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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.


I first experienced Kim Chi, before the turn of the century, as uni students we visited the local Korean BBQ joint. Sitting on the floor, barbecuing dinner over hot coals, served with a large selection of Korean side dishes. And the one side dish that you eat with every meal (and I mean every meal) is Kim Chi – a pickled fermented cabbage. This is one of the recipes we make together in winter preserving - fermentation.

Kimchi recipe jacican 008


Kim Chi is made from salted and fermented vegetables, with the addition of Korean chili powder (Gochugaru), ginger, garlic, leek and fish sauce. The most common form of Kim Chi – the one you eat with everything, is made using Chinese Cabbage, Wok Bok. I have made a daikon radish and turnip varieties before as well.


2 kg Chinese cabbage – Wok Bok
200 g salt

Kimchi recipe jacican 006


Kimchi Paste

150 grams gochugaru – Korean chili powder*
300 grams leek
30 grams garlic – minced
20 grams ginger – minced
200 grams daikon – shredded
20 ml fish sauce
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar

If you would like to make a vegetarian version, feel free to leave the fish sauce out.


Day 1

Cut the Chinese cabbage in half, then quarters. Place in a non-corrosives bowl. Sprinkle the 200 grams of salt between the leaves of the cabbage. Cover with cold water and leave overnight, up to 24 hours. You will need to weight down the cabbage with a kimchi stone. I just use a couple of dinner plates.


Year Seven Mirboo North Secondary College Student Hayden Anders got the chance recently to demonstrate both his cooking and communication skills, being interviewed by Johnathon Kendall on ABC Gippsland Radio's Breakfast Show over the recent school holidays.

Potted Duck

At Jacican, when I say local produce, I mean local produce.

And nothing can get more local than wild Gippsland game. Using local sourced and hunted game meats, I will cook you a dinner to remember highlighting local seafood, poultry, and meats. Distinctive and unique meals are created using the range of fruits and vegetables as well as native herbs and spiced found in the Jacican vegetable garden. Potted Duck is about as local as you can get.

This is more of a method than an exact recipe. I am using local native herbs and spices to flavor my duck. Traditionally you would use Star Anise, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks and black peppercorns. I have started to grow a native herb garden in the backyard to serve as a source of my own herbs and spice, but also as a windbreak for the south side of the yard.

Roasting is not all about the meat. There are some great things you can do with vegetables as well. Char-grilled cauliflowers make a fantastic alternative roasted meal. A friend gave me the pickled green walnuts to balance of the dish.

roast cauliflower 01



1 head of cauliflower

Olive oil

Pumpkin – peeled and cut into roasting chucks

2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots – peeled

65 grams unsalted butter

½ cup almond meal

100 ml cream

Salt & pepper to taste

Pickled Green Walnuts – sliced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C

  2. Place the pumpkin, carrots, and cloves of garlic on a roasting tray. Sprinkle ½ a cup of olive oil on to the top of the vegetables. Roasted in a hot oven for 1 hour or until cooked through.

  3. Once the pumpkin, carrots, and garlic are cooked to soft, puree in the food processors. I would then press the mixture through a sieve to make the mixture really smooth. Put aside until needed.

  4. Slice the cauliflower into 4 'steaks'. This is done by slicing through the cauliflower from the top of the plant through to the core.

  5. Heat a char grilling pan until smoking hot. Brush with a little olive oil to stop the cauliflower sticking. Place the cauliflower steaks on the chargrill for 5 minutes per side to make chargrilled lines in the vegetable.

  6. Place the cauliflower steaks in a hot oven for 6 minutes to finish cooking through.

  7. While the cauliflower is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add cream and heat through. Stir in pumpkin puree and almond meal. Season to taste with salt and pepper. roast cauliflower 02

  8. To serve place pumpkin puree on a plate. Top with chard cauliflower steak and scatter with pickled walnut slices.


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