cheesecake that's sure to impress at the next Sunday lunch - just make sure you make more then one coz these are sure to go quick!  Mango Flower Cheesecake  200 g butternut snap or digestive biscuits (1&1/2 packets), crushed 100 g butter, melted 1 can (400ml) sweetened condensed milk) 300 ml cream 250 g cream cheese softened 1 tablespoon gelatine powder ¼ cup hot water 2-3 medium sweet mangoes thinly sliced (as above). INSTRUCTIONS Combine crushed biscuits with the melted butter and mix well. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of a 25cm spring-form pan. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set. Whip the cream using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth. Sprinkle gelatine over hot water, whisking it with a fork to fully dissolve. Allow to cool slightly then add to the cream mixture and mix well. Pour cream mixture into the biscuit base and return to fridge to chill for 1 hour. Remove from fridge and decorate with mango slices as shown above. Return to fridge to chill for an additional 3 hours to set. NOTE: To slice, warm a sharp knife under running hot water, dry and carefully slice cheesecake ensuring the biscuit base is cut through before removing each slice. Source: I Love Coconut Cream

  • Island Granita

    Island Granita

    A delicious frozen desert made with coconut cream, watermelon and a hint of basil - perfect for those hot summer days coming up from I Love Coconut Cream! Granita, originally from Sicily is a delicious semi-frozen dessert made with sugar, water and flavouring (usually pureed fruit). Check out this yummy island version you can whip up instead of otai! INGREDIENTS ½ medium watermelon (seedless) diced into large chunks (about 8 cups worth) 400mls of good quality coconut milk (fresh is best but Kara brand is also good) ½ cup of caster sugar ½ cup of water Basil leaves (about 1 tablespoon) INSTRUCTIONS Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring syrup to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside. Blend watermelon chunks and basil leaves in an electric blender until smooth. Add coconut milk and sugar syrup and blend for 3 seconds more. Place in a plastic container and freeze overnight (or at least 4 hours). Using a fork, scrape the frozen mixture to form ice crystal s. Serve decorated with watermelon balls and extra basis leaves.

  • Yeast raised Coconut Waffles

    Yeast raised Coconut Waffles

    Check out this yummy recipe for Yeast raised Waffles with Coconut Milk! Light and fluffy with a hint of coconut goodness, these yummy waffles are the best for morning, noon and night!Check out the recipe below or go to ilovecoconutcream.com (and facebook) for more AMAZING poly-inspired goodness!Yeast Raised Waffles with CoconutServes 4Ingredients 7g active yeast (1 sachet) 1/2 cup of warm water 1 cup of coconut milk 1 cup of milk 2 tablespoons of sugar 100 grams of butter melted 2 cups of standard flour 1 egg 1 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda Instructions Place yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Leave for around 5 minutes. Place coconut milk and milk in a heatproof container and warm slightly in the microwave (round 50 seconds). Add milk, butter, sugar, salt and flour into the yeast mixture and whisk until batter is smooth. Cover with cling wrap and leave to proof (around 1-2hours). Place in the fridge if this is for breakfast the next morning. Once you are ready to cook the waffles, add the egg and baking soda, whisking it into the batter until well combined. Heat waffle maker and spray or brush with oil or butter. Pour about a cup of mixture into the waffle maker (or whatever portion to fill the waffle plates), close waffle and cook according to manufacture's instructions for your waffle machine. Once waffles are cooked and golden, remove and serve immediately. Add some coconut cream caramelised bananas (here) and ENJOYYY! Just make sure it's a once a week thing, or else you'll have to run it off all day everyday! 

  • Coconut Cross Buns!

    Coconut Cross Buns!

    If you thought hot cross buns were the best thing ever, wait till you've tried coconut cross buns! Yes panipopo are set to upstage it's cinnamon raisin cousin this Easter, with it's sweet slathering of coconut cream, and make a yummy alternative to the tradional recipe! Coconut Cross BunsYields 9Prep Time: 2 hrCook Time: 30 minBuns 3-3 & 1/2 cups of bread flour (poured into measuring cup) sifted (about 400g) 1 cup of warm water 1 sachet instant yeast (7g) 1/4 cup of sugar 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil + extra 1 egg lightly beaten Coconut Sauce 400mls of Kara coconut milk 1/2 cup of water 1/4 cup of sugar Crosses 1/4 cup of plain flour 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon of sugar Instructions Combine warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and allow to stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Add egg and oil to mixture. Add 3 cups of flour & 1/4 cup of sugar to yeast mixture and carefully combine with a metal spoon until a dough forms. If mixture is fairly wet, add additional flour if required. The dough should be fairly dry and you can knead it together in the bowl to help it form into a dough ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until soft and elastic. (Try to avoid adding too much flour at the kneading stage as this can give the buns more of a scone texture rather than a 'bread' one.) Then place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, roll dough to coat in oil, cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Once doubled, punch dough down and transfer to a board and knead for about 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces, form into balls and place in a pan spaced evenly apart. Cover and leave to double in size (about 40minutes). Meanwhile make coconut sauce by mixing coconut milk, water and sugar well until sugar is dissolved. Once buns have doubled, pour 2/3 of the cream mixture evenly over the buns. Use a pastry brush to brush some of the sauce over the tops of the buns. To make the paste,for the crosses, mix flour, sugar and water well and place into a ziplock bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe crosses over the buns. Bake in a preheated oven on 200 degrees Celcius for 25 minutes or until buns are golden and a skewer inserted into the middle bun returns clean. Pour over rest of the coconut cream and return to oven for 5 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit (15 minutes). Best served warm. Notes Plain flour can be substituted for bread flour however I find that bread flour gives the best texture for these buns. Check out the ilovecoconutcream.com and their facebook page for more yummy treats!

