4 minute read

Breakfast Club

Beaut brekkies from Wollongong cafes to whip up at home

Recipes & images The Illawarra Cookbook by Quicksand Food; Tess Godkin Photography; Bryce Jepson


DIGGIES | Serves 4


100ml buttermilk

200ml full cream milk

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg

125g self-raising flour

butter, to fry to serve

1 banana, sliced

1 punnet strawberries, sliced

maple syrup

edible flowers

Chef’s note: You can adjust this recipe to include any of your favourite seasonal fruits, as well as a selection of nuts, icing sugar or even crispy bacon.


To make the pancake batter – whisk the buttermilk, milk, egg, sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the flour, whisking continuously to form a smooth batter.

Place a knob of butter into a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Ladle a circle of batter into the pan and cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and repeat. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, working through the remaining batter.

To serve – place some strawberries and banana onto each plate. Top with a pancake, and continue layering with fruit and pancakes. Finish with a knob of butter, a good drizzle of maple syrup and a scattering of edible flowers.

Cured salmon bagel



4 bagels

250g cream cheese

80g preserved lemon, chopped

1 bunch chives, chopped

salt & pepper

cured salmon

400g cooking salt 3

45g white sugar

zest of 4 oranges

zest of 1 lime

zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp dried saltbush

1.8kg side salmon, skin removed

miso mustard

100g Dijon mustard 1

00g aka miso paste

Chef’s note: Opus make their own bagels for this recipe using a Montreal-style method where they are boiled in water and maple syrup before baking. For simplicity, we’ve added bagels as an ingredient. This recipe will make more cured salmon than required, but it will keep well in the refrigerator and can be used in salads, sandwiches or as a snack.


To cure the salmon – blitz the salt, sugar and citrus zest together in a food processor. In a mortar and pestle, grind the coriander seeds, peppercorns and saltbush to a coarse powder, then stir through the citrus mix. Spread onethird of the mixture onto the bottom of a large container, then lay the salmon on top. Cover the salmon with the remaining curing mix, seal with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the miso mustard – combine the miso paste and mustard together in a food processor.

To serve – remove the salmon from the curing mix and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towel, then slice thinly using a sharp knife. Halve the bagels and lightly toast in an oven. Spread each bagel half generously with cream cheese. Layer thickly with salmon slices, followed by dollops of miso mustard. Scatter with preserved lemon and chopped chives, then finish with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Buddha bowl

LOWER EAST | Serves 2-4


1 bunch baby beetroots

220g fresh lotus root

250ml vegetable oil, for frying

1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped

1 bunch Chinese broccoli, roughly chopped

shelled edamame

4 eggs, poached

salt & pepper

red rice

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

½ cup finely shredded coconut 1

½ cups Thai red rice, rinsed

400ml coconut milk

350ml water

2 tsp caster sugar

golden sauerkraut

1kg green cabbage

1 cup carrot, grated

2 tsp ginger, grated

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp sea salt flakes

Chef’s note: Lower East ferment their own sauerkraut from scratch for this recipe. This is a fantastic technique to learn, but you can substitute with store-bought if you prefer. Also, if you can’t find fresh lotus root, use a frozen alternative found in Asian grocery stores.


For the sauerkraut – remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. Finely grate the remaining cabbage and place with the rest of the ingredients in large mixing bowl. Massage the mixture with your hands until the vegetables release their juices and the mixture begins to soften, adding salt to extract more moisture if necessary.

Pack the mixture tightly into sterilised jars. Firmly push the reserved cabbage leaves into the top of the jar, removing as much air as possible, then seal with a lid. Ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks, or until the sauerkraut is soft but not mushy, and has a fresh, spicy and acidic flavour. Discard the cabbage leaves and store the jars in the refrigerator.

For the red rice – heat the coconut oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the shredded coconut and toast, stirring, until golden. Add the rice, coconut milk and water, then stir through the sugar and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.

For the beetroots – keeping some of the stem intact, place the beetroots in a pot of cold water over a medium-high heat. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the flesh can be easily penetrated with a knife. Remove from the heat, cool and peel, then cut into quarters.

For the lotus root – slice the root into 1cm pieces and fry in the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

For the Asian greens – heat some vegetable oil in a hot wok until smoking. Toss the bok choy and Chinese broccoli in the wok for 2 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To finish – arrange the sauerkraut, red rice, lotus root, beetroot, edamame and Asian greens in equal proportions in a shallow bowl. Finish with the two poached eggs in the middle and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

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