The Domestic Gourmet – Mikee
Every week, Mikee and his fiancee go back to his mother’s house to have a dinner that she has lovingly cooked for them. It’s a chance to regularly keep in contact with family, which Mikee tells me is important, “to keep you grounded”. The meals are always delicious, from all accounts, and there’s also an ulterior benefit: they can take home some Avondale Sunday Market produce and leftovers for the week to come!
Mikee’s cooking inspiration comes from his family – he remembers helping his late father in the kitchen. He really began to flourish while studying at university and names Jamie Oliver as another influence. Mikee likes how Jamie Oliver’s cooking and recipes are not just about having an end product, “but about enjoying the process, learning new techniques and having a better attitude towards cooking, prepping and sourcing/growing ingredients.”
Cooking tasty and healthy food is important to Mikee, especially as it is essential to his vocation – he has been a personal trainer for nine years. He tells me that he usually starts out following recipes exactly as they are, but after that he will adapt according to his own tastes (and his fiancee’s!). Mikee says that his fiancee has high food standards, “so I had to up my game to keep her happy!”. The two of them enjoy trying different eateries as well, and have their own food blog which documents their experiences (you can check it out by clicking here). His favourite type of cuisine? “It’s a three way tie between brunch, Chinese and Japanese.”
Although Mikee is born and bred in Auckland, his parents come from Fiji. This is where his recipe originates from – it’s a family favourite which his mum and dad used to cook while he was growing up. He tells me that it’s a Fijian Chinese comfort dish and friends often ask him for the recipe after he has cooked it for them.
And this is something I really appreciate about Mikee: just as his mum cooks for him to show how she cares, Mikee spends a lot of time and effort cooking for his friends and loved ones. His food is not just about eating – it’s about sharing and friendship.
Trainer Mike’s corned beef, cabbage and rice (CCR)
ground black pepper
1.) Heat up a large pot or pan. Put in a few tablespoons of oil and then add the garlic and onion. Cook for a couple of minutes.
2.) Add the sliced cabbage in two handful lots. Put on a lid until it starts to soften.
3.) Add in half a teaspoon of each: turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, cumin and pepper. Season with a little salt and stir around until everything is coated.
4.) Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all the cabbage is in and the last portion has softened.
5.) Add the corned beef and break it up into the cabbage until it is all mixed in and loosened up. Season to taste.
6.) To serve, scoop some rice onto a hot plate and then scoop some of the cabbage and corned beef mixture on top. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce and chilli vinegar over and sprinkle coriander on top to finish.
Trainer Mike’s notes: if you prefer less meat, you can use just one can of corned beef. If you want more meat, use two cans.
Rice & Kai notes: this is a hearty, warming, one-pot meal. Easy to make and easy to eat! Substitute the bongo chillies for any other hot chillies if you can’t get them.