Medicine, food or quarantine delight

Thursday March 26, 2020 Written by Published in Art
Wonton pastry or filo rolled with coconut oil is a great substitute for traditional strudel dough. 20032504 Wonton pastry or filo rolled with coconut oil is a great substitute for traditional strudel dough. 20032504

If you are in quarantine, have fun with chestnuts.


I‘i  or mape, the unique Pacific chestnut season is on. Most probably  introduced from Tahiti, the Polynesian chestnut is a staple in the Pacific and played an important part as a food for voyaging.

As you all know, just peel, boil and eat … or prepare the popular kanakā. It’s used as both a medicine and food.

I set myself a challenge to come up with a new dish with  i’i.  We’ve got a few trees at home and the first challenge is getting them down from the trees.

My dish is a Chestnut and Roast Onion Strudle with a Asian-style Essence of shallots, bacon, nu, ginger, garlic, soy, lemongrass and green onions … the crispiness of the strudle combined with its delicious  flavours is a sensational combination of flavours and textures with umami essence, that gets your senses going when it get to the table.

As a vegetarian version you can replace the bacon with dried fruits like red currants.

The strudle is a great way of holding flavours and bits together in a crispy pastry. It’s actually like a ravioli dough.

It does not have eggs or fat, but if you do not want to make your strudle from scratch, you can use filo pastry or large wonton wrappers.

I am suggesting four layers of filo with coconut oil instead of butter (if you do not have a good pastry roller).



Make 2 strudles, serves 4 people


1 packet of filo pastry

1 can of coconut cream, Samoan

1 bag of cooked chestnuts, thinly sliced, soaked in the hot coconut cream for ½ hour

1 onion, peeled and sliced

1 nu flesh, sliced thinly

salt and pepper to season

100ml extra virgin coconut oil



1.    Heat the oven to 250C.

2.    Get a baking tray ready for the two strudles.

3.    Drain the chestnut slices from the hot coconut cream.

4.    Mix all ingredients in a pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5.    Brush each sheet with extra virgin coconut oil and layer six filo sheets for each strudle. Spread a layer of the mix evenly on the filo sheets and leave 2cm edge all around the sheet.

6.    Start rolling up the strudle from your end, evenly, and tuck in the sides.

7.    Place the strudle with the overlapping sheets onto the baking tray.

8.    Brush with coconut oil and bake for 45 mins, turn the oven down to 200C when you put the baking tray into the oven.

9.    When baked, set aside until good to handle.

Asian-style essence

2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 red onions, peeled and chopped

1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

4 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and chopped

2 smoked bacon rashers,, grilled to crispy and chopped finely

1 Tbsp palm sugar

2 Tbsp Lotau soy sauce

½ tsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp Chinese of white wine

! Tbsp arrowroot starch, dissolved in 100ml water

1 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar (you may need more water to get the right “jus style” consistency)

Salt and pepper, to taste



1.    Heat Wok or large heavy sautee pan add the coconut oil.

2.    Add all dry ingredients and sautee until golden brown.

3.    Add all wet ingredients except the arrowroot with water.

4.    Once well combined and hot, stir and add the arrowroot with the water slowly, observing the thickening consistency. The starch needs to cook for two or three minutes to thicken properly.

5.    Make a consistency like jus lie or light gravy … not too thick and season to taste.



Put some of the Asian essence in the middle of the plate, place the strudle portion on top and garnish with:

4 stems fresh thyme or coriander, leaves de-stemmed

2 sprigs green onion, sliced into julienne

2 Tbsp each of pawpaw and tomato, chopped to small dice

You can add seasoned thick coconut cream, sour cream or avocado tartare on the side … or you can sprinkle with dessicated coconut or chopped nuts  if you like.

Bon appetit!

This is great to serve with a fresh garden salad, or sauteed or stirfried seasonal greens.

Enjoy your great vegetarian dish today! Tou can add some red or wild pilaf rice – but that has more carbs.

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