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History of food culture in Australia

Discuss about the Professional Cookery for Meat and Seafood Cuisine.

Food cultures of Australia had changed in past 40 years. In 1980, when Australia opened the gates for the Asian migrants, many of the Chinese and the Thai migrants started to earn their living by preparing Chinese cuisines (Wahlqvist, 2002). And virtually every town or the suburbs have Chinese restaurants. Asian food was introduced to Australia at the time of gold rush in 1800. The Chinese prospectors yearned for tastes of China and opening a restaurant was felt to be far better option than panning for gold (Wahlqvist, 2002). These events subsequently changed the tastes and the methods of preparation of meat and sea food as at that time most of the restaurants trends were based on the immigration pattern.

The meat, fish and the sea food cuisine are the native food of Australia that bears the history of the aboriginals. The fishing zone of the Australia is considered to be the third largest in the world and allows for a bountiful access to sea food influencing the Australian seafood. The application of the different types of spices and sauces of Chinese origin has made the Australian seafood and meat ever more delicious.

Some of the traditional food that have stormed the Australian market, but are of Chinese origin are- fried rice, tofu and tea.

The cooking techniques that has been adopted from the Chinese method of cooking are stir-frying, where the ingredients are cooked in high heat for a short period of time and the edible oil are used as the heat conductor. Another method of cooking that has been introduced from Chinese cuisine is braising, which refers to addition of ingredients and seasonings in a saucepan or wok, boiled with some water at the same time. Where the cooking method of “steaming” is invented in China where it is used for steaming the dumplings and the buns in northern china. Zhu cooking was also introduced in the Australian way of cooking, where the moist heat is used where an immersion is required to transmit the heat. Some of the cooking equipment used in Australian cuisine are of Chinese origin, such as Chinese spatula, that is mainly used for the stir frying. Bamboo steamer is an innovative cooking equipment that is circular and have a slotted bottom, allowing the steam to penetrate the food. It has the additional advantage of steaming more than one layer of food.

Introduction of Asian food through Chinese migration

Although Australia is a country that is rich in resources, but the migration of the Chinese has imposed an effect on the environment of Australia. Migration has caused overpopulation of the cities, leading to more consumption of energy. Overpopulation have led to environmental pollution due to the consumption of resources. Competition for education and employment also took place due to the immigration.

The Chinese migration was stopped from the year 1901 as per the White Australian policy, but the chefs were granted with the exemption ad from 1934, the Chinese traders were allowed to bring the non-relative worker chefs from china. Some of the typical dishes that came with Chinese migration were the sweet and sour pork, black beans and the beef, with fried rice.

Four specific dishes that has been introduced in Australia due to Chinese migration are as follows:-