  • Coconut Corn

    Coconut Corn

    Check out this gorgeous recipe for some crazy cool coconut corn! Fresh juicy corn is grilled and dressed with the most wonderfully delicious smoky coconut sauce. The sweetness of the corn, the smokiness of the grilling process and the paprika marries so well with the lovely coconut cream that you may be tricked into thinking your corn was cooked in a hangi (underground oven). And for you butter and salt lovers, it is hard to believe corn can taste this good without any butter involved!  Fresh juicy corn grilled and dressed with a delicious smoky coconut sauce. This is easy and makes what can sometimes be an ordinary side dish, a complete prom queen of a dish. Wow, where did that come from? Haha must still be thinking of my days of youth. Give this a go. Just cook the corn, lash the coconut dressing on and wow them.  Coconut CornDelicious grilled corn on the cob with a wonderful smoky coconut dressing.Ingredients 6 ears of corn 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika 1 cup thick coconut cream (fresh or tinned) 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice 1/3 teaspoon of salt Salt to season Freshly grated coconut to garnish* Instructions Remove 1 layer of the outer husk from the corn and soak corn in water for 30 mins. Drain water and shake off any excess then barbecue corn with husks intact on a grill plate with lid closed turning every so often until cooked (around 30-40 minutes). In a heatproof bowl, combine paprika, 1/3 tsp salt, lemon juice and coconut cream. Whisk until well combined. Heat for 50 seconds on high in the microwave or in a small saucepan over the stove until the sauce is hot. Taste and adjust lemon/ salt to suit. Once corn is cooked peel husk back and remove silks. Arrange corn on a platter, season with salt then brush dressing on generously and garnish with grated coconut. Notes If barbecuing is not an option, simply cook corn in the oven for 45 minutes on 200C until tender. Then pull husk back, remove silks and finish off on a grill pan for added colour and flavour. Tastes as good as outdoor grilling :) *No special equipment is required to make freshly grated coconut if you're not in the islands. Coconuts can be found in your local supermarket. Crack one open, slice pieces off and grate using a small handgrater. This recipe makes plenty of dressing for around 10-12 ears of corn. Source: ILoveCoconutCream

  • Tongan 'Otai

    Tongan 'Otai

    Check out how to make one of the most refreshing drinks in the Pacific - 'otai! Source: I Love Coconut CreamPerfect for those long summer days at the family BBQ on the beach!Ingredients 1 Watermelon 1 Mango 1 sml tin crushed pineapple 1 tin (400ml) coconut milk 3 cups approx. cold water 1/4 cup approx. sugar Instructions Using a spoon or fork, scrape the watermelon pulp into a large punch bowl or similar. Peel mango & if the mango is soft you can scrape the flesh out into the watermelon mix, otherwise use a grater. Add the remaining ingredients and stir in enough sugar to sweeten to taste. Serve with ice cubes and cream crackers in tall glasses. Enjoy

  • Faikakai Topai - Dumplings in Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Faikakai Topai - Dumplings in Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Check out this amazing recipe for the best faikakai topai you've ever had! Faikakai is a sweet Tongan delicacy usually reserved for special occasions and days of feasting so make sure you get your feast on when you prepare this for your next family gathering! Via ilovecoconutcream.com Faikakai Topai Serves 4Delicious dumplings with sweet coconut sauce Coconut Sauce 2 cups raw sugar 2 cups of coconut cream (thick consistency eg. Kara) Dumplings 4 cups of plain flour 4 teaspoons of baking powder 1 tablespoon of sugar 1 cup of coconut cream 2 - 2 1/2 cups of water Pot of water to cook Instructions Heat a large pot half filled with water and bring to the boil then reduce to gentle simmer. In the meantime make coconut sauce. Using a medium saucepan, gently heat the sugar on medium high heat, stirring, until it begins to melt. Take care not to burn the sugar by stirring the sides to avoid heat spots. Once the sugar starts to melt, reduce the heat slightly, then begin to drizzle about a tablespoon of coconut cream into the sugar mixture at a time, stirring it in well taking care not to burn yourself from the steam as the cream hits the sugar. Continue stirring in all of the cream until a thick golden coloured caramel develops. Remove from the heat and strain any hard bits of sugar and allow the sauce to cool slightly. To make the dough, sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. Add coconut cream and water and mix until just combined. The dough should be fairly dry although wet enough to come away from the side of the bowl easily. Wet a tablespoon and scoop spoonfuls of dough and careful place spoon into the simmering water until the dough comes away easily into the water. Continue to spoon the dough into the water until the pot is full (remembering that the dough balls will puff up slightly once cooked.) Place lid over the pot and allow the dough balls to steam and cook gently for about 12-15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove dough from the pot onto a platter. Cut open to test if cooked through. Whilst warm, dice dough balls into small pieces. Pour over coconut sauce and serve. Notes To keep the dough light and airy, try not to over mix the dough and cook it on a gentle simmer with the lid on so it steams. Parcel up extras with a little foil to gift :)

