Confessions and secret recipes of Melbourne's Asian-style chefs

Confessions and secret recipes of Melbourne's Asian-style chefs

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Melbourne cuisine, is acclaimed for its global influence, particularly in Asian fare. Local Aussie chefs are bringing freestyle fusion to traditional Asian food.

CNNGo reader Michelle Tchea caught up with a couple of Asian-style chefs to dish out their best kept secrets.

It's worth a plane and tram ride, but if you’re not in Melbourne, the masterminds behind the food give international followers a chance to re-create their secret recipes at home.

Chef Chris Donnellan, Gingerboy

Gingerboy, Melbourne chefsChris Donnellan channels South East Asian street food for some inspirationInspiration: Street stalls of southeast Asia.

What Asian dish can't you make?: Real birds nest soup as I have never gotten my hands on real birds nest -- so I have never tried to make it.

What's the most underrated Asian ingredient?  Fresh tumeric is a largely underrated ingredient -- its color, aroma, and flavor that it adds to a dish (and) you only need the smallest amount.

Secret recipe: Soy cured ocean trout, tumeric, coconut caramel and pickled daikon.


600 gram ocean trout filet, 600 ml light soy sauce, 4 star anise (lightly toasted), 3 lemons (zested and juiced), 4 roughly-chopped spring onions, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, 30 grams of peeled ginger and 1 tablespoon of castor sugar.

To serve: tumeric, coconut caramel and pickled Chinese radish.


Place the ocean trout into a small deep tray. Place the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes so the flavors can infuse.

Pour the liquid in the tray so the fish is submerged. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 20 – 24 hours.

Once cured put the trout on a chopping board and slice thinly, using a very sharp knife.

Place 8 -10 slices of ocean trout around the plate. Then 2 tablespoons of tumeric and coconut caramel over the top and around the trout. Mix the coriander through the radish then place neatly in the middle of the trout.

Gingerboy is located at 27/29 Crossley Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 (0)3 9662 4200

Chef Michael Pezzano,  Seamstress Restaurant

Seamstress, Melbourne restaurants, Asian fareHarmony of texture and flavor reflects Seamstress' food and decorWeapon of Choice: Fork -- why walk when you can ride.

Most underrated Asian Ingredient: Powdered milk

What Asian dish can’t you make? Deep fried ice cream -- it's not that we can't it's just that it's wrong.

Funny Restaurant Story: A lady once questioned if our drunken potato would have alcohol as she had an allergy. I explained that any booze would cook out on contact with heat. She was still sceptical so I asked her if she thought a century old egg was really a century old?

I received an email the following day saying she had made it through the night and could she have the recipe. 

Secret recipe: Drunken Potato


200 ml Shiao Xing Wine, 60 grams of brown sugar, 50 ml light soy, 2 grated garlic cloves, 1 grated ginger knob, 50 grams of sliced spring onion and 100 ml water.


Pour wine into a pot and bring to boil. Add all ingredients other than spring onion and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spring onion and sliced potato and boil until soft.

Seamstress is located at 1st/113 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 (0)3 9663 6363 ‎