With Australia Day just around the corner, we've been thinking about the foods that Aussies love, and rounding up our favourite recipes to mark the occasion.


Cliché though it may be, no other nation does barbecues like they do Down Under – good beer, great ingredients (and loads of both) and better weather (ok, the last bit is just luck). Admittedly I’ve never heard an Aussie actually say “Put another shrimp on the barbie” but that’s probably because it’s already on there.


Ask most Aussies what their favourite comfort food is and if they don’t say pie, they’re probably lying. Ask what they want in it, and they’ll usually accept nothing less than local beef and a decent beer. So to celebrate Australia Day this year, Jamie cooked up a beef and Coopers pale ale pie with cheesy pastry. Now I don’t care where you’re from, that sounds amazing.


A cultural icon (according to the National Trust of Queensland), the Lamington, a sweet sponge with a jam filling, even has a national day devoted to it. Named after its creator Lord Lamington, it’s dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut – which compares favourably to Jamie’s classic school pudding, the Jammy coconut sponge, simply because of the addition of chocolate.


Walk into any burger bar or restaurant in Australia and ask for “the lot” and watch in horror/delight as they pile on just about everything in the kitchen. From what we can tell it’s usually cheese, bacon, pineapple, beetroot (!), a beef tomato and lettuce. And that’s before the sauces. We can’t pretend to have a recipe for that, but here’s a perfect patty recipe, ready for you to load up with whatever your Aussie mate demands.


While we’re in calorific overdrive, sausage rolls are another naughty foodstuff close to the heart of Australians. Try these super-easy, super-delicious Jamie ones, and make sure you eat them warm.


While opening the Jamie’s Italians in Perth, Sydney and Canberra, we discovered that higher-welfare Australian beef is quite something. Judging by how it flies out of the kitchens every service, the Aussies love their steak, so here’s one of Jamie’s favourite recipes – perfect for a prime cut.

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With south-east Asia a short flight away it’s natural that Australia developed a taste for sweet, sticky, sour Asian flavours – and they’re getting bigger all the time Down Under (even earning the alternative name dim sim – or dimmies!). It seems that dim sum has captured their imaginations most, so try Jamie’s barbecued (a great trick!) chicken dim sum – it’s doughy and delicious and boasts a gorgeous fiery marinade.


To be honest, you can ignore the smoked salmon and eggs in this dish. We’ve picked it because Australians love a fried potato cake. Well, most people do – you can’t beat that crispy-then-soft texture. They can also be topped with almost anything, which makes them a favourite in homes and takeaways throughout Australia.


There isn’t a nation in the world that doesn’t deep-fry something, but we reckon beer-battered fish and chips is the ultimate. That flaky fresh fish with the crispy, ever-so-slightly oily batter is to die for, and perfect eaten while looking out to sea – and when you have as much coastline as Australia, that makes this a national dish.


Apparently New Zealanders claim ownership of the Pavlova too, and on both sides the story is the same: the dessert was named after the famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, following her tour of both countries in the 1920s. Quite why such a fattening treat was named after a professional dancer is unclear – maybe she was just very sweet.


Australia, bbq, favourite dishes, steak

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  • Kate Stai

    The pavlova was named after the famous ballerina because it looks like her tutu – white and puffy.

  • Jac Fin

    I reckon you add to this list fish cakes with a hint of Thailand – kaffir lime leaf, ginger and chilli. Not to mention Garlic prawns, followed by rack of lamb encrusted with garlic/rosemary/thyme,served with cauliflower cheese;and then the classic golden dumplings for dessert. We’re a bit partial to anything stir fried too, so I can recommend a good pad thai, or fried kway teow from Malaysia . We are very lucky here. Great produce, great chefs, appreciative foodies and a wonderful multicultural society that embraces everyone else’s yummy stuff.

    • http://Jamieoliver.com Jonny Garrett

      Thai stir fries nearly made the list, but Jamie’s a huge fan of steamed buns so I may have been biased there…

      • Jac Fin

        I am going to try one Jamie’s steamed bun recipes this weekend so I may have a bias soon too. It was fun having Aussie food highlighted briefly on this lovely blog. Thank you :-)

  • Tamara Lampard

    a burger with ‘the lot’ is also known as a ‘kitchen sink’ and includes a fried egg and cheese slice as well as fried onion and all the salads you listed. And it’s just not right without the beetroot :)

  • петя спасова

    i say that pavlova is invented in australia then it was moved to nz…it is a really huge meringue cake, i have to admit that aussies use exotic fish for fish n chips like Kiwis.yes and they share cuisine-like cooking lamingtons or anything with potato batter.

  • Tamara Lampard

    But we do love our Asian food – probably because we spend lots of holiday time there

  • Tamara Lampard

    and my last word – they are not shrimps mate, they’re PRAWNS!!

  • paddlepop

    Some actual research would have been useful here. Potato cakes? Not something particularly popular or recognisable on the dinner table or for a takeaway. Lamingtons? Might be a nationally recognisable cake, but a favourite? Maybe once a year on Australia Day. Shrimp? Prawns are never called ‘shrimp’ and we can thank that one hideously cliched ad for that. Which pretty much sums up this article.

  • Linton Hughes

    What a load of carp (misspelling intentional) .. The author has clearly never been to Australia, and promoting a bunch of recipes based on national stereotypes is what the internet is great for .. It used to be that you had to actually know something to get read .. now all you do is post it on the internet and apparently it’s true.

