Recipes from Vanuatu

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Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym
February 25th 2007
Published: February 25th 2007
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Here are some Vanuatu recipes:
(Note: Due to variances in cooking techniques, please compare to recipes you are familiar with and adjust accordingly.)

1. Banana and Peanut Butter Biscuit

1 ¼ cup flour ½ tsp. baking powder ¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp. salt ½ c. butter ½ c. peanut butter
1 cup sugar ¼ cup bananas

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another dish mix butter, peanut butter and sugar until smooth and then add bananas. After mixing both, add the dry ingredients with the “mush.”

Cook like you would a biscuit. You may want to turn them over at one point.

2. Banana Pie

2 cups flour 3 teaspoon butter 1 egg 1 can coconut milk
Sugar vanilla 6 bananas

Mix butter with flour, add 1 egg. Cut bananas and add some sugar to them. Put dough in pie dish. Spread it like you would a crust but it’s not going to bake like a crust so don’t worry that it’s not thin (don’t bother rolling it.) Poke holes with a fork in the dough. Add bananas to dish. Cover with 1 can coconut milk. Bake till dough looks done.

3. Sweet potato salad

Make like you would a potato salad but using these ingredients.

Sweet potato (not yams, it should be white not orange)
Spring onion
Boiled egg

4. Sweet Vegetables

3 tablespoons oil 4 big onions 6 cups any vegetables
1 ½ cups coconut milk 4 mangoes 1 teaspoon salt

Chop onion an vegetables and sauté onion in the oil until the onion is clear. After, add vegetables and coconut milk and cook until the vegetables are almost done.

Cut mangoes (peel first) long and add them to the vegetables. Cook until mangoes are hot, but not too much.

5. Banana Chicken

4 bananas 1 small pumpkin 1 chicken
2 green onions 1 ½ teaspoon salt 1 pepper
1 can coconut milk (add another if you think you need it)

Peel all bananas and cut them long. Put them in the bottom of the saucepan. Put chicken on top. Cut the green onion and put them on top. Peel pumpkin and cut into long squares. Cut pepper. Put pumpkin and pepper on top of chicken. Pour coconut milk on top. Cook 30 minutes on stove top. (Could try in oven as well).

6. Juice Cake

2 cup flour ¾ cup fresh juice (orange or pineapple)
½ cup sugar 1/3 cup oil
3 teaspoons baking powder 1 egg ½ teaspoon salt

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add juice. Grease bottom of a long tin with oil. After, add some flour to cover up the oil. Pour batter inside and bake until fork comes out clean.

7. Coconut scones

4 tablespoons coconut cream dry coconut
2 teaspoon sugar 1 egg
2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add coconut cream, sugar, and egg. Mix well. Add ½ cup dry coconut. Add baking powder. Mix well. Add flour slowly until all is added. Dough should be slightly strong. Divide into 12 balls and place them on a tray or in cupcake tins. Bake until they are brown.

8. Gato (doughnuts)

5 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon yeast
2 cups water (or 2 cups coconut milk) oil

Mix flour, sugar and yeast. Make the water hot, but not too much. Add dry ingredients until the dough is soft and wet. Cover up bowl and leave it for 30 minutes until it rises. Heat oil (deep frying style). You can make balls or make them into doughnut shapes. Fry on each side until done.

9. Coconut cake

1 can coconut cream 2 eggs 1 cup sugar
¾ cup flour

(This recipe is fried-try to perfect it).

Mix together. Add to a greased pan and bake.

10. Indian Curry

3 Tablespoons oil 2 teaspoons curry 1 large onion
2 large tomatoes 6 pieces garlic 2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons ginger 1 cup coconut cream 1 hot pepper
Chicken 2 teaspoons salt peanuts
Optional: pumpkins or potatoes

Cut onion, pepper, garlic and ginger. Sauté in some oil. Put salt, pepper and curry in. Cut tomato and add to vegetables along with the coconut cream and lemon juice. Mix everything. Then, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is done. Top with peanuts. If you add potato or pumpkin, put it in before the meat as those can take a while to cook. I’d add them before the coconut cream and add water a little at a time to help them cook.

11. Coconut syrup
(Tastes like caramel. Won’t get too thick).

1 cup coconut milk 1 cup sugar

Cook sugar only in a saucepan until all the sugar caramelizes. Add coconut milk. Keep cooking and stirring until it’s the consistency of yogurt.

12. Coconut jam

3 parts coconut milk 2 parts sugar

Follow directions as for coconut syrup.

13. Fried pumpkin

Small pumpkin 1 cup flour 1 egg
Spring onion Oil

Boil the pumpkin until soft. Mash the pumpkin. Add flour, egg mix in a small amount of water and spring onion. It should be moist enough to form small patties but not too sticky.

After, fry on both sides like you are making a pancake or potato pancakes.

14. Mango chutney

3 half ripe mangoes 2 tablespoon oil 1 clove crushed garlic
1 piece ginger root, about 1 inch peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon hot chili powder ¼ teaspoon cumin
1 ¼ cup vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ¾ cup packed sugar

This recipe makes about 52 ounces, so jar it properly for storing.