  • Spicy Ahi Poke

    Spicy Ahi Poke

    Check out this awesome recipe on making the delicious hawaiian delicacy, Spicy Ahi Poke (Tuna Poke) Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine. Pokē is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut" **Note: The clear bottle is sesame oil & the brown sauce in the blue bowl is shoyu (credited wrong in video).  Ingredients: ∙Ahi/Aku/Marlin slab (pretty much any type of fish) ∙Hawaiian Salt ∙Shoyu ∙Red Pepper Powder ∙Sesame Oil ∙Mayonnaise  ∙Sriracha Sauce ∙Masago Optional: Garnish with Green Onions Directions: -Chop the fish slab into square chunks -Throw all the square chunks into a bowl  -Put in all the ingredients in to the bowl with the fish chunks & mix together -Enjoy your poke!!  ✷Note✷ I don't measure my ingredients I just eyeball it. Just put as much or as little as you think you need. Can always taste it to see if it needs more of whatever ingredient needed.  Source: Amber's Kitchen

  • Fried Bananas with Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Fried Bananas with Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Howabout trying this decadent dessert that is perfect for the cold winter days coming! This yummy sweet treat is the perfect accompaniment for after dinner, or on the weekend as a nice brunch idea - paired with the beautiful sweet coconut sauce, it's bound to have you wanting more! Just make sure you run it off after aye? Recipe courtesy of ilovecoconutcream.com Here's the recipe: Batter 1/2 cup plain flour 1/2 cup cornflour 1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup coconut milk 1/4 icy cold water 2 tablespoons of sugar 6 ripe bananas Canola oil for deep frying Icing sugar to serve Coconut sauce 1 cup coconut cream or thick coconut milk (Kara) 1 tablespoons of sugar Instructions Whisk batter ingredients together until smooth. Slice bananas into thirds and dip into batter coating each piece well. Heat oil to 175C in a large dutch oven or cast iron pan and deep fry bananas in batches. Turn and cook for around 2 minutes or until golden and the batter is cooked. Remove bananas from oil with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels. To make the coconut sauce, heat coconut cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and allow sauce to thicken & caramelize (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and serve in a dipping dish with bananas. Notes:If cooking a large batch, keep bananas in a warm oven while you cook until ready to serve. For more amazing island-style recipes, check out ilovecoconutcream.com

  • Sticky Date Cake with Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Sticky Date Cake with Sweet Coconut Sauce

    Check out this sweet version of the classic sticky date cake that you can enjoy morning, noon and night! The sweet coconut sauce takes the traditional sticky date cake up to a totally new level…(yes its possible).  And the great thing is, its a really simple recipe and can be made the night before.  Now be warned the recipe makes either a really large baking tray’s worth or 2 normal size cakes (one for you, one to share). For more delicious recipes, check out ilovecoconutcream.com! Sticky Date Cake with Sweet Coconut Sauce A delicious moist and light sticky date cake with the most amazing sweet coconut sauce.Ingredients 3 cups of pitted dates, chopped 3 cups boiling water 2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 250g butter softened 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups self raising flour Sweet Coconut Sauce 1 tin (400ml) coconut cream 1 cup raw sugar Instructions Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease large cake tin or two 10" pans. Place dates, bicarbonate soda in a heatproof dish. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand uncovered for 20 minutes or until dates are tender. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, stir in date mixture and flour. Mix until well combined. Spoon mixture into cake pan/s. Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Stand for 10 mins. Prepare sauce. Slowly melt sugar over low-medium, stirring constantly and taking care not to burn the sugar. Once sugar is melted, add the coconut cream, one tablespoon at a time stirring it in well after each addition. Sauce will thicken into a lovely golden caramel colour. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle sauce over cakes and serve warm with extra sauce and whipped cream. Notes Choose a great quality coconut cream to make your sauce as it will greatly affect the taste of the sauce. This cake is delicious baked the night before. The sauce can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Reheat in microwave before serving.

  • Sua Alaisa

    Sua Alaisa

    If you are Samoan, chances are this dish will forever be a part of your soul food repertoire. A simple combination of sweet rice and coconut cream, with a hint of lemon.   Only made better by eating with fresh, hot bread from your local bakery :)  Very manaia.  1 cup white rice 2 litres water 1/2 cup freshly squeezed coconut cream  1/4 cup sugar 3-4 lemon leaves (new leaves are best) Add rice and cold water to pot and bring to boil. Boil for about 20m or until rice is very soft and mixture has thickened to a runny porridge consistency. Add coconut cream, sugar and lemon leaves. Bring back to boil and simmer until a light lemon flavour has infused the dish. Remove the lemon leaves and serve with fresh bread and butter.  Hope you enjoy.    Check out more great recipes like this over on 'MY SAMOA KITCHEN' 

  • KNOW YA MANGOES!

    KNOW YA MANGOES!

