Wombok Easy Cooking

Wombok Easy Cooking

Wombok this week is from Freeman’s Reach which is 60 minutes from Sydney near Richmond. This was grown by Charlie Vella. – Recipes below

Kim Chi Relish

San Choy Bao

Freemans ReachIt is a greatly misunderstood vegetables as many don’t quite know what to do with it. The good news is you can do many things. When looking elsewhere for it or in recipes check out Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, Napa cabbage, Tientsin cabbage, wong nga bok.

A sustainable Plant

The Wombok has been around for a long time  – since the 5tth Century in China. If you wish to grow you own you can harvest the leaves whilst the plant continues to grow a sustainable plant.

What to cook

Use in stir fry, casseroles, finely sliced into sandwiches raw, soups, and in the famous Korean ‘Kim Chi’ relish.

Goodness inside

It’s full of A and C vitamins, iron calcium, and phosphorus. The Glucosinolates present in most brassicas are a sulphur compound which is associated with assisting in reducing certain cancers.

Kim Chi Relish
Recipe Type: Side dish
Author: Harvest Hub
  • one half wombok, cut into coarse squares
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 pinches Himalayan salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tbs fish sauce,
  • 2 tbs Soy sauce
  • 48g chilli powder/flakes or 1 chopped chilli
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cm ginger, minced or finely julienned
  • 2 carrots, julienne
  • 15g small dried shrimp (optional)
  1. In a bowl Combine salt with sugar then rub into chopped wombok leaves.
  2. Cover with wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours, drain and keep liquid to use later.
  3. Then combine all remaining ingredients rubbing completely into leaves.
  4. Put into a jar with lid and store in fridge. It can be stored for up to 2 months.
  5. Use as a side relish.


Veggie San Choy Bao
Recipe Type: Healthy Snack
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
Use also lettuce leaves. If not wanting crunchy outer covering then slightly steam leaves of wombok for a couple of minutes.
  • 4 small Wombok leaves
  • 2-3 leaves of silverbeet, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienne
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 2cm piece ginger, julienned (cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • ½ small red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbs shaoxing wine, cooking wine
  • 2tbs Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup bean sprouts or substitute with slightly steamed green beans cut into 2cm lengths
  • ¼ cup spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 100g cashews, crushed
  • 3 tbs butter, lightly melted
  • Garnish – thick oyster sauce
  1. Wash and set out Wombok leaves.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice carrot lengthways into ribbons. Cut carrot into a fine julienne and set aside. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok and swirl to coat. Add ginger, garlic and onion and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add wine, tamari, sugar and sesame oil and stir-fry until heated through. Add reserved carrot, bean sprouts and spring onions and toss to combine.
  3. Set vegetable mix aside and rinse wok. Re-heat and add butter then lightly cook cashews until browning about 3-4 minutes then add silverbeet and stir for another minute until wilted. Take off heat.
  4. Combine vegetable mixture with cashews and silverbeet. Layout wombok cups and spoon vegetable Choy Bao into the cups. Garnish with thick oyster sauce.

Daikon Radish

Daikon Radish

…….from Horsley Park – 40 minutes away.

Daikon Radish
These big beautiful white radishes good in Chinese turnip cake and make a fine addition to salad.  They’ve a lovely peppery flavour, a little milder than fiery small pink radishes and reminiscent of the taste of watercress.  But their texture is where they come into their own – they’ve crunch appeal.

What’s in Daikon?

They’re an exceptional source of Vitamin C (at 124% of the daily requirement) and contain useful amounts of Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, dietary finer, Folate, Potassium and Copper.

Ideal for what?

It’s their natural sugars and their crunchy texture also make them an ideal pickle – many Japanese and Korean recipes involve pickling Daikon and the Koreans turn this vegetable into a traditional dining accompaniment – Daikon kimchi.  Daikons feature in a
broad range of Asian cuisine.

The Farmer

Early morning picking - keeps it crisp

Early morning picking – keeps it crisp

Daikon’s being harvested in great numbers in this Sydney winter and given it’s ability becoming a popular vegetable. Horsley Park grown by the Grima Family who use solid farming techniques of crop rotation, lots of good wholesome natural fertilizers and these have no sprays – chemical free.

How to use Daikon

Daikon salad,

Korean Daikon

Apple Daikon

Turnip (Daikon) Cake


Daikon Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Harvest Hub
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Imagine thin half moons of Daikon together with red oak lettuce (or baby spinach), and slim half moons of blood orange. Sounds like a holiday getaway.
  • red oak lettuce or baby spinach leaves
  • pre-cooked beetroot, sliced or
  • raw beetroot, roughly grated
  • a handful of walnuts
  • French dressing
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • optional to add corn, grated carrot and garnish with strips of seaweed.
  1. In a bowl place all ingredients and toss. Garnish.


