9 Signature Dishes of Australia

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is interested in early American history, the Civil War, and the 19th century.

Mount Evelyn railway station, Melbourne, Australia, 1920

Mount Evelyn railway station, Melbourne, Australia, 1920

Australian Cuisine

Australian cuisine blends the culinary traditions of the Indigenous people as well as primarily British immigrants.

I hope you enjoy the recipes I've shared below.

The Gold Coast, Queensland

The Gold Coast, Queensland

Simple Christmas Cake


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 pound light brown sugar
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed candied fruit
  • 1/4 pound candied cherries
  • 1/4 pound candied lemon peel
  • 4 tablespoons rum
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 pound all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Almond halves for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
  2. Line a 3-pound cake or bundt pan with 3 thicknesses of wax paper.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Beat eggs together well and gradually add to butter.
  5. Gradually add the rum.
  6. Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and spices alternately with the fruit.
  7. Place in and decorate with almond halves.
  8. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Cool on a cooling rack and remove from pan, and invert onto a serving plate with almonds facing up.
Tomato yogurt

Tomato yogurt

Lamb Kebab With Tomato Yogurt

Yield: 4 servings


For the lamb:

  • About 1 pound / 400 grams minced lamb
  • 1 onion, grated fine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg, well beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

For the tomato yogurt dressing:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce


  1. Combine all lamb ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  2. Divide the mixture into 8 balls and roll into sausage link shapes.
  3. Put two "sausages" onto each skewer.
  4. Place under hot broiler, turning frequently for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Serve lamb skewers with tomato yogurt dressing.
Brawn is the Australian style of loaf Americans know as souse or headcheese.

Brawn is the Australian style of loaf Americans know as souse or headcheese.

Brawn Loaf


  • 1 pound / 500 grams inexpensive cut of beef, chopped
  • 1/2 pound / 250 grams pickled pork, chopped
  • 1 veal knuckle, cut into quarters
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of your favorite herbs
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large carrot, chopped coarsely
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon salt


  1. Place meat in large saucepan.
  2. Add enough water to cover, add remaining ingredients, cover and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat flakes with a fork.
  4. Drain, reserve stock and remove bones. Strain stock and return 4 cups to the saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes or until stock has reduced by half.
  6. Stir into the prepared meat and vegetables.
  7. Place in a loaf pan moistened with stock.
  8. Cool on a cooling rack on the counter and then chill in the refrigerator until well set.
  9. Serve cold, sliced, with vinegar and mustard.
Deviled carrots are both attractive on the plate and delicious.

Deviled carrots are both attractive on the plate and delicious.

Deviled Carrots

Yield: 4 servings


  • 13 ounces / 375 grams carrots
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Wash and pare carrots and cut into matchsticks.
  2. Sauté carrot sticks in butter 2 minutes.
  3. Remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes.
Balmains as a main dish

Balmains as a main dish

Balmain Bugs With Mango Sauce


  • 8 large balmain bugs (slipper lobsters) or 2 large lobster tails
  • 1 large mango, peeled, seeded, and cut up
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce


  1. Lower meat into a large pot of salted boiling water.
  2. Simmer meat uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until shells are red.
  3. Separate heads from bodies. Use sharp kitchen scissors to cut along the soft underside of the bugs.
  4. Pull shell apart and ease out the flesh. Cut each piece of flesh in half, lengthways.
  5. In a bowl, combine mango, sour cream, lime juice, brown sugar, and Thai sweet chili sauce. Mix until chunky-smooth.
  6. Serve cooked balmain with mango sauce.
Wattelseed pavlova with fruit topping. This is a dish often enjoyed during Christmas Week.

Wattelseed pavlova with fruit topping. This is a dish often enjoyed during Christmas Week.

Wattelseed Pavlova


  • 2 ounces / 50 grams unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 3 1/2 ounces / 100 grams hazelnuts
  • 2 ounces / 50 grams pecans
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 egg whites (save the yolks for something else)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine granulated sugar
  • 6 1/2 ounces / 200 ml heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Wattleseed (Gundabluey) Mud

Gundabluey Mud

This preparation is mud-like and made from water absorbed into roasted and ground wattleseeds over a very low flame or electric heat. Never boil seeds or you'll get a bitter taste.

  1. In a large enough pan, put 3 ounces (110 grams) of roasted and ground wattleseeds, 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) of water, and a pinch of salt
  2. Cook over medium heat until water bubbles, but do not boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer until the grounds meet the surface of the liquid.
  4. Blend the cooked grounds in a blender on high speed until smooth.
  5. Place mud into a tightly covered container and keep it cool in the refrigerator.

Additional Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C or 300°F.
  2. Prepare the sugar crust: In a blender or food processor, chop macadamia nuts finely and place them into a small bowl. Chop hazelnuts and pecans in the same way and set aside. Place sugar and cinnamon in food processor for 15 seconds, then add all the nuts and process the whole thing for 20 seconds.
  3. Prepare the meringue: Grease and then line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites with vinegar to soft peaks. Add half the sugar gradually to the whites and whisk until stiff. Then add in the rest of the sugar.
  4. Scrape meringue batter into prepared pan all at once and spread evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the finished crust mixture evenly over the meringue.
  6. Bake 20 to 22 minutes.
  7. Remove the meringue and place a clean tea towel over the top and invert the cake onto a cake rack to cool completely.
  8. Trim the sides with a knife and remove parchment paper if it stuck.
  9. Whip the cream halfway, add Gundabluey, and whip together until stiff peaks form.
  10. Spread the Wattleseed-cream evenly over meringue and roll the pavlova carefully like a jelly roll and serve.