    You will NEVER find a shrimp in Australia .. because we don’t call them shrimps – that’s Americanised English.

    And most of the rest are pretty much stereotypes, not food we actually eat on a regular basis.

    The nice thing about being Australian is that we have a huge multicultural heritage and access to some of the best meat, seafood, fruit, and fresh produce on the planet at good prices.

    We can take all the best of Asian, European, and all other cuisines and have them all .. but somehow we get known for only drinking beer and sticking prawns on barbecues – thanks to one American advertisement.

    I would suggest to not give up your day job if you want to make a career in journalism, except that apparently this is your day job.

    • http://Jamieoliver.com Jonny Garrett

      Hey, thanks for commenting. If we missed some foods we’d love to hear what they are – there are dishes from all over the world here. As for the shrimps, I do actually write I’ve never heard an Aussie say it. I’m on your side!

  • Laurel Brown

    Sorry, but think you missed the mark with this Aussie favourites list! Let me give you my top ten.
    1. sausages (or affectionately known as snags) – top BBQ fav
    2. Meat pies are definitely up there
    3. Steaks, this one is right too
    4. Thai food/asian flavours, we love Asian food, even the local Chinese TA
    5. Chicken schnitzel, or if your from Melb, parma and pot (thats a beer)
    6. Roast lamb
    7. Pavlova – this is a BIG hit
    8. Pizza, meat lovers please
    9. Fingerbuns. Haven’t had one since school, with a choc moove
    10. Seafood, doesn’t matter how its cooked. We love it.

    So come and visit us and try some for your next article.

  • Albo

    Oh dear dude, massive fail when it comes to ‘Aussie Food’. Please do your ‘thorough’ research before you ever put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) again.

  • Samantha Coverdale

    a few things wrong mate, we call ’em prawns here in Oz, we don’t have a National Day for Lamingtons, and Dim Sims? Really???? Oh and how did the potato cake get a mention………………do your research please, we here in Australia are a proud bunch!

  • Di Minter


    125 g beef mince
    1 egg (beaten)

    salt and black pepper
    2 bacon rashers
    1 large sliced onion
    1 slice cheese
    1 large slice tomato
    1 large slice beetroot
    1 pineapple ring
    1 hamburger roll
    tomato sauce

    Cut hamburger roll in half and butter both halves
    Toast both bun halves on the grill

    Make patty with beaten egg salt and pepper to taste
    Fry the meat patty, the bacon rashers and the onion
    Flip the meat patty over,place sliced cheese on top
    Fry the egg
    Butter the bun,add tomato sauce to taste
    Assemble the burger with lettuce, tomato, beetroot, onion, pineapple, meat patty
    Top with bacon, egg, cheese place other half of bun on top

    • http://Jamieoliver.com Jonny Garrett

      Amazing, thanks! Maybe one day we’ll get a recipe for it on the site

  • Di Minter

    JO was down this way over the weekend………….
    He took a Tour of the Mushroom Tunnels,
    We have fabulous Mushrooms growing here, all varieties!
    At just $35 per
    person for this amazing experience, it is well worth the drive down to
    our gorgeous Southern Highlands to appreciate something so unique.

  • Di Minter

    Real Aussie Lamington Recipe!
    No Jam, No Whipped Cream Filling,
    Just a Plain Sponge…..
    Makes 24
    Prep time: 40 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes
    + overnight freezing

    250g butter, at room temperature, chopped
    1½ cups caster sugar
    4 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    2½ cups self-raising flour
    2 tbsp cornflour
    1 tsp baking powder
    pinch of salt
    ½ cup milk, approximately

    2 cups icing sugar
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    90g soft butter
    1 tsp vanilla essence
    5 tbsp hot water
    3 cups desiccated coconut, approximately


    1. Preheat the oven to moderately slow (160°C). Grease a large
    rectangular tin (31cm x 21cm x 4.5cm deep, base measurement) and line the base with baking paper, hanging over the two long sides.

    2. Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

    3. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt onto the butter
    mixture, and add the milk. Fold together until evenly combined. If it
    seems too thick, add a little bit more milk. Spread into the tin and
    smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, until it springs back to a
    gentle touch in the centre.

    4. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 24 hours.

    5. For the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large
    bowl. Add the butter and vanilla, then pour hot water, a little at a
    time, onto the butter to melt it. Stir until smooth and runny.

    6. Remove the cake from the freezer and unwrap. Lay on a sheet of baking paper, and cover the top with icing. Sprinkle with coconut. Lay a sheet of baking paper over the iced surface and quickly turn the cake over.

    Ice and sprinkle coconut on the other side.

    7. Cut into lengths about 5cm wide.
    Ice the cut sides and sprinkle with coconut. Cut each length into cubes. Ice the cut sides and sprinkle with coconut.

    Leave to set.

  • http://Jamieoliver.com Jonny Garrett

    Thanks for the link, will use it for reference in the future!

  • Maddy

    Love this! Obviously everyone Australian’s taste differs to a degree but I’d say you nailed it :)

  • Hayden Hayden

    I’m Australian and there is only one thing on that list I would eat at home. Most of that list is greasy takeaway bogan food. Australia has really good food, it is a pity you didn’t mention any of it.