Korean Daikon
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Harvest Hub
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Julienne means to slice into matchstick sizes. For optimal crunchiness, cut the vegetables with the grain, or in the direction the fibres run usually up and down the length of the root. Julienne in that direction, not across the grain.
  • 1 wombok, peel & Julienne
  • 3 -4 carrot, peel & julienne
  • 1 daikon, peel & julienne
  • 3 tbs Sesame oil
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tbs soy sauce
  • Ginger 1cm, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Chilli for colour garnish
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Shallots to garnish
  • Toasted sesame (pop on tray in oven – watch as it will burn)
  1. Place wombok, carrot and daikon julienned in a bowl. Then dress with sesame oil, and a little rice wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of good quality soy. Grate in fresh ginger and a clove or two of garlic, and add a teaspoon of sugar. If you’re feeding a mob, double or triple the dressing as necessary. Top with shallot greens and whites thinly sliced on an 45 degree angle and toasted sesame seeds. Chop a tiny bit of red chilli in for colour as well as flavour.
Apple Daikon
The lemon juice on the apples is to stop the apples browning as they oxidise.
  • The Dressing:
  • 3 tbs Sesame oil
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 – 2 tbs soy sauce
  • Ginger 1cm, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • The add
  • 1-2 crisp apples (grannies or sundowners ), peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice
  • 2-3 spring onions, sliced
  1. To make dressing:
  2. In a bowl place the sesame oil, and a little rice wine vinegar, and a tablespoon of good quality soy. Grate in fresh ginger and a clove or two of garlic, and add a teaspoon of sugar.
  3. In another bowl add water then put the apples into water and add the lemon juice. Thinly slice the spring onions and combine with the dressing, drain apple and radish and spring onion. Combine with dressing. Serve.
Turnip Cake
Recipe Type: Savoury Cake
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Harvest Hub
Serves: 4
It’s called Turnip but it stars Daikon and you might have seen or eaten it at Yum Cha. There are as many version of this Chinese classic as there are Chinese language dialects. Possibly more. This Chinese New Year traditional dish is the result of a two step process. First you steam the cake and then when it’s cool you slice into I cm pieces which you then fry. If the Daikon’s peppery and you’d like a milder flavour, salt and leave it. The salt will draw some of the pepperiness out and you’ll also have to squeeze out the moisture it draws. You can do this by putting the grated salted Daikon in a fine sieve over your sink and pressing out the water.
  • 15g dried shrimp
  • 2 tablespoon of good quality rice wine (or substitute with dry sherry).
  • 100 g Chinese sausage (lap Cheong) sliced thinly.
  • 100g of dried pork (lup yuk)
  • or, 200 of mixed onion, carrot and celery for a vegetarian alternative
  • 1kg daikon
  • 300g rice flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • roasted sesame seeds
  • freshly chopped corriander leaves
  • finely sliced shallot white and greens
  • Garnish: sesame seeds, spring onion, and coriander
  • Notes on ingredients: Asian grocers will have the dried shrimp, Chinese sausage and dried pork this dish uses. If you wish to have a vegetarian you can be stir flying a mix of (150g) finely chopped onion, carrot and celery. Add to these 2 tablespoons of rice wine (or dry sherry) and
  • the same of good quality soy sauce. Of course it’s not a flavour substitute for the meat – these are a tasty mix of vegetables that will add texture and piquancy to the dish) cold pressed coconut oil or vegetable oil.
  1. Oil a 20 cm baking tin and trace the bottom with baking paper, cut it to size and place it in the tin. The tin has to fit inside a large bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water.
  2. If you’re using the shrimp soak it for half and hour in the wine or sherry and then remove, squeeze drier and chop in thin slices. Finely cut the sausage and dry pork and sauté until fragrant and put aside in a large mixing bowl.
  3. If you’re vegetarian sauté your vegetables for two minutes and then add the soy and rice wine or sherry.
  4. Grate the daikon coarsely. This can be done in a food processor; use a grater insert with large holes. Add the sautéed vegetables or meat with the rice flour, salt and sugar to the large mixing bowl.
  5. Press this mix into the baking tin and cover with aluminium foil.
  6. Steam covered in the bamboo steamer for an hour and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. When cool, turn out of the and slice into 1cm pieces. Fry these in oil over a high heat. Don’t turn too frequently a single turn will help the pieces cohere.
  8. You can wait a day before frying this cake up.
  9. Invite friends over as it’s hard not to scoff the lot.