    You may have walked around the Islands from Sept through to Jan and seen the red green mangoes weighing down the trees and the sweet smell of those that have split open on the ground. These trees seem to be the domain of children, and in mago season in Samoa its rare to go past a ripe mago laden tree without little bodies twisting and turning in the branches to get the juiciest of the lot.Not many people have escaped that particular yellow mango stain down your clothes when you just have to bite into the flesh and let the juice run down your chin. This is our little Coco celebration of the humble mago to make you dream of warm Island days and sweet sticky flavours.   As well as being a taste sensation and an awesome flavour kick starter to nearly every known cuisine, its a clever little plant that also has medicinal uses for upper respitory and oral infections like gingivitis.   Mangoes grow right across the Pacific and Asia where they originated and it is one of those superfruits like blueberries and avocados. The ripe mango has lots of vitamin A (good for healthy eyes and your immune system) and the unripe fruit is high in vitamin C (helps your body absorb iron).  Like the banana, mango has lots of potassium (for regulating your blood pressure) and if you eat just one mango, you've consumed about 12% of your daily fibre requirement. Guess which plants the mango is related to? Surprisingly, it's a cousin of the cashew and pistachio which explains its kinda giant cashew like shape.  But like many things in life, not every mango is like another. There are heaps of different varieties across the Pacific, and in Samoa there are five main types that you will see everyday at the makeki in mago season, or the many stalls on the side of the road.  Its argued that the sweetest mango is the mago susu - called such because its got a prominent 'tip' that you bite of and then suck the mango juice up through. Like a susu I suppose..or could it be that the mango flesh is also slightly milky like susu.  Then there is the mago afa - the big red and gold super juicy ones that can grow to a huge size like these guys:   There is also the mago fuamoa - so called because of their smaller egg shaped variety.  Then there is the mago oka -so called because you can eat it slightly 'maka' or raw like an oka. These ones are good eaten green and crunchy with salt or a shrinking of chilli powder.   How to pick the perfect mago:   Go to the makeki in fugalei and look for the many piles of mago but do a good circuit before you choose the perfect mago. Currently you can get 5 magos for 10 tala or as little as 5 tala depending on your haggling skills   When buying your mangoes, give them a quick sniff. The more fragrant the fruit at the stem end, the tastier it is likely to be. Also give it the squeeze test, as you would with a peach or avocado. If the fruit 'gives' a little, then it's ready to be eaten. Remember that the redness of a mango is not an indication of ripeness. Mago are used in curries in Fiji, drunk as Otai in Tonga, used in lots of salads by palagis and often in cocktails like this Coconut Mango Margarita!   But they come into their own particularly as a dessert food -cue mango pavlova, mango fruit salad and this beautiful hot Mago Poi made with sago for the ultimate hot comfort food :http://www.samoafood.com/2012/01/poi-mago-mango-pudding.html Or just ravage them straight away and let all the juicy goodness just dribble all over you :)   LEARN HOW TO JUDGE RIPENESS SO YOU CAN ALWAYS USE THE PERFECT MANGO IN YOUR DISH Don't focus on color. It is not the best indicator of ripeness. Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will give slightly. Use your experience with produce such as peaches or avocados, which also become softer as they ripen. Ripe mangos will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stem ends. The red color that appears on some varieties is not an indicator of ripeness. Always judge by feel.

