The Corner cooks
Interesting cooking facts
Traditionally Torres Strait Islanders use cooking methods such as grilling, (deep) frying and boiling. Another very common and distinctive cooking method, especially for feasts, is called ‘kup –murri’ (spelling varies but is pronounced Cup-murri).
A Kup Murri is an earth oven dug into the ground, using heated hot stones and sand/soil to cook the food. Damper, meat such as pork or fish and vegetables such as Taro, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin and cabbage are wrapped in banana leaves/coconut leaves and placed in the centre of the hot stones.
Once the Kup Murri pit is full, more hot stones, sand and soil are placed over the food. Materials such as chicken wire, potato sacks and blankets are also used to confine the heat. The Kup Murri process is quite a long one and usually takes several hours’ preparation in advance and several hours to cook.
Coconut is a very common ingredient in Torres Strait Islander recipes. Some common coconut dishes include Sabee Sabee, Sop Sop and paklolo. Recipes can be interpreted differently from person to person.
Torres Strait Islanders use fresh and abundant ingredients available in their region and in the season for cooking. These include a variety of fish/shell fish, coconuts, other nuts/seeds and wild meats from dugongs and turtles. However, they always do not forget to get only as much as they need and care about the nature for its sustainability.
Use coconut milk/cream moderately. The fat content is quite high - about 17% in milk and higher in cream type (Double check the amount). Coconut oil is especially high in saturated fat which can increase the risk of heart disease.
If you would like to add some nutritious balance (with quality protein) to this TSI style tropical islanders’ meal, please refer to the cooking activity The Corner Makes’ Something Fishy’.
Last updated: 24th September 2014
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