Goldilocks spuds – just right!


This gallery contains 4 photos.

The story of Spuds ……   Goldilocks travelling in the Maitland area, finding these Sebago potatoes, “Ah! They’re just right.” Where the ‘ spuds ‘ Sebago potatoes are grown? Two hours north of Sydney there is a town with 68,000 people … Continue reading

Super Local Broccoli


This gallery contains 1 photo.

Super Local Broccoli Here is the first of our local ‘Super’ Broccoli, but because Joey is picking only limited numbers at this stage, we’ve put them on as a Feature Veg rather than put it in everyone’s bag. These stalks … Continue reading

Metella Road Public School Harvest Hub went off with a Bang

Harvest Hub aims to bring family and friends to the dinner table in conversation. A good way to this is eating fresh produce, cooking together, opening discussion on eating healthy, seasonal and fresh.

Crunch & Sip Program Metella Road Public School

Bursting to the Brim. Mettela Road Public School Harvest Hub bags

Metella Road Public School is located in Toongabbie, Sydney, about 15 minutes from Parramatta. It is a school that hums and the Principal, Peter D’Emilio, has a smile on his face and spring in his step. The reason being is that he has an amazing community both inside and outside the school who support each other with the various initiatives.

When you enter the Metella Road Public School the staff, the teachers and the children in the playground have wide smiles and the general hum of happy voices wraps around you. This school has something different.

They had a Spring Fete a few weeks ago and it was a joy to see how many families and community members came to support the fundraiser. But it was the glowing chatter from parents about how the school is making a difference for the children.

First harvest Hub at Metella Road Public School

Colleen and Edwina – Where are those potatoes?

Making a difference teaching practical life skills and now a Harvest Hub which will provide the opportunity to have Local Sydney Basin produce and for families to cook together.

Harvest Hub seasonal Sydney Basin produce

All Aboard Metella Road Public School Harvest Hub starts

In the Blacktown Sun Peter mentions that the Hub will support the Crunch & Sip program where the children have a break to eat fresh fruit & veg. The Harvest Hub program will enable those children coming to school without fruit or veg an opportunity to have a piece.

Colleen and Edwina had fun divvying up the bags and look forward to volunteers helping every week. The school receive $4 for every bag they pack and on their very first week they packed 18 bags. A great fundraiser which will assist in providing funds for school projects.

Harvest Hub seasonal Sydney Basin produce

All Aboard Metella Road Public School Harvest Hub starts

David in the Before/After school care has also taken the opportunity to provide for their group by ordering through the Hub. This way they don;t have to trudge off to the shops and are saving by purchasing this way.

If you have a preschool, school, group, community centre, community garden, church that would like to have a Hub to help with fundraising efforts please contact us  – info@harvesthub.com.au

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Curly Kale has a tale

It’s frilly, leafy, green and sweet. This week’s Harvest Hub Curly Kale has a tale about how its nitrogen rich soil is only 30 food miles from your dinner plate. It’s madly, wildly growing all over the Hawkesbury area and because it’s basically pest and disease resistant it’s easy to grow without chemicals. The only blighter is the white butterfly and the occasional slug. If you find one – Yum bush tucker!

Would you like to know that when you cut yourself that your liver has done its job? Guess so. Continue reading

Mouldy or dried-out ginger; a tragic tale of storage gone wrong

Mouldy ginger!

Mouldy ginger! This is ‘fresh’ ginger stored incorrectly.

There is a difference between ‘fresh’ and ‘cured’ old season ginger. In the supermarkets you will be buying ‘cured’ ginger mostly.

From Harvest Hub you will be buying Fresh Ginger.

The knotted, beige skin of fresh ginger certainly isn’t going to win any prizes in a beauty contest but peel away the outside and you are left with yellow flesh that is both delicious and useful.

Great in homemade tea, stir fry, soups and even for making infused vodka, ginger adds zest and a tiny touch of heat to pretty much any dish.

In China ginger has been used for treating the sick for more than 2,000 years and today it is used around the world for everything from motion sickness, to muscle pain and bronchitis. It can also be used to help arthritis, menstrual pain and for treating burns.

Isn’t it mind-boggling how nature gave us solutions to so many of the health problems we humans suffer from…

Fresh ginger can be a bit tricky to store, especially in damp or humid weather, but if you store it correctly it can last for months!