  • SAMOA FOOD TIPS - UPOLU

    SAMOA FOOD TIPS - UPOLU

    Samoa today offers up more variety then ever before of incredible food choices! For travellers back to the motherland, options range from hot umu at the makeki to flash new organic food choices from a range of cafes to rival the best overseas. All across both Upolu and Savaii there are faleaigas and cafes spilling over with amazing local produce and flavours, so having a good 'food map' for Samoa cuts out the trial and error coz nobody got time for paying your precious talas for bad food.  Hot fa'alifu ulu, the sharp tangy taste of sea, fragrant fresh oka, the custardy sweetness of a pai fala.....the list of Island food flavours are endless and Samoa is a giant organic food bowl of amazing taste sensations. While you prepare to go back to the motherland, check our Coco listicle of 'Best of' food places :)  First up the makekis - the upgraded produce market in Fugalei is a clean airy oasis of fresh fruit and hot food. Umu options come out from about 11.30am so you can pick up some hot ulu and eat it with your sea or fai'ai fe'e and wash it all down with an ice cold niu and maybe some supo esi for dessert.The fish market is a haven of awesomeness - most people know that if you come down at dawn you can buy all manner of fish, lobster, crabs or fe'e. If you're a hotel traveller you can buy this fresh from the sea cheap seafood and ask your hotel chef to make you the king of seafood platters :) Sunday at the makeki is next level though, and this is when there are hot food options - think vaisalo, fa'ausi of all varieties, koko esi, pai fala, puligi enough to want to get your sweet tooth pulled out for good. Get in quick as the juiciest fish and best choices of to'ona'i food options may be gone by 9am.     On the other end of the scale if you're looking for a great cafe brekkie option we strongly advise Nourish Cafe behind the big Catholic church in town, 'Mulivai St' if you ever find a street sign.  Nourish do great organic fresh food and smoothies - we love the breakfast crepe and the sasalapa smoothie!  Click here for Kalais' Sasalapa Smoothie recipe  {{10304}}  Legends Cafe in Taumeasina do an amazing array of juices and clever things with local ingredients, the tumeric, ginger and lemon juice will make all things right on a hot day.If you have the Samoan anxiety of not getting enough food on your plate, then go to 'Daphnes Cafe' in Matautu Tai where they do a hearty omelette and also a great Friday Samoan lunch.   {{10325}} Also big on the big portions are Connexions Cafe next to Samoa Stationary in town and 'Izzys' for American style food. Lunch options are too many to mention, so here are some of our special things to try at different places Seafood Gourmet - an option you don't find many places is the tuna belly with garlic butter and salad, you should always have their chilli spiked oka, and strangely their desserts. Anyone who has had the fruit pie knows its short crust pastry goodness and now with the Koko Samoa ice cream even?  Stobit.   Up the Cross Island Rd across form the Bahai temple is the Forest cafe which does a great curry and roti and fresh niu while you can listen to the birdsong in the bush above the river ravine.  There are good food options at Pacific Jewell Gift Shop & Cafe but what we liked most here was the sumptuous folds of meringue in their rolled pavlova slices with fresh mango and cream. Now best fresh fish options in Samoa is fighting words: we rate the ginger laden Poke at Amanaki as a serious contender but its really hard to beat the oka at 'Trees' the tents roadside on the way to the airport that have a variety of amazing fresh fish options including a cup of fresh masimasi oka for 5 tala with a couple of cooked bananas to dunk in it.  Other special mentions have to go to best buffet on the Island which sees Taumeasina Sunday Seafood buffet just nudge out The Orator Hotels excellent to'ona'i for top place, for its variety of seafood and Samoan food selections for just $65 tala. Nightime eating has to include KokoBanana for their huge steak and lobster combo, Tifaimoana for the great mutton curry, the good folks at Scalinis for those pizza ball fingys and seriously good fish and pretty much everything on the menu.    For the best in fine dining you can now book a private group dining experience with The Whisk Dining Room in Lotopa, Apia.  Here you can have a 5-6 course bespoke menu of some exquisite dishes put together by young Samoan ‘Chef Junior’.  Using what’s fresh in local produce on the day, he comes up with things like a palusami hash and snapper and noni onions with perfectly cooked beef. Not to be missed if you want a very special dining experience in Upolu. {{10312}} Just out of town there is also Cafe 10  located in the garden center Lotopa for some beautiful surrounds while you eat. - with great full breakfast options, good coffee and healthy local produce options! Also if you head to Savalalo side of town there are two places to stop in - Manai Restaurant with its big portions including these healthy stir falai and local food options.  Then there is the ‘All Things Sweet’ cafe with great local baking, fresh smoothies and big breakfasts on a Saturday. {{10314}} The queen of flash local baking Dora Rossi also has great local produce at the Milani Cafe right in town. Here you will find the superb Pineapple Coconut Cake which you can have with a Coconut milk Coffee or excellent expresso and Koko Samoa. Milani do stand out breakfast specials including the super healthy breakfast salad which u may need after carb loading around the Island. {{10320}} COCO CAFE AWARDS -  Best Coffee: Home Cafe & Le Petite Cafe. Best Smoothie: Nourish Sasalapa Smoothie Best Juice: Legends Cafe Tumeric Lemon Ginger Juice, Krush Juice Bar for the Green Juice & Lucky Foodtown for the cheapest fresh options! Best Pizza: Giordanos for their Palusami Pizza and fresh salads  Best Oka- Trees on the way to airport Best Ice Cream - Koko Samoa Ice Cream at Kool Shack Seafood Gourmet Best Pai Fala - Netzlers Shop Moto'otua Juice/Smoothies at Lucky Foodtown Pai Fala  