Traditional Christmas Cake


  • 2 cups / 450 grams candied cherries
  • 1 cup / 225 grams mixed citrus peels
  • 1 1/2 cups / 300 grams sultanas or raisins (dark or golden)
  • 1 cup / 150 grams dried currants
  • 3/4 cup / 175 grams dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup / 125 grams blanched almonds (no skins), chopped
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml brandy
  • 1/3 cup / 50 grams all-purpose plain flour
  • 1 1/3 cups / 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup / 225 grams butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups / 450 grams dark brown soft sugar
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup / 175 ml molasses or light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup / 175 ml apple juice or apple cider


  1. Preheat your oven to 140°C or 300°F.
  2. In a large non-metallic mixing bowl, place cherries, citrus, sultanas, currants, dates, and almonds.
  3. Stir in the brandy, place on the coutner to sit overnight.
  4. Next morning, stir flour into the soaking fruits, nuts and peels.
  5. Line a 20-cm or 9-inch diameter cake pan with parchment paper by folding it into quarters and cutting all into a quarter circle like a paper snowflake. Open the circle and place in the bottom of the pan.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, combine the second measure of flour with the baking soda, spices, and salt in a small bowl.
  7. Beat butter in a small bowl with until light and fluffy.
  8. Slowly and gradually beat in the brown sugar and eggs with the butter.
  9. Mix the molasses and apple juice and beat this mixture into butter mixture alternately with the flour mixture.
  10. Into the larger combined mixture, fold the floured fruit and then spread the whole into the prepared cake pan.
  11. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until a knife blade comes out of the center of the cake clean. Cool on a cooling rack, remove form pan, and and wrap foil, sitting it in a cool, dry place.
  12. To serve: Frost the cake with a powdered sugar/butter icing and decorate with holiday items, if desired.

Anzac Biscuits

Lemon Chicken in the Outback

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


ching on January 29, 2012:

ilove australia and foods ..

Amanda Louise on December 21, 2011:

Balmain Bugs sound disgusting.

louie on September 12, 2011:

i went here to learn how to cook an Australian cuisine and make it in my home and to make my project !

Alex Anton on May 12, 2011:

Nice recipes! Of course, keep away from teflon, which is very bad for ones healh. So don't cook with teflon pans.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 27, 2011:

Delicacy to Americans, probly! I've enjoyed your comments and info, Karanda.

Karen Wilton from Australia on January 27, 2011:

Vegemite as a delicacy? Most of us Aussies think of it as a staple part of our diet to spread on toast for breakfast but would add it to the Brawn Loaf (or what we call Meatloaf) for a bit of extra beefy flavour. I must admit I haven't tried Wattleseed in my Pavlova but I'm always happy to bake a batch of Anzac biscuits.

Apart from the backyard Barbie (BBQ), meat pies and pea and ham soup on Australia Day, our dishes are made up of a myriad of culture and cuisine from around the globe. Italian, French, Asian and Indian.

We use a lot of fresh seafood because it is readily available but I have yet to try or have even heard of Balmain Bugs but love the Moreton Bay Bug Tails how ever you want to serve them.

Aboriginal cuisine is something quite different again and needs a hot wood fire burned down to the coals and preferably the whole kangaroo, goanna or bush turkey ready to throw on not long after it has been killed.

writer83 from Cyber Space on November 11, 2010:

Wow! I think it is good to try making this dishes in my free time. I hope my kids will enjoy it :)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 11, 2010:

Those are different, Operation! Thanks for sending a good link.

Operation Jam Jar on October 11, 2010:

Funnily enough I just wrote a post about my top 11 meals (couldn't stop at 10!)

I'm from Sydney Australia

Would love to hear your thoughts Patty

Ingenira on October 04, 2010:

I like the lamington, that comes with a few flavours. Nougat from Australia is irresistable too.

Spider Girl from the Web on August 16, 2010:

The Wattleseed Pavlova seems delicious, I must try it at once! Great hub!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 28, 2009:

Hi salt, I'll have a look at your page. I was just thinking last week about how Terry, in fifteen years, went from meeting Steve Irwin to owning Australia zoo. I also stll think of her as an American in Australia and wonder how big the zoo will become, and what her father-in-law is doing at his new installation.

salt from australia on December 27, 2009:

You can buy vegemite from the amazon link on my page vegemite and other traditional australian foods. I like your recipes. I agree about Steve Irwins death being sad.

I find it difficult though to see Terry Irwin as Australian - as a born and breed australian, we like her, but I dont think she is perceived as Australian or a representation of the Australian woman. She is seen as a strong American who married an iconic aussie crocodile hunter.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 25, 2009:

BBQ is pretty popular there, then, isn't it? Thanks for all the comments.

