A very special Aussie-Japanese Xmas21

Posted on January 9, 2009 by ChristieEvents, Travel Stories


[It just wouldn’t be an Aussie Xmas without fat, juicy prawns!]

I know this post is ridiculously late, but hey, better late than never right?

You’re about to indulge in a multiple course menu cooked by a Japanese chef and plated up beautifully by my parents-in-law Steve and Angela.

We started with glasses of champagne and a massive bowl of prawns complete with lemon scented finger bowls. This was the first time I had ever eaten prawns on Christmas Day.

As an Australian of Hungarian and Lebanese descent I’m used to enjoying a full baked dinner (duck, turkey, pork) and/or banquet meal (Lebanese mezze) for Christmas. Now that I’m married, eating prawns with my in-laws is an Aussie tradition I can definitely get used to. Yum!

This year they decided to get Christmas catered by a Japanese chef who prepared all the food the night before. It was a very organised operation, with dishes and sauces packed separately and identified with coloured stickers, making it much easier to plate up on the night.

Once we’d devoured every last prawn we moved onto the meal…

The Menu
Mushi Gamo: cold steamed duck breast with sake, mirin and soy sauce
Beef tataki: rare grilled beef marinated in tangy soy sauce
Hot smoked salmon: roasted cocktail potatoes with dill and capers
Sushi rice salad: with poached local prawns, pine nuts, tomato, cucumber, onion, corn and mayonnaise (not pictured)
Baked pumpkin: penne pasta and feta cheese with basil, ginger and garlic dressing
Coconut Agar: with mango sauce


[Mushi Gamo: cold steamed duck breast with sake, mirin and soy sauce]

The duck was super juicy and the flavours in the sauce very nicely balanced. I’m very impressed by the plating (in fact, this is true for all the dishes) especially the overlapping slices in a fan shape. Very neat.


[Beef tataki: rare grilled beef marinated in tangy soy sauce]

The beef slices clearly loved the soy sauce because they sucked it up and were good and juicy for it too. The saltiness of the sauce really complimented the perfectly pink meat. Heavenly.

[Hot smoked salmon: roasted cocktail potatoes with dill and capers]

I haven’t seen potatoes called ‘cocktail’ since flicking through my mums 70’s cookbooks, cute! They were very moreish coupled with the dill and capers and provided starchy relief from the rich salmon.


[Sushi rice salad: with poached local prawns]

Oh sushi rice salad, how I love thee! I’m a big fan of Japanese mayo and this had just the right amount. The rice was creamy and chewy like only sushi rice can be. I dare say it was my favourite.

There was another course after this one but we were all so full! So we moved straight onto dessert…


[Coconut Agar: with mango sauce]

The combination of flavours here was supurb! Coconut, mango and a tiny sprinkling of fresh blueberries was the perfect end to the meal. So light and slippery and fragrant with in-season produce. Gorgeous.

So there you have it. Such a memorable way to celebrate my first year with my in-laws. Hope there’s many more!

Happy cooking, Christie x

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  • Looks like a great Christmas dinner! My housemate has been making agar and serving it with papaya and tinned lychees. It’s really refreshing.

  • Wow, the first time for prawns! The food looks fantastic and I also have a serious love for Japanese mayo :)

  • Y

    Wow everything looks great! Does that Japanese chef specialise in catering only?

  • Prawns and oysters always make an appearance at our christmas lunch table. Helps that Mum and Dad are only a five minute walk from Sydney Fish Markets.

    Your Japanese meal looks amazing. And definitely a non-traditional christmas meal.

  • Better late than never! What a truly memorable feast! I agree…that rice looks divine!

  • Wow what a feast! That sushi rice sounds amazing! Did you just mix the mayo in with the rice?

  • That look beautiful & delicious. What a great celebration!

  • That looks so good. I wish I could get prawns easily here, especially head n’ all!

  • I’m so glad you posted this late rather than never. It looks like you all had a fabulous time! Can I still say Happy New Year since it’s a New Year’s post?

  • epicurean

    That looks fantastic… Is there any chance of getting the details of that japanese chef, if he caters for the general public as well?

  • What a great idea. Fuss-free, fat-free and fancy :)

    Some great prepare-ahead ideas for the next dinner party too!

  • OK next Christmas I’m coming to yours!

  • Thanks to everyone for our comments! Here’s the details for the wonderful Japanese chef who made all this possible: http://www.misakibyron.com.au Enjoy!

    @Arwen – I love papaya. Will try it with lychees, yum.
    @Lorraine – So, there’s another thing we have in common, hey?
    @Y – Yes, I believe he does, see link above.
    @Jess – Wow, so close to the Fish markets. I’d have fresh sushi for lunch everyday.
    @Peter – That’s a great way to describe it. Very memorable.
    @PigPig – I believe he mixed it in, not sure though.
    @Kiki – It was fabulous!
    @Lizzie – It’s such a shame prawns come pre-peeled in UK supermarkets. I missed them while living there.
    @Joie de vivre – Happy New Year to you too! Loving your French women don’t get fat posts!
    @Epicurean – Yes, thanks for asking. See above.
    @Helen – Loove your description! Fat free and fancy. Exactly!
    @MsGourmet – Deal! ;)

  • Those prawns look delicious ~ but I think that sushi rice salad with prawns would be my favorite too!

  • I’m drooling at that dessert…

  • Ju’eta Amir

    yummmmmo, can I some to next Xmas lunch?

  • Looks like a fantastic mid-summer meal!

  • That looks so good. I am getting tired of the traditional holiday meal.

  • @Jackie – It was delicious!
    @Miss Honey – I wouldn’t have ordered it in a restaurant but it was the perfect cooling dessert after the big indulgent meal!
    @Ju’eta – You know you’re welcome anytime darling.
    @Marc – Yes, it suited Summer perfectly.

  • The beef tataki looks so good. Haven’t had a properly made one in a while. Which is to say, some undesired side effects came into play the last time I had tataki.

  • can i just say your christmas dinner is stunning! wonderful photos and awww the food looks absolutely delightful. i think i would’ve just died frm a heart attack when the pudding was served. I HEART MANGO. x

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