Take a wok on the wild side with me

Welcome to A Wok on the Wild Side.

Please join me in my adventures in the culinary world and all things gastronomic.

Food, travel, books, music and the arts are all close to my heart, not to mention my tastebuds!

I've enjoyed tasting and testing recipes since I was a child in primary school who insisted on helping Mum stir her cake batters and test her bread and butter puddings for afternoon tea.

Recipe - Cumquat jam

Cumquat jam

My friend Julie Walker recently gave me a bunch of cumquats (also known as kumquats), fresh from her tree.

I thought the intense citrus flavour would be best enjoyed by making the fruit into a jam, so here is my own recipe for cumquat jam.

Some recipes involve boiling and then straining the fruit, squeezing the pulp in a piece of muslin and then adding sugar.

It sounded all too fiddly for me and I prefer my jam with more body, anyway, so here's my take, jam-packed with pulp and all.

Thanks, Julie!

1 cup cumquats, washed

Recipe - Chicken larb

I was wondering what to cook for dinner (my daily dilemma) when I saw chicken mince on special and decided to cook up that Thai favourite, chicken larb or salad.

Served with steamed rice, it was the perfect dish for a warm summer evening.

The sweet-sour-salty-spicy combination soon had the tastebuds tingling, so here is my take on this popular salad.

Any mince can be used, including seafood, pork or quail.

Thai chicken larb

Serves 4

1 tbsp peanut oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely

Happy Chinese New Year 2018

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

February 16, 2018 marks the start of the Year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese zodiac.

According to the zodiac analysis, people born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive.

They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life and usually enjoy harmonious relationships with other people.

Their strengths include being valiant, loyal, responsible, clever, courageous and lively, but like all other zodiac signs they also have their weaknesses.

Valentine's Day 2018

Valentine's Day 2018

Did you send your love a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day?

Flowers have always been favourites when it comes to that special day for lovers, also known as a money-making opportunity for florists, chocolate, lingerie and jewellery shops.

According to tradition, roses symbolise love, tulips say believe me because I love you, orange blossoms mean eternal love and primroses mean they can't live without you.

Sometimes, though, a floral gift doesn't have the desired response.

Book review: 101 Things to take the stress out of Christmas By Robin Snow Published by Short Books RRP$12.99 If the thought of Christmas gets you into stress mode, perhaps this little book might help. 101 Things to take the stress out of Chri

Book review

101 Things to take the stress out of Christmas

By Robin Snow

Published by Short Books


If the thought of Christmas gets you into stress mode, perhaps this little book might help.

101 Things to take the stress out of Christmas is full of tips on how to deal with the last minute shopping, slaving over a hot turkey, entertaining the in-laws and more.

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

A Wok on the Wild Side would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

In the words of the festive tune, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas when the leg of ham is in the fridge, when I put cranberry sauce on my shopping list and I wonder if mango sorbet will go well with Christmas pudding.

Hopefully I will wake up early enough on Christmas Eve to get the largest oysters for dinner and prepare a vegetarian alternative to turkey and ham for my vegetarian daughter.

Taste of Melbourne 2017

Taste of Melbourne 2017

You can win a double pass to Taste of Melbourne 2017! Read on.

Where cuisine and culture collide.

This is the theme for this year's Taste of Melbourne which moves to its iconic new home at the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s Yarra Park.

Celebrate this annual food and culture feast at the start of summer from 30 November to 3 December 2017!

Father's Day 2017

Father's Day 2017

Celebrate Father's Day this Sunday, 3 September 2017 with a special meal and a gift that he likes.

If he's an avid reader, try these books for starters.

Sam's Best Shot

By Dr James Best

Allen and Unwin

This is an inspiring book for anyone whose life has been touched by autism.

Life with a teenage boy on the autism spectrum has its challenges and 14-year-old Sam is a world authority on Harry Potter, but can't get to the corner store on his own.


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