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on September 25, 2009:

Hi from Sydney Australia, you're Hub has most of my favourite Aussie meals listed here! Well done! The top meal here would be a BBQ dinner though!

awsydney from Sydney, Australia on September 21, 2009:

Hi Patty, one of my favourites are Balmain bugs, great on the BBQ in summer washed down with a great Aussie chardonnay. Thanks for sharing!

johnlopez1985 from Singapore on May 27, 2009:

I've heard lots about Vegimite. Thanks for the share of all the great recipes! I have been meeting a lot of people from "down under" and learning about their food is great!


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 11, 2009:

Vegemite! - that's what I want to try. Thanks for your comments, Jennifer.

Jennifer Bhala from Upstate New York on January 11, 2009:

I love passionfruit pavlova and lamingtons and can't live without my vegemite on toast with heaps of butter of course.

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on December 28, 2008:

I've never seen Australian dishes in a cookbook or anything like that so I guess I never thought of them as having such unique foods. That was until HubPages and meeting so many of the Hubbers. Thanks for compiling these.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 24, 2008:

Thanks for the insights and a link to your site. You have many fine products and several I have not seen in the US.

Vic Cherikoff on December 23, 2008:

Like you, I have a thing for Australian cuisine. My version of any dish, whether it has an Asian, Mediterranean, American or English ancestry, would include those indigenous Australian ingredients which add the intrinsic essence of this country. Wattleseed, with its coffee, chocolate, hazelnut flavours; or Lemon myrtle sprinkle with its lemony citrus and fruit notes (not just lemon myrtle but the rainforest fruit and herb blend which make up the sprinkle - that's important); or Alpine pepper, Fruit spice, Mintbush marinade or any of the dozens of condiments, herbs, spices, infused oils, extracts, confits and more that are now quintessential to an authentic Australian cuisine.

Please have a look at www.cherikoff.net for more and get some for yourself to experience the best that this country has to offer global cuisine. Join the movement and celebrate it come January 26th.

By the way, forget about not boiling Wattleseed. It won't go bitter if you have the right wattle seeds. I bring mine to a boil in 3-4 times the volume of water to make an extract/concentrate. I add this to unsweetened cream and in a rolled Wattleseed pavlova, there's nothing like it. Please give it a go.

Lgali on December 23, 2008:

very nice stuff

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 23, 2008:

Hi, laringo! -- he Traditional cake is a fruitcake with frosting and I like it best with golden raisins and GINGER instead of allspice. Merry Christmas! The figs/honey/walnuts are delicious and very rich.

laringo from From Berkeley, California. on December 23, 2008:

The recipe names were first a little intimidating to me (lol),not really. Is the Traditional Christmas cake somewhat like a fruitcake? I think after Christmas I will try my hand at the Honey baked figs with walnuts. That recipe sounds very good. Thanks for some unique recipes.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 21, 2008:

BT - as close to authentic as we can likley get is the drippings from the outdoor cookers and pit cooking of meats and root vegetables, I think. But I will ask a food historian at the university. Please keep your antlers abd paws crossed!

Marisa! - You make me smile! Thanks very much for the enlightening information. I could only take a stab at this, really, from some recipes I collected from a couple of cultural anthropologists, from a friend that visited Queensland, and from and a couple of widows that were married to Australians here. So, some dishes may be family favorites and I suspect that they are. I may never get to visit your great country, but I want to do so.

Zsusy - It was fun sharing what I do have, however "Australian" they may or may not be. I will always think about the Irwins. Merry Christmas!

countrywomen! - Just have a small piece of cake! :) Thanks from my whole heart for those links, too -- I will always be sad about the loss of Steve. Terri went over to Australia and from her first sighting of Steve it was only 15 years for packing in about 60 years of living, Now she has such a big responsibility! I see that she is body building to gain strength in many ways. She is an inspiration. Thank you again. 

Thank you all.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 20, 2008:

Patty- Pavlova, honey figs, christmas cake and the like is so tempting that all my diet resolutions are going down the drain...LOL

P.S: Even I felt very sad at that news and even now watch his legacy which his daughter is continuing so well in the series "Bindi the jungle girl": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ywo8TQYH7o


Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on December 20, 2008:

Patty! Great hub as always. I'm glad you included the write-up about the Irwins. I too am still saddened by the loss of such a dynamic person as Steve. I'm glad for these recipes and will try a couple of them.

Seasons Greetings to you, regards Zsuzsy

Kate Swanson from Sydney on December 20, 2008:

Very clever response to this request, Patty. As an Aussie myself, I was wondering how I could possibly respond to this. We're a young country and have very few traditional dishes - Aboriginal cuisine was simple fare using fresh ingredients in their natural state.

It's hard to pick "Australian dishes" these days because our cuisine is a melting pot (no pun intended) of all the different cultural influences we've absorbed: our cafe society is thanks to our large Greek and Italian postwar immigrants, and now we all take the influence of Chinese and Vietnamese flavours and ingredients for granted.

B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on December 20, 2008:

These look awesome! But, if it's not too much trouble, I could use some authentic Australian gravy to go with it!

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