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20151018_201032So tonight could prove interesting as I actually have not been able to find many recipes, unless I am looking in the wrong place on the web?  Recipes from the Marshall Islands don’t seem to be well published…but my research would not stop until I found something to cook for our dinner… and eventually I did – but more of that shortly..

If anything doing this blog has helped me learn more about different parts of the world, their cultures, their traditions and the food they produce and cook. Its great being able to share with with Rory, who is keen to learn as much as he can, and also  friends and other people about what you have learned and sometimes nuggets of information can be useful…..

The Marshall Islands, are again, like other places we have visited The Republic of The Marshall Islands. It sits in the Pacific ocean and is very near the equator, sitting a little West of the International Date Line. It sits upon 29 coral atolls and is part of an Island group known as Micronesia. The population is around 68,000 and spread out over the Atolls. There are approximately 1,150 individual islands and inlets

During the middle to late bronze age colonists eventually settled the Marshall Islands. Europeans first explored the islands around the 1520’s, but the name now given to these Islands was from British explorer – John Marshall – in 1788. In 1874 the islands were seen to be part of The Spanish East Indies,  but in 1884 Spain sold them to The German Empire and in 1885 they became part of German New Guinea following this due to many world issues the islands changed hands a number of times. However, in 1979 self government was achieved and by 1986 full independence. The islands have been a United Nations member since 1991

The people who live on the Marshall Islands are known as Marshallese people. they are very peaceful, tranquil people and have an extremely friendly nature.  Much like us – here in our little “Minter” world –  sharing with family and friends – is a value fundamental to these folk, along with their caring nature and consideration for others. These charming, quintessential standards have been cultivated over the centuries.  What is so lovely about this research is that “Cooperation and caring are necessary elements of survival on these small islands, surrounded by the sea“. How fantastic if we could all adopt this approach regardless of where we live. The idea of community and family still continue to be in Marshallese society.    I was brought up in Lancashire where all our parents friends we called aunty and uncle, their children were classed as our close friends and along our immediate family our closest and this is just the case in The Marshall Islands where all family whether immediate or distant are classed as close family – this then creates close knit communities with extremely strong values…

As most of the islands were volcanic, which means they are extremely fertile so most things grow well…However,there are very few animals or plants indigenous to these islands.     Coconut, however, is the main food for people, past and present, it is used for its milk and its delicious flesh. I love coconut and could eat it everyday..The early settlers brought new plants, animals and plenty of fish and seafood was found in the water……There are many influences of food on the Marshall islands ranging from European to Japanese, taking in a few other places in-between.

Having trawled the net I eventually came across on a recipe that included meat – or fish on this occasion that looked on reading just the ticket for a Monday night dinner…..Coconut Fish, Roast sweet potato salad with passion fruit mayonnaise and steamed rice   Sounded delicious and the pictures on the web looked great too..  Most Marshallese foods are eaten with the fingers according to research, but we will still go with our traditions of using cutlery…Did you know also that the custom stipulates that if food is served to a guest and the guest isn’t hungry, then the guest must eat a small amount so not to offend. People of the Marshall Islands love to be hospitable and sharing food is very important…

The fish had already been covered in flour, salt and pepper and browned before pacing in the baking dish and as Ian began to prepare this lovely dinner for us the smells quickly filled the kitchen and the sweet smell of coconut with the baking fish was divine.
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Layering tomatoes on the top and then the mixed together coconut cream, onion, salt, fresh chilli, cornflour and lemon juice which was poured over and baked…

Whilst baking a salad of roasted sweet potato and macadamia nuts,  which included avocado was put together with a passion fruit mayonnaise….Wasn’t sure about this combo as Ian isn’t a fan of sweet and savoury – although altogether better at it than our middle son, who refuses sweet and savoury together at all – but looked delicious – the proof would be in the eating..

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Served with steamed rice this meal looked amazing and the kitchen was a waft with fantastic aromas.The salad absolutely blew me away, something so simple and yet so tasty which complimented the fish so well…

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The  fish was cooked to perfection – thank you Ian –  and melted in my mouth..

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20151019_190852Family Verdict: Fantastic combination of flavours. the fish worked really well with the sweet potato salad. Hubby not being a mayo fan was impressed with the dressing for the salad. The crispness of the lemon, passion fruit alongside the sugars and vanilla was impressing. The roasted macadamia nut with the potato was very moorish….so much so I have enough left over and a little fish for my lunch tomorrow… 🙂

Overall – fantastic dinner and certainly would cook again…

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