Always keep your ginger in a well-ventilated area, never under the sink, loose in the crisper or near another mouldy product.

Fridge – ginger can last up to 2 months in the fridge. Just wrap the root in a piece of paper towel, place in a zip lock bag and pop it in the fridge. Change the paper towel regularly to make sure it isn’t damp.

Freezer – ginger lasts for months and months in the freezer. Peel, then cut it in to chunks and pop it in a zip lock bag and it is ready to go whenever you need it.

Other ways of keeping fresh ginger include storing it in vodka, wine or vinegar. Try the vodka first – that way you have fresh ginger when you need it plus ginger flavoured vodka.

If mould does grow on your ginger it will most likely be white, grey or greenish and furry. If you notice that some ginger in your refrigerator has become mouldy it’s not necessarily ruined. If the mould is only on the skin you can wash, scrub it and cut mould off the skin of the ginger and consume the flesh but make sure you check that the mould hasn’t reached the flesh.

Homemade ginger tea recipe: Save the skins that you peeled off of the ginger and steep them in hot water with lemon, fennel, and honey. Delicious any time and fantastic if you have a cold.


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Flavour trees: making flavours fun!

Flavour trees: making flavours fun!

Flavour combinations … we’€™ve all had that amazing moment when you take a bite of a meal and suddenly realise you have the most amazingly perfect combination of flavours in your mouth.


Nailing a flavour combination takes a reasonable amount of skill though, so how can you teach kids who are learning to cook about flavours? How can you explain which combinations work and which don’€™t or how a cook can use a few simple herbs to conjure memories and tastes of a country on the other side of the world?

One of our favourite ways to explain flavour combinations to kids is using a flavour tree.

Imagine that the different herbs of a flavour palate are the roots, they grow together in the trunk and then sprout out branches that are all different combinations of the flavours… recipes!

If you take Thai food as an example (and it is a great one because it has distinctive flavours and is quick and easy for kids to cook, plus it’€™s delicious) you would create a flavour tree by putting ingredients like lime, garlic, chilli, white vinegar, soy, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and Thai basil as the roots, and you could then have recipes like massaman beef, green curry and a whole variety of stir-fries at the top.

It’s fun and exciting (as well as educational) for kids to imagine the flavour combinations and then experiment with them.

And who knows, if you spend an afternoon making a flavour tree they might even have cooked you dinner by the end of it!

The Five basic Tastes: Salty,sour, spicey,bitter sweet,

They need to see a map of the country when looking at the flavours. Some countries border on so many countries that the influences for cooking come from the border countries plus the conquerors of that country. For example, Thailand has French influence as well as shifting from cooler to tropical.

Flavours: Made with spices and herbs.

Thai –€“ Lime, Bird’s eye chilies, white vinegar, basil, Fish sauce, palm sugar, soya sauce, garlic, lemongrass.

Chinese -€“ onion, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, five spice, bean sprouts, carrots, shallots.  (North, South, East, West styles of food).

Japanese -€“ onion, sesame seeds, soya sauce, mirin (like a sake), soba noodles.

Indonesian €- curry powder, coconut milk, peanuts, carrots, sambal oelek.

Indian -€“ curry powder, cardamon, coriander, turmeric, Asafoetida, cumin, fennel seeds.

Italian –  Parsley, oregano, sage, garlic, ginger, vanilla.

Instructions for making a flavour tree:

  • Fill in main Herbs & Spices for that country/style cooking at roots.
  • Look for recipes with these in them or create your own.
  • Write recipe on paper, fold and stick to tree.
  • Hang tree on board or in kitchen to use.

Below is a full sized Flavour Tree template for you to print out.


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Brussels sprouts – the world’€™s most hated veggie?

It would seem that that the world can be divided in to two groups – people who love Brussels Sprouts and everyone else.

Repeatedly voted the world’s most hated vegetable, people do tend to have VERY strong opinions on the humble sprout. But are they deserved?

Back in the day, the main cook in the home tended to cook Brussels sprouts by boiling them (not the best method – it makes them mushy and bitter) and then inflicted them on reluctant children.

Things have come a long way since then – the varieties that are around now are less bitter and people have become more creative about how they cook their sprouts (try baked, sauted with bacon and garlic, or steamed with a drop of soya sauce).

One thing your folks did have right was that Brussels sprouts are good for you. They’€™re high in fibre, protein, Vitamin C and K and are believed to protect against cancer.

So maybe it’s time to give them another go!

The season is just starting so why not check out some recipes and see if the humble sprout surprises you – but whatever you do don’€™t boil them!

Tell us your best or worst sprout experience.