  • Island Eating - Our Food Spot Picks in Auckland

    Island Eating - Our Food Spot Picks in Auckland

    When you've got a craving for your fave Pacific Island dishes but don't have time to make it or don't know how to make it - don't worry - we've got you!  We did the hard job of driving out to some of Auckland’s most popular Island food stores to try out their dishes and let you know where to get what.  . SOUTH AUCKLAND  Evalina's in Clendon & Otara  Evalina's had a wide range of delicious island food to chose from. They had everything from chop suey and baked taro, to whole cooked fish and fa'alifu fa'i (banana with coconut cream).  We orderded a baked taro, palusami, fai'ai ēleni, and a pineapple pie. The pie was definitely the group favourite - perfect flavour and the ratio of crust to custard was on point.  As well as cooked food they also offered Samoan music CD's, DVDs, lavalavas and jandals.  Oka is sold only on Sundays. Clendon location - The back strip of shops behind 'The Warehouse' in Clendon Park shopping Centre.   Otara location - 1st or 2nd shop on the strip of shops facing East Tamaki Road at the Otara Shopping Centre {{11782}} .    Lee Heng (Parker's Polynesian Food) in Mangere  We ordered a tray filled with sapasui, bean stir fry, potatoe curry, fa'alifu taro (boiled taro in coconut cream) and for something sweet we had a pot of suafa'i. Everything was DELICIOUS 10/10 for every dish.  Location:  The block of shops on the corner of Imrie & Fresian Drive in Mangere  {{11786}} . Ulutoa and Sons in Otahuhu + Avondale  All things sweet!!  Ulutoa and Sons provided us with some tasty treats in the form of panikeke's, fa'ausi (sweet taro in caremalised sugar), coconut masi (coconut biscuits) and a pineapple pai fala (half moon pie) . The winner was definitely the fa'ausi - great texture and flavour.  They also sold the same hot island food that Parkers Polynesian & Evalinas sold and had a mini store inside that sold tins of ēleni, Bongo chips, vermecilli, pisupo, coconut cream, soy sauce etc ... Otahuhu location:  On Mangere Road just past the Favona lights and opposite Otahuhu High school.   Avondale location:  About 3 shops down from Cain Tattoos on Great North Road. {{11796}} . Island BBQ You know us islanders all love a good BBQ and these guys do a mean BBQ - ribs, chicken, steak, lamb and more.  We tried a ribs and chicken BBQ plate and the ribs were cooked perfectly - literally falling off the bone! Their BBQ plates are all cooked to order so there is a little bit of a wait but the BBQ is well worth the wait! Location:  269 East Tamaki Road, Otara, NZ  {{11840}} . Pinati's  Of course we had to get keke pua'a and german buns. 10/10 deliciousness as usual. THANK YOU Pinati's.  Location:  Queen St Otahuhu which is a block back from the main strip of Otahuhu Shops. {{11791}} . Tanz Kitchen  Three words - Cook Islands doughnuts!   They have a great selection of Cook Islands favourites - hot doughnuts, banana poke, maniota uki, mayonaise (Kuki potato salad) cooked taro as well as chop suey & rice or steak on rice with mushroom sauce. Location:  3 shops down in the block of shops on Piako Street in Otara {{11820}} . Odette's Kitchen  Odette’s Kitchen is a wonderful addition to the growing number of eateries run by our Moana Pacific people looking to elevate Polynesian cuisine, mastering the classics and then bringing in twists to innovate on what our notion of island food is and can be. What strikes me is the team’s thoughtfulness going into the combination of fresh ingredients and the new ways that Pacific ingredients in particular get a chance to shine in the dishes. Read Leone Samu's full review here Location:  15 Broadway, Papakura {{11928}} . Sanbell's Otara  We were told the Samoan Sapasui (Chop Suey) is really good here & after trying it for ourselves we can confirm the goodness.  They also sell a selection of Samoan dishes. Location:  Otara shopping Centre, facing Bairds Road.  * Mt Roskill location has closed. {{11838}} . ** From the last time we checked out the island eating places in South Auckland we were recommended 3 Tongan owned & managed restaurants in Otahuhu.  Try them out here if you're in the area **  Eight Roses Cafe & Buffet  Location:  Unit 13/ 225 Great South Road - In the block of shops, to the left just after the roundabout by the Otahuhu Police Station. {{11816}} Polynesian Taste  Location:  285 Great South Road  {{11858}} FranCharLeni Diner & Cafe  Location:  242 Great South Road  {{11877}} . WEST AUCKLAND  My Samoa in Kelston  10 Panikeke's for $2.50. My Samoa's panikeke's take the prize for best panikeke! Warm, sweet and delicious! Highly recommended.  Location:  The last shop of the block of stores on Archibald Road opposite Kelston Girls High  {{11788}} . * There's also an Ulutoa & Sons Ltd in Avondale - description and location in the South Auckland section *  . CENTRAL  Blue Rose in Sandringham  The best palce to get Koko Samoa cake and palusami pies is definitely Blue Rose! You will NOT regret it.   The owner Robbie Kainuku is Cook Island. Location:  Sandringham Road, Sandringham. {{11915}} . LEI Cafe, Ponsonby  Owned & managed by Tongan brother & sister Natasha Finau & Saione Greer, you can get your island food fix here in the middle of Ponsonby. Island dishes sold - Oka, Fijian curry & Coconut buns in coconut cream. Location:  The top of Williamson Ave in Ponsonby in the strip of shops next to Countdown. {{11921}} . OVERALL The South Auckland stores seemed to have more variety, speciality dishes and more sweet options like pineapple pie and fa'ausi.  We struggled to find good Island Eats places out West Auckland.  There were a couple we'd featured previously but they've either got E Grades now or have closed.  West Aucklanders comment below where your best Island Eats spots are!  Special thanks to the following people who let us know where the best Island Eats spots were!! Nate Nauer Leilani Momoisea La'e Milne  Toma Amosa Virgil Nickel  Shimpal Lelisi  Janina Lauitiiti  Siosiua Kailahi   

  • FAT BURNING COCONUT COOKIES!!!

    FAT BURNING COCONUT COOKIES!!!

