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Top 10 Signature Dishes in Australia

Updated on July 10, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

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

Australia - The Awesome Aussies

South Pacific cuisines originate among Aborigines and Aboriginals as well as from British immigrants to Australia in the past.

Some of the favorite recipes below might be among those you might enjoy and I hope you do try and enjoy them.

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Mount Evelyn railway station, Melbourne, Australia; 1920.The Gold Coast in Queensland
Mount Evelyn railway station, Melbourne, Australia; 1920.
Mount Evelyn railway station, Melbourne, Australia; 1920.
The Gold Coast in Queensland
The Gold Coast in Queensland

A Simple Christmas Cake


  • 2 Sticks of butter
  • 1/2 Lb light brown sugar
  • 5 Whole Eggs
  • 1.5 Lb Mixed candied fruit
  • 1/4 Lb Candied cherries
  • 1/4 Lb Candied lemon peel
  • 4 Tbsp Rum
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 Lb all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Almond halves for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C or 350 degrees F
  2. Line a 3 Lb. 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 2.5 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 | Source

Lamb Kebab with Tomato Yogurt

Serves 4


  • About 1 Lb or 400g of minced lamb
  • 1 onion, grated fine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Whole egg, well beaten
  • 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon and ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • Tomato Yogurt Dressing: Combine 1 Cup yogurt, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp tomato sauce; mix and store in the refrigerator


  1. Combine all ingredients except the dressing in bow and mixl.
  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 - 7 minutes.
  5. Serve with Tomato Yogurt Dressing. Serves 4.

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. | Source

Brawn Loaf


  • 1 Lb or 500g of an inexpensive cut of beef, chopped
  • 1/2 Lb or 250g pickled pork, chopped
  • 1 Veal knuckle, cut up into quarters
  • 6 Whole peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • A pinch of your favorite herbs
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarse
  • 1 large carrot, chopped coarse
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp 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 2.5 - 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.

Anzac Biscuits

Deviled carrots are both attractive on the plate and delicious.
Deviled carrots are both attractive on the plate and delicious.

Deviled Carrots

Serves 4


  • 13 ounces or 375g carrots
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp 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. | Source

Balmain Bugs


  • 8 large balmain bugs (slipper lobsters) or 2 large lobster tails
  • Mango Sauce: 1 large Mango peeled, seeded, and cut up, 3 Tbsp sour cream, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce. Mix and belnd in a blended until chunky-smooth.


  1. Lower meat into a large pot of salted boiling water.
  2. Simmer meat uncovered for 4-5 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. Serve with Mango Sauce

Honey Baked Figs with Walnuts

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. | Source

Wattelseed Pavlova


  • 2 ounces or 50g unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 3.5 ounces or 100g hazelnuts
  • 2 ounces or 50g pecans
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 6 egg whites (save the yols fo rsomething else)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine granulated sugar
  • 6.5 fl oz container or 200 ml heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp 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 or 110g of roasted and ground wattleseeds, 2.5 cups or 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.


Preheat the oven to 150 Degrees C or 300 Degrees F

Sugar Crust

  1. In a blender or food processor, chop macadamia nuts finely and place in to a small bowl.
  2. Chop hazelnuts and pecans in the same way and set aside.
  3. Place sugar and cinnamon in food processor for 15 seconds, then add all the nuts and process the whole thing for 20 seconds.


  1. Grease and then line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk egg whites with vinegar to soft peaks.
  3. Add half the sugar gradually to the whites and whisk until stiff. Then add in the rest of the sugar.

Continuing onward:

  1. Scrape meringue batter into prepared pan all at once and spread evenly.
  2. Sprinkle the finished crust mixture evenly over the meringue.
  3. Bake 20-22 minutes.
  4. Remove the meringue and place a clean tea towel over the top and invert the cake onto a cake rack to cool completely.
  5. Trim the sides with a knife and remove parchment paper if it stuck.
  • Whip the cream halfway, add Gundabluey, and whip together until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the Wattleseed-cream evenly over meringue and roll the pavlova carefully like a jelly roll and serve.

Lemon Chicken in the Outback

A Traditional Christmas Cake


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


  1. Preheat your oven to 140 Degrees C or 300 Degrees 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 20cm or 9-ince 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 - 3½ 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.

To Serve: frost the cake with a powdered sugar/butter icing and decorate with Holiday items, if desired.

Australia Signature Family: Irwin Family Statue

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      ilove australia and foods ..

    • profile image

      Amanda Louise 

      9 years ago

      Balmain Bugs sound disgusting.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Alex Anton 

      10 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

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

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      10 years ago from Australia

      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 profile image


      10 years ago from Cyber Space

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

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

    • profile image

      Operation Jam Jar 

      10 years ago

      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 profile image


      10 years ago

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

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 

      10 years ago from the Web

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

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      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 profile image


      11 years ago from australia

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

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

    • stricktlydating profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      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 profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      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 profile image


      12 years ago from Singapore

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

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

    • Jennifer Bhala profile image

      Jennifer Bhala 

      12 years ago from Upstate New York

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

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      12 years ago from Wisconsin

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

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

    • profile image

      Vic Cherikoff 

      12 years ago

      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 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 profile image


      12 years ago

      very nice stuff

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      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 profile image


      12 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      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 profile image


      12 years ago from Washington, USA

      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":

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      12 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      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

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      12 years ago from Sydney

      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 profile image

      B.T. Evilpants 

      12 years ago from Hell, MI

      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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