Peel and cut 1/8 inch slices from mangoes. Try not to include fibrous parts from around the pits. Heat oil in a large saucepan and ad mangoes, ginger, garlic, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes. Liquid should thicken and become syrupy and mangoes translucent.

Prepare jars and lids. Keep hot. Ladle hot chutney into jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. Release trapped air and put on lids.

15. Nutella stuffed French toast
Or Peanut Butter and Jelly French toast

Make like you would French toast but instead of just putting 1 piece of bread in the egg mixture and frying, try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or 2 pieces of bread with nutella in the middle.

16. Banana Cake

2 ¼ cups flour 1 cup mashed banana ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ cups coconut milk (cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup butter 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups sugar 2 eggs

Grease a saucepan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, throw in the dry ingredients and stir together. Then add the wet ingredients and beat it until combined. Pour batter into the saucepan and bake about 25 minutes. Many things can be substituted for banana; pumpkin, papaya, pineapple, etc.

16. Peanut Butter

Fresh roasted or salted peanuts. Remove skins from peanuts. It’s wise to start with a bland oil-safflower or vegetable oil, Allow 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons to 1 cup of peanuts. If nuts are unsalted, add salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons of salt per cup of peanuts). Blend in a blender, or food processor. Wherever it’s easier to carry out.

17. Peanut Cakes

2 cups cooked white sweet potato 1 cup grated coconut
2 teaspoons salt 1 beaten egg or 2 tbsp. flour (binding)
2 cups of ground roasted peanuts

Mix all ingredients thoroughly; add a little water, milk or coconut cream if necessary to moisten the mixture. Make into flat cakes. Fry in fat or bake in an oven. This mixture makes about 20 small cakes.

18. Curried Peanuts

Melt a tablespoon of oil or fat in a pan. Add a teaspoon of curry powder and a chopped chili to the oil. Cook the raw peanuts slowly in the pan.

19. Peanut Butter Candy
2 cups sugar ½ cup milk 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Put sugar, milk and peanut butter in a pot and mix well together. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the fire and beat steadily to cool. Pour into cake tin. When it sets, cut it into squares.

20. Peanut Bars

2 cups flour 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk 1 egg ½ cup sugar
2 tablespoon butter a pinch of salt

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter, nuts and sugar. Mix to a rather stiff dough with the egg and milk. Turn on to a floured board and roll out about 2cm thick. Cut into bars of a convenient size and fry in a pan with fat until golden brown.

21. Green PoPo Curry
Serves 4

2 medium green popos 2 tbsp. butter 1 lg. onion
2 cloves garlic 1 sm. Piece ginger 2 green chilis
1 tbsp. curry powder 1 c. coconut cream 1 c. water
½ c. lemon juice pepper

Melt butter and fry onion, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes. Add chilis and curry powder and cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture is a rich golden brown. Slowly stir in the coconut cream and water. Wash and peel the popo, remove seeds and cut into cubes. Add the popos to the curry sauce and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.

22. Popo and pineapple salad
Serves 6
2 cups diced ripe mango 2 cups diced pineapple 6 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix together all the ingredients. Leave 30 minutes in cool place and serve with cooked fish or meat.

23. Stuffed Popo
4 servings
1 medium sized half ripe popo ¾ c. cooked minced meat or leftover meat
¾ c. cooked rice or leftover cooked root crops (chopped) 1 small onion
1 beaten egg salt pepper oil

Cut stalk end off popo and save. Scoop out seeds. Cook chopped onion and then mix cooked rice and meat in a bowl. Add beaten egg, salt and pepper. Stuff popos and put top back on. Brush with oil and bake at 350 F (180 C) until popo is soft (45 minutes-1 hour).

24. Sweet and Sour Vegetables
6 servings

6 cups chopped mixed vegetables (pumpkin, green beans, carrots, tomato, etc.)
3 tbsp. cooking oil 4 large chopped onions
4 half-ripe mangoes 1 cup water 1 ½ cups thin coconut cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add chopped vegetables, water and coconut cream. Lightly fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables are half cooked. Wash and peel the mangoes and cut into slices. Add mango slices to the vegetables and cook a further 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some fish or meat.

25. Sweet potato and pineapple casserole
Serves 6
4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and sliced
2 cups cheese sauce (any recipe for melted cheese)
1 tbsp. grated coconut 1 fresh pineapple (peeled, cored and sliced)
2 tbsp. chopped spring onions 2 tbsp. butter
Salt to taste

Grease a baking dish. Arrange in layers-sliced pineapple, sliced sweet potato, coconut and spring onion. Spread cheese sauce. Repeat all layers again until you’ve used all the pineapple and sweet potato. Bake for 30 minutes.

