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Blog  BY By Staff  |  21 December 2020

A Guide to Cooking with Australian Native Ingredients

Australia is well known around the world for its unique flora and fauna, however our use of native Australian produce, especially in local cooking remains relatively low across the country. To help get you started we have put together a guide for cooking with some of Australia’s amazing ingredients that are versatile, and packed full of nutrition. By integrating these tasty ingredients into our daily diets it also offers an opportunity to support local producers who can grow these amazing ingredients, which have adapted over hundreds of years to face our harsh climates we face around the country.

Finger Lime

Containing small pearls with a tangy citrus burst, finger limes are often described as Australia’s ‘caviar’. The delicate pearls are great for sprinkling on top of meals and dishes when you need a burst of citrus flavour. Try sprinkling onto of your next seafood dish or stir into a summer inspired drink for a zesty punch. They are a source of folate, potassium, vitamin E and C.


An extremely versatile ingredient, Quandong can be dried, stewed or eaten raw as just some of its culinary uses. It has a slightly tart and salty flavour aftertaste, with it being described as similar to peach, apricot or rhubarb. Indigenous Australians used the whole fruit, including the nut inside for medicinal purposes, including for helping toothaches. Whether it be cooked, poached or preserved Quandong is an excellent choice for baking, think of substituting it for rhubarb in your next crumble or pie, it is also great when made as a jam or sauce.

Lemon Myrtle

Probably one of the most well-known native ingredients from Australia, Lemon Myrtle is now being used around the world due to its unique creamy sweet and citrus taste and smell. It also contains the highest citral purity of any known plant, cementing its versality for cooking, personal care products and medicinal uses. Lemon Myrtle can be used in sweet and savoury dishes, it has an intense flavour so use it sparingly (like bay leaves). It is a great addition to meat dishes such as chicken, lamb, kangaroo and beef. For sweet dishes it pairs well with lime, coconut, macadamias for a fresh lemon flavour, our favourite is adding it to shortbread.


Usually available in powdered form, Watteseeds have a flavour that is rich and being a blend of coffee, chocolate and nuts, it is quite an indulgent taste. If you want to start using it in your daily cooking try adding a spoonful to your morning coffee or adding it to biscuits. Next try adding it to sauces, scones and scrambled eggs. With such an amazing taste it would be easy to think that it was a special treat only, however wattleseeds are a source of potassium, magnesium and iron.


Naturally found all over Australia and grows all year round, Saltbrush has 20 percent less sodium than table salt. The salty flavour has an earthy taste, and sometimes is described as having some subtle green tea notes. Similar to regular salt it can be used for seasoning savoury dishes and also some sweet ones to. Great recipes to try and start using Saltbrush with are egg-based dishes, roasted vegetables and savoury baking recipes such as bread, crackers and damper.

Bush Tomato

Also known as Kutjera or akudjura, there are many varieties however only 6 of these are edible. Bush tomatoes have a sweet meets savoury combination, as it has slight caramel taste or likened to sweet sun-dried tomatoes, with strong spicy aftertaste. It is a great addition to curries, salsa’s and soups and is also a source of antioxidants and minerals, like selenium.

Bunya Nut

Bunya pine trees grow large pinecones, which contain bunya nuts. These pinecones can contain up to 100 nuts each and weigh a massive 10 kilograms, what makes them even more unique is that the trees only start bearing produce once the tree is around 100 years old and bunya nut crops are produced once every 2-3 years. They are similar to chestnuts nutritionally and in flavour, being mild and slightly sweet. They are also low GI and gluten free, making them an excellent substitute for flour in a ground or powdered form. Easy ways to enjoy in a grounded paste like form are making pesto, hummus or adding to pancake batter.