Kangaroo tataki

Kangaroo tataki

Kangaroo tataki with lilly pilly recipe

You’ve already seen my interest in the plethora of native Australian ingredients I’ve been using in some of my recipes. Now they’re all in one place. A place that will grow alongside my regular recipes, as well as my Croatian ones. It may be thirteen years since I last cooked in a commercial kitchen, but thanks to this site I can keep the fire alive at heneedsfood.com. And aside from that, I’ll still travel and have you along. Virtually. The countdown has begun for the next trip!

And onto the kangaroo tataki!

My desire to make this came after I sampled some delicious kangaroo tataki at Crane Sydney where the chef served it on Greek pita bread, pizza-style. I seldom eat kangaroo because I forget about it, despite the fact you can get it at most Australian supermarkets these days. Yes, my international readers, many of us Aussies eat the animals on our national emblem. Eating kangaroo doesn’t come without it’s own controversy, however. So if you’re squeamish or political about it, just click away as this isn’t a forum or debate platform.

I’ve made my own version of kangaroo tataki here, bringing together a few more native Australian ingredients to a very traditional Japanese dish that usually involves beef. Ground wattleseeds and pepperberries, local cider (not all that native!) and fresh lilly pillies that I picked from a tree up the road from my house. The lilly pillies come from the lilly pilly trees you see all over suburbia and in parks and gardens across much of Australia. They originated in the rainforest but now the trees are as common as eucalyptus. And yes, you can eat the ripe fruit!

Kangaroo tataki with lilly pilly recipe

Kangaroo tataki with lilly pilly recipe

kangaroo tataki with pepperberry, lilly pilly & wattleseed kale chips

serves 4


the kangaroo

  • 400 g kangaroo fillet
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup cider


Trim the kangaroo fillet of any sinew. Combine the ginger, garlic and cider, place into a zip lock bag with the kangaroo. Seal and massage to coat the meat all over. Refrigerate overnight.

the kale chips

  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 tsp red miso paste
  • 1½ tsp macadamia oil, or peanut oil
  • 1 tsp ground wattleseeds


Preheat the oven to 175°C. Combine the miso paste and oil and, using your fingers, gently coat both sides of the kale leaves. Lay the kale on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once during cooking. Sprinkle with the wattleseeds when you turn the kale halfway through cooking. Set aside to cool.

the dipping sauce

  • 125 ml Japanese soy sauce
  • ½ cup bonito flakes
  • 1 tbsp cider
  • 60 ml fresh lemon juice


Bring the soy sauce to the boil in a small pan, add the bonito flakes then turn off the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the soy and discard the bonito. Add the cider and lemon juice and set aside.

the home stretch

  • 1 tsp ground pepperberry
  • 1 large radish, julienned
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup lilly pillies, cut in half or sliced


Take the kangaroo from the marinade, drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the kangaroo with the ground pepperberries and roll to coat evenly.

Heat a char-grill or large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear each kangaroo fillet on all sides for about 1 minute. Using a very sharp knife, slice the fillet into 3 mm slices and arrange on a serving platter. Lightly drizzle over some of the dipping sauce, garnish with the radish, chives and lilly pillies. Serve immediately.

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