26. Meat in a nutshell
2 servings

4 small sweet potatoes 2 spring onions 1 tomato
¾ c. dark green leaves ½ c. peanuts, chopped fish or beef
¼ med. Pineapple, chopped 1 coconut

Peel and wash the sweet potatoes and cut into small pieces. Wash and chop onions, tomatoes, and dark green leaves. Grate the coconut and save the shell. Prepare coconut cream. Put all vegetables, peanuts, fish or meat and pineapple inside half shell of coconut. Pour coconut cream over the mixture. Put the other half shell on top and tie tightly. Steam in a pan of water for about 45 minutes or bake in an earth oven. Serve in the shell.

Note-Ok, so this sounds great but if you’re lost on the coconut part just put all ingredients in a baking dish and add 1 can coconut cream. And bake in a normal oven around 350 F. I have no clue how it will come out, but it sounds really good doesn’t it?

27. Tropical banana dessert
6 servings

6 ripe bananas ½ c. grated coconut ¼ c. lemon juice

Peel ripe bananas and arrange in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle grated coconut on top of the bananas. Pour lemon juice over the coconuts. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes until top is brown.

28. Chicken with oranges
4-6 servings
3 ½ lb. chicken 3 tbsp. cooking oil 1 chopped medium onion
1 cup orange juice 3 oranges, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt to taste

Heat cooking oil in a frying pan and cook chicken until well browned on all sides. Remove chicken. Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of drippings. Add onion and garlic to oil, cook until tender. Add chicken back with orange juice. Cook covered for about 45 minutes until tender. Serve with orange slices.

28. Citrus baked fish in coconut cream
4 servings

1 medium whole fish ½ tbsp. ground black pepper
1 lemon 1 mandarin or orange
½ c. coconut cream salt to taste

Wash and clean fish and place on a softened banana leaf. Thinly slice the lemon and mandarin or orange and alternate the slices on top of the fish. Sprinkle pepper and pour coconut cream around the fish. Wrap the fish well in about 3 layers of softened banana leaves and bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes or in an earth oven for about 1 hour.

Note-Don’t know where you can buy banana leaves but if you can get them you soften them with heat i.e. strong sun or fire. Alternatively, I’m sure foil works.

29. Chicken and pumpkin soup
Serves 6

2 tbsp. cooking oil 4 c. sliced and peeled pumpkin fruit
1/3 c. chopped onions 6 pumpkin tips *
1 kg (2 lb.) chicken 1 c. coconut cream
4 c. water 1 sliced green pepper
2 chopped tomatoes 3 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt to taste

• pumpkin tips are the green leaf with the curly bit and stalk. They are edible. You may need to go pick your pumpkin to get these. They are very good for you.

Wash pumpkin tips, prepare and chop. Fry onion in cooking oil until tender. Cut chicken into small pieces, add to onion and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add water, lemon juice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook 15 minutes covered. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, green pepper and pumpkin tips. Cook 5 minutes. Add coconut cream. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from heat.


1st March 2007

i really like your recipies! i am using about 10 of them for a country project imma doing in 6th grade! they are really good, and thankx!
27th May 2007

the recipes are cool we are using some for a school expo we are doing in year six
4th October 2007

Sweet, I need to do a recipe for my project (I be a sophomore, yes yes.)
19th June 2008

it was very meh and i like meh it's for school meh
25th August 2008

i like your recipies there awesome
7th September 2008

i really like your meals they help me do a project
7th October 2008

wow thx
these really helped with my class
29th October 2008

i really like these recipes im using them for a country report in year 6
21st January 2009

the fried pumpkin sounds gross
13th February 2009

I cant find a lot on vanuatu and I finally found some good recipes. I am in 7 grade
18th February 2009

Thank you so much for this. I needed this for french of all classes.
16th August 2009

culture project
this is so good... im using it for my 6th grade project. i just wanted 2 know 1 more recipe that i saw in vanuatu earlier this year! i just forgot da name.... ;(
12th November 2009

Thanks :D xx
Your reciepe helped me with my cooking assignment i year 9. Thanks heaps.! xoxo
4th October 2010

this was very good for my project im only 11 but i really hope a lot of people find this use full :)
30th November 2010

love these recipies
thank you for sharing these down to earth, basic, easy to cook ideas from Vanuatu. These are ideal to get away from consuming nasties like preservatives, numbers and added colours that are all over our supermarket shelves today. The health of our human race is riddled with health issues, most stem from a diet of crap food that our human body was not designed to digest. Go back to eating food from the earth people. God put the good food in the earth for us.
1st April 2011

I <3 COCONUTS!!!!!!
13th May 2011

Oh but fried pumpkin is delish...
12th October 2011

THANKS! these really helped me with my sophmore french project ^_^
28th November 2011

Recipes from Vanuatu
I have been assigned Vanuatu for my college research paper. I can recieve extra credit if add a recipe from the country as well as bringing the food in for my class to sample. I chose the recipe Banana and Peanut Butter Biscuit. I am requesting your permission to use the recipe in my research paper. The final paper is due December 2, 2011. thank you for your anticipated assistance.
28th September 2012

I am so sorry, I just saw your comment as I have not been on here. I hope you went ahead and used it. There are no copyright laws in Vanuatu so it's fair game there. ;)
24th April 2012

for ages i had forgotten how to make ghato sooo happy now
8th October 2012

Thankyou! Hopfully this will help!

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