142 Addison Rd Marrickville, Sundays…
Another blissful Sunday morning at the Marrickville organic markets. Coffee first, to aid important decision making. The best coffee I’ve tried at the markets so far is from the building on your right as you enter the market from Addison Rd. Note the installation art on the side wall of the building of milk crates, took me a few visits to notice it and that it spelt out a word…
Next pick up Sicilian olives and hummus for casual pizza  dinner with friends, salami and soft French white mould cheese, a small Tuscan kale seedling for never ending batches of minestrone made with veal stock and thick lardons of pancetta.
The lovely Kate, who has moved back home to Orange whom I miss dearly as she’s so entertaining, has a new food blog http://piesandkates.com/
If you get sick of walking around, a cup of chai while sitting on woven mats in the sunshine is pretty nice… you can also get a $10 haircut at the stall next door. I haven’t been brave enough to try.
There are both conventional produce and organic stalls, the conventional ones are labelled as such. The advantage of having both is sometimes the organic range is limited and if you have your heart set on cooking a certain something you’re more likely to find it having both options.
The Common Ground bakery always smells good and they have a super juice with more good things in it than you could could think of. They usually sample it so you can try before you buy. They have lots of options for gluten and wheat free eaters. I bought a rice flour banana bread for my sister which she said was great. The also have spelt, rye, wholemeal, with and without nuts and seeds and all slow fermented sourdough (read maximum flavour development). They deal directly with a wheat grower too so their flour is really fresh. I just liked all the info they passed on, it shows how passionate they are about their product. They also had a rice flour lamington, the first of it’s kind I’ve come across, haven’t tried it yet though.
There’s also a Brasserie Bread stall where they try to lure you with delicious brownies and danish pastries. I’m sold on the sour cherry loaf and the quinoa and soy seed loaf if you like seeds. There is also a German bread stall with darker rye loaves, pretzels and tiny chocolate chip buns. I think the chocolate buns are best served toasted with butter, but they’re also good straight from the bag while browsing.
Char kway teow at Jackie M Malaysian
Shopping just about done (and cash nearly depleted) and I settle on nasi lemak and otak otak, D has a lamb wrap from another stall which is a more appropriate portion size than mine, which is enough for two hungry people, so we take the rest home for lunch.
I bought some coffee beans from the fair trade stall and had a delicious coffee at home made from PNG beans. Flavoursome and strong without being too acidic or bitter.
I’ll try and get a picture of the corn fritters next time, they’re my healthy option for when I’ve had an indulgent Saturday night!

Char Kway Teow also known affectionately as CKT in some circles is a stir fried rice noodle dish with countless variations. My version normally has prawns in it but had leftover chicken and BBQ pork in the fridge so used that instead.
2 dried red chillis, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbs peanut oil
1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), stems sliced thinly on diagonal, leaves cut into 4cm lengths
1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup leftover soya chicken (from Chinese BBQ shop)
1/2 cup leftover BBQ pork slices
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs kecap manis
300g fresh flat rice noodles
1/2 bunch garlic chives, chopped into 3cm lengths
1. Pound soaked chillis and garlic to a smooth paste in a mortar and pestle
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a seasoned wok over high heat. When oil starts to shimmer add chilli and garlic paste and cook 10 seconds until fragrant. Add gai lan and stir fry for 1 minute until leaves have softened. Remove contents of the wok to a bowl.
3. Add another tablespoon of oil and fry lap cheong, chicken and pork for 1 minute or until heated through. Remove contents of the wok to a bowl.
4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok and heat until smoking. Add noodles and spread out up the sides of the wok to get nice and charred. Toss a few times to make sure noodles don’t stick. Add soy sauce and kecap manis and cook 20 seconds. Add garlic chives and stir through. Add cooked ingredients to the wok and stir well. Serve immediately.

Here is my first batch of prawn sambal, based on a recipe given to me from my friend Malini Ganesan who is a wonderful cook and keeps herself sane in Germany with a curry, laksa or sambal here and there to break up the delicious meatiness and carbohydrate-rich German cuisine.
I have included the recipe below in case anyone would like to try it themselves and let me know what you think. It is very tasty eaten with a curry on the side, lots of basmati rice, and please, do try eating it with your fingers. Mush the sambal into the rice bit by bit. It is irresistable, pungent, spicy and addictive. It is the only way to truly experience it. Well, that and in the traditional Nasi Lemak of course, see post on Temasek Restaurant for dishes included in Nasi Lemak.
The curry I made above was fish and eggplant curry from a Madhur Jaffery cookbook.
Prawn Sambal

  • 10 dried red chillis
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2-3 stalks lemon grass, thick outer layers removed, finely sliced
  • 5-10 red asian eschallots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp belachan (shrimp paste, solid block)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp peeled and chopped ginger, pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can chop it very finely)
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2-4 tbsp ikan bilis from asian grocer
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Blend chilli, garlic, lemongrass, eschallots and belachan to a fine paste in a blender or small food processor, adding a tablespoon of oil until a rough paste forms.
  2. Fry paste in a few tablespoons of oil for a few minutes or until fragrant. Remove paste from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving some oil in the pan.
  3. Fry onion in the same oil over a low to medium heat until clear. Add pounded ginger and cook for one minute. Add chilli/garlic mixture and fry for one minute. Add sambal oelek, fry until dark.
  4. Add tomato puree and cook until oil separates and comes to the top of the mixture. Add dried shrimp, stir. Finish by stirring in lemon juice. Serve with lots of basmati rice, a curry or some dahl on the side.

There is a lovely light mustardy tasting broth called Sambar that moistens the rice and the sambal and is very nourishing that I need to get the recipe for, will post it here if I can persuade Malini to part with it ­čÖé She has agreed to share, will post soon.

This is a place to go for the food. If you don’t want to be disappointed, book a table. The walls could use a paint and the seating plan is sometimes questionable. Why would you place two separate couples two inches from each other in an otherwise empty restaurant? If it is really busy and at peak time, say 7pm on a Saturday night, you might be eating outside on metal tables. All this really doesn’t matter once you try the Laksa, Nasi Goreng or the Char Kway Teow. These spicy numbers are all washed down best with a coconut juice, in my opinion. Just a word of caution, they will ask if you want chilli- if you don’t like to suffer too much, ask for mild chilli, or just a little. Though some would consider it worth the pain.

Gado Gado Salad

Chicken and Prawn Laksa

Nasi Goreng (fried rice)

Nasi Lemak (coconut rice)

Hainanese Chicken Rice
If by some miracle you still have room, try one of the many coloured desserts on the table as you pay at the counter. The cassava one is mild, not too sweet and has a lovely texture.

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