    The Hearty Soul have brought us these delicious Coconut Protein cookies that you can eat for breakfast and boost your metabolism!   Ingredients 1.5 cups of shredded coconut flakes ½ cup of sunflower seeds ½ cup of high-quality protein powder 1/4 cup of honey 1 teaspoon of vanilla 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 2 tablespoons of coconut oil 1/8 cup of water Instructions Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Roughly chop sunflower seeds or other nuts you may wish to use in the blender until broken up into chunks. Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir together, if you notice that it is too crumbly than try adding in another tablespoon of coconut oil and possibly more water. Scoop cookies onto a cookie tray. Gently press the cookies down to flatten. Makes about 18 cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes. Additional Notes: Can use 2 cups coconut shreds if you do not have/want sunflower seeds. Can use any other kind of nut or seed You can use any flavored or unflavored protein powder to change up the flavor. You can put the coconut whipped cream recipe in between to make an incredible coconut cookie sandwich! In case you think it's too good to be true - here's some of the ways the cookies are healthy & helps you burn fat ... * It's full of fiber, healthy fats and clean protein.  * It is low carb, ketogenic and helps to stabilize blood sugar and burn fat. * Coconut flakes are a great source of medium chain fats that help to burn fat and provide immediate fuel for our body and brain.  They also provide good fiber for our microbiome. * You can use a wide variety of protein powders, such as grass-fed whey protein that is full of branched chain amino acids to help support the development of lean body mass.

  • PINEAPPLE PIE

    PINEAPPLE PIE

    Our friends at TasteoftheSouthPacific share their Pineapple Pie recipe with us ... "This dessert dish was one of my favorite growing up in the islands. My grandma was the one who would always make pineapple pies and it was always a pleasure to indulge in the sweetness of this dessert, with of course a cup of tea to sip it all down. Fast Forward time and I am now able to make the so called pineapple pie, but cleaning up afterwards is more of a trouble, but definitely worth it. Hope you all enjoyed! Malo" Ingredients: CRUST 2 cups of flour 2 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 cup butter 3/4 cup of milk 3 egg yolk CUSTARD FILLING 1/2 cup of custard 3/4 cup of milk 1 can crushed pineapple 1/2 cup of sugar MERINGUE TOPPING 3 egg whites 1 teaspoon white vinegar 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup of sugar Top it off with slices of peaches and peanuts [optional] Follow them on Facebook & Instagram! 

  • MANGO OTAI

    MANGO OTAI

    From the Kingdom of Tonga ... It's Mango season in the islands and we've got this yummy as recipe from Taste of the South Pacific  with instructions on how to make one of our fave Tongan drinks. Enjoy!    Ingredients: 6x Fresh mangoes  1x Fresh pineapple  Coconut milk   Recipe:    Peel fruit and grate both the mangoes & pineapple into a large bowl Stir and add in 1x cup & a 1/2 of Coconut milk & 2x cups of water  Add ice cubes if needed  Plus 4 tablespoons of sugar  Stir again & voila!   

  • How to make Palusami Fiji Style

    How to make Palusami Fiji Style

    Ever wondered how to make that yummy palusami you've had at island feasts? Tarisi Vunidilo shares her Fijian style method so you can do it like the best of them. Also make sure to check out our item on how to make a 'lovo'. Steps to making yummy Fiji style palusami: 1. Get yourself some 'Rourou' or taro (dalo) leaves. You can buy these at a number of shops in Aukilani but you have to do your research about where to find them (sssh, Otahuhu across from McD's). Or, grow them yourself or ask a friendly islander.  2. Prepare chopped onion and optionally garlic and ginger. Also, lay out your rourou on bench in piles from largest to smallest. 3. Place coconut creame into a bowl, add onion and tinned corned beef (tini bulumakau). Stir. 4. Place tin foil on bench. 5. Using a spoon spread palusami mix from the bowl onto the tin foil. 6. Place rourou on foil and spread palusami mix over leaves 7. Layer rourou leaves on top, spreading palusami mix over leaves making sure there is a good moist coverage  8. Roll the rourou once then fold either side of the rourou, fold twice more. 9. Grab the sides of the tin foil and crunch to enclose your yummy palusami 10. Place it in your lovo oven and cook for an hour or so 11. Take it out, open it up - and enjoy!! You might want to check out how to make a lovo.

  • Island Tips: How to Cook a Taro

    Island Tips: How to Cook a Taro

    Check out some handy hints the next time you feel like having a some of that good-good stuff - the natural steroid of the islands, the humble taro! Just make sure you wash your hands straight after you prepare them - or else they'll be itchy for the rest of the day!

  • Pork and Star Fruit Stir Fry

    Pork and Star Fruit Stir Fry

    Check out this gorgeous recipe using Starfruit - by My Samoa Kitchen! The Vineta, (starfruit or carambola) is a staple fruit in Samoa, most famous for adorning cocktail glasses because of the very cool way that it cuts. The taste is like a crunchy, very juicy, slightly sour, apple so this goes really well with Pua’a (pork). This also uses the guava syrup in the sauce, which gives it a special flavor. Ingredients: 1kg Pork Steaks ¼ Red Cabbage (roughly chopped) Bunch Kapisi Saiga (Bok-Choy; green leaves only – chopped) 4 star fruit (sliced into stars) Carrot (chopped) 1 Red Onion (roughly chopped) Virgin Coconut Oil Sauce: ½ cup Guava Syrup (you can use brown sugar or other sweet syrup) 2T lemon juice (you can use vinegar) 4T Oyster Sauce 1 thumb ginger – finely grated 1t fish sauce 1. Chop your pork into large bite sized pieces. Rub with virgin coconut oil, salt & pepper and stir fry on a high heat until pieces are almost cooked (still pink in the centre). Take pork out of the pan and keep on a plate. 2. Add another 2T of virgin coconut oil, and add in your roughly chopped onions and a little salt. Fry for a couple of minutes and add in the carrots. Fry for another 5 minutes or so, turning regularly. Add in your cabbage and fry another couple of minutes. Add in your star fruit and pork and heat through until the star fruit have softened but still hold together. 3. Prepare your stir fry sauce by hand grating the ginger and mixing all ingredients together. It’s important to taste this – make sure you have a nice balance between sweet, sour and ginger. Pour your sauce over the stir fry, and thicken if you need to with masoa (arrowroot) or cornflour and water. Serve with rice.

