Tasmania's Food Trail - heading

Food Trail screen snapshotFormer dancer and wannabe chef, Paul Mercurio, cuts a culinary trail around Tasmania.

From the moment Paul Mercurio drives off the Spirit of Tasmania and heads out to explore Tasmania’s Food Trail he will have your mouth watering.

In Episode One, Paul heads to the Island’s northwest, and using local succulent crab he creates his own dish - Crab and Capsicum Mille Feuille in a Coconut and Ginger Broth.

Northwest Tasmania is Australia’s vegetable garden and Paul uses the best Tasmanian vegetables to make his very own Minestrone soup.

With Stillwater Restaurant’s Don Cameron, he prepares Tasmanian King Crab with Bell Pepper Sauce and Citrus Cress Salad, Octopus Salad with Hummus and Roasted Tomatoes and Japanese beef using beef from cattle fed on hydroponic grass.

And to make sure the basics aren’t forgotten you can also try Glena’s Scones.

Come to Tasmania and create your own Tasmanian Food Trail - using our Cellar Door and Farm Gate guide.

Recipes from Episode 2, Episode 3 and Episode 4.

Food Trail Tasmania image array

Food Trail Tasmania Recipes Show ONE

(Paul Mercurio)

1 slice each of red, yellow and orange capsicum.
Crab meat - we cooked an 7.5 kilo giant crab and used only the meat from the claw for several dishes. The crab was gently simmered in a pot of water with some lemon halves thrown in.
200 ml chicken stock.
400 ml coconut milk.
2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger.
Rind of one lemon.
1 kaffir lime leaf finely sliced.
Corn flour and water for thickening.
Salmon roe.
Chives for garnish.

For broth:  use about one part stock to two parts coconut milk, add lemon rind, squashed ginger (in one piece) and kaffir lime leaf. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes so the flavours combine. Remove the ginger, lemon rind and kaffir lime leaf and then carefully thicken the broth with a little corn flour and water. You want the broth to retain it's white colour when poured onto a dark coloured plate but you don't want it to be too thick

For Capsicums: cut a side from each capsicum and place it skin side up under a griller. Blacken the skin and then place into a plastic bag to steam in its own heat for 5 minutes. Peel the skin off the slices and then trim them into equal sized squares - red, orange and yellow. Very carefully slice horizontally through the middle of each square as thinly as possible so as to try and get three thin squares from each piece- not easy and of course you want to keep them in tact.

To Assemble: pour just enough broth onto a plate to coat the plate but not swimmingly. Place one square of red capsicum into middle of plate on top of the broth - it should sit on top of the broth not in it. Place some shredded crab meat onto the square, top that with an orange square and then again place crab meat on top. Finish with the yellow square and some more crab meat on top.

Garnish around the mille fueille with the salmon roe and then two long pieces of chive leaning against the mille fueille tower.

(Paul Mercurio)

Olive oil.
1 tablespoon of Flora Pro Active.
1 large leek or 2 small ones topped, tailed (use white part) and sliced.
3 sticks of celery peeled and chopped.
2 medium-large carrots peeled and chopped.
1 medium sized turnip peeled and chopped.
1 medium or 2 small parsnips peeled and chopped.
1 medium Swede peeled and chopped.
3 medium or 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped.
10 cups of chicken stock.
1 x 440g can of chopped tomatoes.
1 bouquet garni.
3 bay leaves.
Half a bunch of silver beet washed and finely sliced or shredded - leaves only.

Heat oil and Flora in tall casserole pan and add leeks. Stir to coat well and then cook over gentle heat stirring often until they have softened and become translucent. The longer you cook them the more sweetness you get from them - which is good. You can brown them a little if you want.
Add carrot and celery and mix thoroughly through the leeks and cook for a few minutes then add turnip, parsnip, swede and potato and again mix thoroughly and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. I do this on a fairly high heat because I like to almost seal the veggies.
Add stock, or if using Massel chicken stock powder boil some water and add one teaspoon of powder for every 2 cups of water - in this instance 5 teaspoons for 10 cups or 2.5 litres of water. Stir the stock through the veggies and bring to a boil and then add tomatoes, bouquet garni and bay leaves. Give it all a mix and then let simmer away until veggies are cooked to your liking. Add the silver beet about 15 minutes after the soup starts to simmer.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper if needed.
Serve in big bowls with crunchy bread if you want and garnish with some grated parmesan cheese.

(Don Cameron)

Serves 4-6 people as an entree or light lunch


1 x 2kg of Tasmanian King Crab meat.

2 large red capsicums (bell peppers), finely diced, skin on.
1 knuckle of ginger, peeled and diced (approx 50g)
1 large tomato diced and deseeded.
1 large brown onion, finely diced.
250 ml dry white wine (suggest Sauvignon Blanc).
750 ml chicken stock.
Pepper and salt.
1 tablespoon of castor sugar.
2 tablespoons of light vegetable oil.

