Often referred to as ‘Bush Tucker’, the Australian native herbs and spices have garnered a lot of interest in recent times as a result of Australian chef’s looking for new and exciting tastes and flavours to show case their talents. Australia is a vast continent with most of the inland areas are arid or desert. It almost comes as a miracle for some people as to how the Australian Aborigines survived for centuries in its harsh climatic conditions.
Well, their secret lies in the natural spices and plants that sustained the lives of these tribal people. These spices are known to add amazing flavours to the dish. They have been used by the tribal people for their exciting taste and medicinal uses and spiritual powers.
But do not worry! We are here to help you incorporate native Aussie spices in your cooking so that you can prepare mouth-watering dishes, all the time!
What are the Native Australian Spices?
Australian native spices have their own unique flavours but there are similarities to some of the herbs and spices we are more familiar with. Here we help you match the Australian native spices so you can substitute with your regular spices easily into your favorite dishes
Some of the more commonly used native Aussie spices include:
Wattle seed – subtle coffee like flavour
Lemon myrtle – lemongrass/lemon verbena or lemon rind
Mountain pepper berries- Sichuan pepper/cloves/black pepper
Old man Salt bush- alternative for salt or olives
Anise myrtle- subtle licorice flavour like fennel/anise
Using Native Australian Spices in Cooking
Since the native spices have a strong flavour, it is important to understand how to use these spices optimally. Australian cuisine has incorporated all the native spices of the continent and can be used while cooking red meats, vegetables, white meat, and even grains. You can blend all the spices together and rub onto chicken, red meats, or fish along with some salt and create amazing dishes.
How Much to Use?
Each dish has its own requirement of spice mixture. The spice ratio that works for one dish might not work for the other. Therefore, you need to understand it yourself how much of the spice you need to add to each dish. Here we will give you an example of a spice mix which you can use for preparing mouth-watering 500 g of meat /fish or vegetable preparations:
Ausssie native lemon pepper spice rub
Lemon Myrtle: ½ teaspoon*
Anise Myrtle: ¼ teaspoon*
Pepper berry cracked : ¼ teaspoon*
Pepper leaf: 1 teaspoon*
Saltbush: 1 ½ teaspoon*
Black cracked pepper: 1 ½ teaspoon*
*1 teaspoon= 5 ml
Now, we hope you have a brief idea of how to incorporate native spices in your cooking to prepare authentically flavoured Australian dishes. Happy Cooking!
If you want to buy Australian native spices, the author of this article suggests The Spice People.