  • Baked Papaya Pie

    Baked Papaya Pie

    Check out this beautiful recipe from My Samoa Kitchen for using some of that gorgeous fruit found everywhere in the islands - Papaya or Pawpaw! The consistency is so similar to a pumpkin pie, but the flavour will remind you of a good fa'ausi esi. You need a food processor or mini wizz to make the pie filling - otherwise a good masher and a LOT of determination. This pie filling can be done with literally two ingredients: Green Esi (Papaya) & Masoa (Arrowroot). The roasted esi is sweet enough to not need any sweetener added. INGREDIENTS: 1 x large green esi  1 T masoa (Arrowroot) 2 T water Short crust pastry 1. Deseed your esi and scrape out the stringy or fuzzy bits. Chop the peel off with a sharp knife, and cut into roast vege sized pieces. 2. Put 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil into a heavy bottomed roasting pan and heat through in oven. Place your esi pieces into the pan, roast at 180 degrees for 30 minutes, before turning and roasting the other side for 15-20 minutes until they are nice and soft. 3. Remove from the roasting pan and place into a pot and use a masher to squash it up. Unlike pumpkin, the water content of roasted green esi is not high, so it will create a good firm filling. Place into the mini wizz in batches, and blend until nice and smooth, and put into a bowl. 4. Mix 1T masoa with 2-3T water. I work mine around with my finger to get rid of any lumps, as masoa is harder to mix than cornflour. Mix this through the esi mixture well with a spoon. 5. Roll out your short crust pastry on a bench sprinkled with icing sugar to stop it from sticking. Line your greased pie dish with baking paper so that the pie doesn't stick. I don't yet have a pie dish at home so I use a spring form cake pan, which also works well. Spoon your pie filling into the base and spread around evenly. 6. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, place in fridge then remove from pie pan or cake pan when cold.  Serve with fresh, ripe esi, and cream or icecream. Slurpage.

  • How To: Pick a Taro

    How To: Pick a Taro

    Known as one of the staples of Pacific cuisine, the humble taro can be found at any island gathering! Check out a few pointers the next time you're buying that natural island steriod for the family lunch! SUGGESTED LINKS: How To Make Hawaiian Poi How To Make Takihi

  • Fijian Purini

    Fijian Purini

    Check out this delicious recipe for some Purini (Steamed Pudding) - almost like your mum/aunty/nana used to make. Almost. Served with either custard or butter, this delicious recipe is sure to go down a treat for the next family cuppa tea time! For more delicious recipes, check out ilovecoconutcream.com! FIJIAN PURINI Author: ilovecoconutcream.com Recipe type: Adapted from SpicySideUp   Fijian steamed pudding INGREDIENTS 3 cups plain flour (sifted) 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda 2 cup sugar 1 tin coconut cream 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground clove INSTRUCTIONS Melt sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat, taking care not to burn the sugar. Slowly add coconut cream to the melted sugar, one tablespoon at a time, stirring it in well after each addition. Stirring constantly, bring the syrup to the boil then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk ingredients together. Fold the sugar syrup into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into a buttered 2 litre pudding tin and steam for 1½ hours in a large pot over the stovetop. Test if fully cooked with a skewer inserted into the middle of pudding and return to stovetop if necessary. NOTES Serve with warm custard or slathered with butter. If you don't have a pudding pan, simply use a container smaller than a large pot like a rice cooker insert and simply cover with tin foil.

  • Pai Siamu - Jam Pie

    Pai Siamu - Jam Pie

    Check out this delicious homemade family recipe for Pai Siamu - Tongan for Jam Pie! With it's buttery scone-like texture and sweet jam filling, this is the perfect tea-time treat! Just make sure you serve it with alot of whipped cream and butter! Recipe courtesy of ilovecoconutcream.com INGREDIENTS 3½ cups of plain flour plus extra 4 teaspoons of baking powder 1 egg 100 grams of butter (cold) ¼ teaspoon of salt 1 - 1½ cups of milk (you can substitute with coconut milk) ¼ cup of caster sugar extra milk 5 tablespoons of jam INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sift 3 & ½ cups of flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Grate the butter into the flour mixture with a cheese grater or simply cut it into cubes and then rub it into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1 cup of milk and quickly mix it in with a metal spoon until it forms a dough. Try not to over mix the dough. If the mixture is still too dry, add a little more milk. Flour a board with the remaining flour. Transfer dough to the board and knead the dough a few times until it comes together. To make 2 medium pies divide the dough into 2 and roll out into a 1cm thick rectangular shape. Spread each rectangle generously with jam and then roll it up into a long scroll. Place each scroll onto the lined baking tray, about 2 cm apart. Brush the top with a little milk and then bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Use a skewer to test the Pai has cooked through. NOTES Delicous served with whipped cream or butter.