  • Sweet and sour pork
  • Peking duck
  • Mongolian Beef
  • Fried rice
  • China is the home town for the chopsticks, the use of chopsticks has been introduced as a tableware even in Australia. Chinese have invented the chopsticks based on the idea that instruments for killing should not be used in the kitchens.
  • A Lazy Susan is a circular rotating plate that is usually placed at the center of the table for sharing large number of dishes among the diners. This concept has been take from Chinese cuisine.
  1. Laksa noodles
  • Product analysis- Malaysian Laksa, which is a spicy noodle soup prepared with chicken, prawns or fishes based on spicy curry coconut milk or sour asam.
  • Preparation techniques- heating, stir frying.
  • Cooking methods- The oven was preheated to about 180 degree. Chunks of squash was put on a roasting tray. The spices are bashed up in a pestle and a mortar. The spices are then sprinkled over the squash (Arvela, 2013). The chili, ginger, garlic and the coriander stalks are finely chopped in a food processor. The sesame oil, zest, lime juice and the fish sauce is added. The whole paste was then cooked in olive oil for about a minute before the addition of the chicken stock and the coconut milk. The entire content is simmered for about 15 minutes. It is then served with fish sauce, lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  1. Sweet pork bun
  • Product analysis : All-purpose flour, white sugar, dry yeast, baking powder, pork that is finely chopped, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, soy oil. Normally the buns are either made from the starter mother dough or with baker’s yeast. In buns two types of fillings can be uses sweet and savory (pork). The minced pork is stuffed with mushroom or a piece of boiled egg (Chaiwanichsiri et al., 2014). Barbecued pork or Chinese honey roast pork can also be savory filling.
  • Preparation technique: steaming
  • Cooking method: A dough is made. The oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and the corn flour is kept in a jug and are whisked. Sesame oil, soy mixture and the pork is then cooked for two minutes. The dough is then rolled in to 12 cm round in which a spoonful of pork mixture is placed in the Centre (Wang, 2017). The edges of the dough are drawn up to form the buns. The buns are then steamed for about 15 minutes before serving.
  1. Peking duck
  • Product analysis: The meat is characterized by thin skin and little meat, which is normally sliced in front of the diners. The duck bred for this dish are usually slaughtered after 65 days. The duck is rinsed inside out and the tail is cut off and discarded.
  • Preparation technique: Steaming, roasting.
  • Cooking method: A paste of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and whitepaper is put in to the cavity of the duck. The duck breast is placed in a pot and is steamed for about an hour. The oven is preheated to 375 degrees and the duck is then roasted for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven (Arvela, 2013).
  1. Dumplings 
  • Product analysis: Some of the popular meat fillings included ground meat, shrimp and fish, pork with cabbage, pork with spring onion, scrambled eggs with garlic chives.
  • Preparation technique: Steaming
  • Cooking method: flour, baking powder and sugar and salt is stirred together in a medium sized bowl. A soft dough is made. They are dropped by spoonful in to the boiling stew. Simmered for 15 minutes and served (Li & Hsieh, 2004).
  1. Hotpot
  • Product analysis: Normally thinly sliced meat, wontons, mushrooms, egg dumplings are cooked in this method.
  • Preparation techniques: simmering
  • Cooking methods: A simmering pot of soup stock is placed at the dining table containing a variety of East Asian food stuffs. The hot pot keeps on simmering. The various components are added one at a time and is being cooked at the table.
  1. Pipis with Pork and Shoaxing Wine
  • Product analysis: Fresh pipis are chosen that have been purged well out of sand and grit
  • Cooking methods: The pipis are added to a pot filled with boiling water and is boiled for 1 minute. The pipis that have not opened after three minutes are discarded. The pork mince is stirred in peanut oil with ginger –garlic paste and white pepper. Shaoxing wine is then added carefully (Chaiwanichsiri et al., 2014). White sugar and the light and chicken stock combination is then added, as the sauce thickens, the pipis are added. Shallots and sesame oil is then added and served with jasmine rice.

Top 4 Allergen related to meat and seafood

  • Shellfish
  • Tuna fish
  • Shrimp
  • Crustaceans

An individual might be allergic to certain types of proteins present in the sea food causing lethal anaphylactic reactions, low blood pressure, swelling of throat, asthmatic attack, narrowing of the airways and skin rashes. 

On an average about four foodborne illness outbreak per annum has been found to be associated to seafood. The data for the Australian food borne illness showed about 308 cases and 45 hospitalization associated to the consumption of seafood (Government of South Australia., 2015). Further breakdown of the data has revealed 65.11%, 11.63% and 23.25 % outbreaks were associated to shellfish, finfish and tuna fish consumption (Food standards, Australia. 2012). Data have also showed that one quarter of the total outbreaks were caused by scromboid poisoning. Majority of the seafood outbreaks has occurred in the New South Wales.

  • Proper regulation and management of the seafood safety by managing fish and the shellfish production.
  • Managing, harvesting, storing and sale of the food for ensuring supply of safe food product. Proper invigilation is required to check that all the canned seafood being imported or exported passes the food and safety standard.
  • In many of the cases, poor hygiene, lack of temperature control, fish toxin and the consumption of raw and uncooked seafood had been found to be the contributing factor towards allergies. Hence it is necessary to develop a robust task force in monitoring the industrial and the seafood practices.
  • Specific guidelines should be maintained regarding the preparation of dishes using the seafood associated with allergy.
  • It has been found that consumption of large Spanish mackerel increases the chance of causing ciguatera poisoning. Hence specific guidelines should be imposed by the industry experts regarding the amount of the seafood consumption.


Arvela, P. (2013). Ethnic food: the other in ourselves.

Chaiwanichsiri, S., Poonnakasem, N., & Laohasongkram, K. (2011). Process development of ready-to-eat custard cream filled Chinese steamed bun. Procedia Food Science, 1, 822-828.

 Food standards, Australia. (2012).A guide to the Australian Primary Production and Processing Standard for Seafood. Access date: 29.7.2018 .Retrieved from:

 Government of South Australia., (2015), Seafood food safety. Access date: 29.7.2018 .Retrieved from:

Li, J. R., & Hsieh, Y. H. P. (2004). Traditional Chinese food technology and cuisine. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 13(2).

NSW government, (2014), Chinese migration stories. Access date:29.7.2018., Retrieved from:

Wahlqvist, M. L. (2002). Asian migration to Australia: food and health consequences. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 11, S562-S568.

Wang, S. T. (2017). When Chinese cuisine meets western wine. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, 7, 32-40.

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