1 lime segmented (keep juice for dressing).
1 orange segmented.
1 cup mustard cress.
1 cup coriander sprouts.
4 tablespoons of light vegetable oil.
Pepper and salt.
1 teaspoon of castor sugar.


Bring large pot of water to the boil, submerge crab and boil approx 8-10 minutes per kilo.  Remove from pot and place in iced water.  Once cooled crack claws and legs and pick out meat.

Heat oil in non stick pan over medium heat and sweat the capsicum, ginger, onion and tomato until onion is translucent.  Sprinkle the sugar over and add wine.  Continue cooking until almost dry.  Add chicken stock and cook until vegetables are soft.  Cool slightly and then blend vegetables in a blender or food processor and season to taste with salt and pepper until smooth.

Combine the crab meat with lime and orange segments, cress, sprouts.
Mix lime juice, oil and sugar together and gently fold through the crab mixture.  Season to taste and add additional sugar if lime juice is too strong. 

Pour a little of the sauce over the plate when it is lukewarm.  Place a large handful of the crab salad mix in middle of plate on top of sauce and serve.

(Paul Mercurio)


Steamed octopus.   (I got the octopus from T.O.P. Fish, Stanley fresh out of their steamer and it was fantastic.  They call it poor man's lobster and in some ways it did taste like lobster, but it was octopus and tasted fantastic.  I sliced it slightly chunky for this salad.)
One bulb of fennel.
A radicchio lettuce.
Cherry tomatoes - roasted in the oven with oil and salt until they just start to break down.
Baby rocket leaves.
Vinaigrette: olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper - all beaten together.
Hummus - you can use store bought or make your own. 
I made my own:

One can of chickpeas.2 cloves of garlic.
A little less than half a cup of Tahini paste - careful which one you buy as the darker Tahini pastes can also be quite bitter.
Juice of 2 lemons.
Salt and pepper.

Put chick peas in a blender, reserving the liquid from the can. Puree the chick peas using some of the reserved can liquid so as to help the chick peas break down. Add garlic, and most of the Tahini paste and lemon juice. Continue to blend and taste as you go along to get the right balance between the Tahini and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble salad place some hummus in the middle of your plate or bowl - about 1-2 tablespoons. Place some thinly sliced fennel and radicchio around the hummus and put slices of octopus on top. Toss baby rocket through the vinaigrette and then tower on top of the octopus. Scatter tomatoes over the salad and then drizzle extra vinaigrette over so it soaks down to the fennel.

(Don Cameron)

Serves 4 people


4 pieces middle eye fillet (230g each).
Sichuan pepper (finely ground).
Fresh coriander and parsley, small bunch each (finely chopped).
Cracked black pepper.

4 medium parsnips.
2 tablespoons of butter.
Salt and pepper.

100g shiitake mushrooms.
2 loose cups of spinach leaves.
2 teaspoons of dried wakame, reconstituted in warm water, chopped.
70g unsalted butter.

1 bunch of broccolini.

'Burnt' ponzu sauce (see recipe below).
80g unsalted butter.

Crispy fried shallots (can be purchased at any Asian food shop) or spring onion slices.


Peel parsnips and remove woody stem, chop coarsely and boil until tender.  Strain and mash puree adding butter and pepper to taste.  Keep warm for service.

In a non-stick pan on low heat melt butter and saute shiitake and wakame until soft, add spinach until just wilted.  Drain any excess butter or liquids off.  Keep warm for service.

Warm oven to 100°c.  Take eye fillet pieces (trimmed of sinew) and roll each portion in the finely chopped pepper and herbs, then sear in a hot pan.  Roll to seal all sides until starting to brown on the outside - just a few minutes each side.  Place on baking tray with sides and place in warmed oven for 30-40 minutes.  This will enable the beef to heat very slowly and become very tender. 

Bring pot of water to the boil, put broccolini in and allow water to return to a gentle simmer.  Testing broccolini remove from heat and drain when stems bend a little under their own weight.  Drain and keep warm for service.

In a non-stick pan, warm the butter until the foam starts to turn brown then pour the ponzu sauce in little by little so that it caramelises the sugar in the sauce.  Continue until all the sauce is incorporated. Keep warm until service

To Serve:
For each portion arrange warm broccolini pieces in the centre of the plate in a circular pattern and spoon some parsnip puree inside the circle of broccolini.  Place the shiitake spinach mixture on the parsnip followed by beef slices.  Repeat creating another layer on top of the first and ensure the stack looks attractive.  Pour the sauce over gently until the sauce fills the plate in a fine layer and garnish with crispy fried shallots or chopped spring onion greens and serve warm.


Makes roughly 18.


3 cups of self-raising flour.
One tablespoon of sugar.
Big pinch of salt (half teaspoon).
Half cup of cream.
Cup of milk.


Sift flour and salt.  To avoid measure errors mix in the milk, by stages, to make the consistency doughy but not sticky and not too dry.  Knead lightly and flatten mixture to about 2 cms, then shape scones. 
Put on oven tray and glaze with milk.  Place in hot oven (220 Celsius) for 8-10 minutes.

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