This recipe could be called “if you can’t pronounce the name, don’t bother trying”. I am an adventurous person but this time, I have to say I could have skipped this adventure.
The only good thing about this recipe is that it allowed me to use the pumpkin I had purchased for Halloween to carve with my kids… and that I hadn’t had time to carve this time!
Kiribati is probably one of those countries you have never heard of. It is really an island nation composed of 32 atolls located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
I do not think there is a country more removed from anywhere on this planet than this nation. It spreads over a surface as big as the United States but its land area is barely over 300 sq. miles with a population of just over 100,000 people. Another interesting characteristic of this country is that it is the only one that is located on the four hemispheres!
Finding a dish that is characteristic of this country was not an easy task. I found typical dishes like the palu sami but soon discovered this was really originally a Samoan dish that is also served in Kiribati. I therefore settled on te bua toro ni baukin. Yes, this is the actual name of this dish which is as weird as its ingredients. Islanders obviously rely a lot on local wholesome ingredients but also need to find ways to preserve food, which is why they also use powdered milk or tinned meat in some of their recipes.
As I cooked this dish, I realized that I would have a hard time with it. However, I served it to my kids without any word. My daughter Ava only finished it after I gave her ketchup to mask its weird taste. My oldest son Elior, being as adventurous as I am (if not more), devoured the dish in less than 5 minutes. That’s my boy!
Recipe of Te Bua Toro ni Baukin
Ingredients (for 6 persons)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons powdered milk
1 1/2 lb grated pumpkin (about 1 medium pumpkin)
1 1/2 lb shredded cabbage (about 1 medium cabbage)
1 tin meat (SPAM) or 1/2 lb corned beef
Peel pumpkin and grate flesh into a dish, or if the pumpkin is large, cut the top and carve the inside. Drain excess water from grated pumpkin.
Shred cabbage and add to grated pumpkin.
Add flour, tinned meat (or diced corned beef), powdered milk (or soy milk), cabbage and baking powder to the pumpkin. Mix all together. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Put mixture into a baking dish that was greased with butter or oil.
Cook in 350 F oven until brown, about 45-50 minutes.