Joo’s Lor Bak (Stewed Pork Dish)

Joo Siew was hesitant to share her secret family recipes with us, as she makes a living from her wonderful cooking at the High Country Motel in Cooma.

She found a childhood favourite recipe in an old cook book from Singapore to share. She cooks this recipe for her children and customers.


  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 kg pork belly
  • 3 tbsp black soy sauce
  • 1 piece of ginger (about the size of a walnut)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 ltrs water


  • Heat wok
  • Caramelise the sugar. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to avoid it burning.
  • Put whole piece of pork in to sear. If its too large cut into two pieces.
  • When the pork is well coated in sugar caramel, add soy sauce, a little at a time, so that the pork is slowly steeped in it.
  • Add ginger and salt.
  • When the mixture is fragrant and slightly bitter, add water and leave to simmer on low heat for 1 hour.


Joo's Restaurant at the High County Motel in Cooma!

Joo’s Restaurant at the High County Motel in Cooma!

The 'Friendship wall' at Joo's restaurant!

The ‘Friendship wall’ at Joo’s restaurant!


Marg’s Lemon Pie

By Margaret Keefe

I make this rarely now as we are getting older, but I used to make it all the time for the boys when they were still around. It was a family staple! 

I make it about every 6 months now. Its quite simple.’ 


  • 400g frozen sliced short cut pastry


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 397g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg white


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • Line the base of a 22cm flan dish with pastry
  • Bake blind at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, and then cool while making the filling
  • Pour the filling into the pastry shell
  • Spread meringue topping over filling
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes


  • Mix egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon rind together.
  • Beat egg whites until soft peak form and fold into lemon mixture.


  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Beat in sugar a little at a time.
  • Continue beating until thick and glossy.

Serves 6-8 people.

Tyas’ Semur Daging (Beef Stew)

By Tyas Smith

Tyas moved to Cooma in the early 90s from Indonesia, and brought with her the recipe to this delicious beef stew!


  • 500g of blade steak or similar
  • 4 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 375cc water
  • 3 tbsp frying oil
  • 2 tomatoes, each cut in quarters
  • 10 cloves shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 fps whole pepper
  • Salt


  • Using a stone mortar and pestle, make a paste with the shallot, garlic, pepper and salt.
  • Cut the meat in 4 x 5 x 1/2 cm cubes.
  • Heat the oil and fry the paste ingredients.
  • Add meat, cook until brown, and add sweet soy sauce and water.
  • Reduce the heat, and simmer until the meat is tender.
  • Add tomatoes, and cook until tomatoes become soft.

Serve hot with steamed rice!

Tyas in the rehearsal room for Ghosts in the Scheme! Tyas is part of the Cooma cast

Tyas in the rehearsal room for Ghosts in the Scheme! Tyas is part of the Cooma cast.

Hazel’s Irish Brack Loaf Cake

By Hazel McKenzie Kay


‘I had come from a teaching hospital in London. After the war, ingredients were slim on the ground. I set off for New Zealand in a Hillman Imp with a chap who didn’t want to pay the tax to ship it from London, so we drove it overland to India where we couldn’t find tyres to fit it, and got lost on the south coast with rope for wheels.

His mother in New Zealand taught me this recipe.’


  • Half a kilo of dried fruit (Not the fake cherries!), soaked in a cup of cold black tea overnight.
  • 2 cups wholemeal SR flour


  • Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  • Mix the ingredients and pour into the tin.
  • Cook for an hour at 200 degrees.

Note: If mixture is too ‘tacky’ add cold water.

I make 2 a month and they last! I take them to morning teas at the church, and they are always on offer to visitors. They’re nice toasted with butter too!


Croatian Pogacice s Mlijevenim mesom ili Fasirani Snicli – Or Hamburgers!

By Josipa Pusswald 

‘A Croatian recipe I learned from mother and sister in Croatia before coming here. I started to make bread when I was 7 years old. I cooked here and there – not too much. When my mother died I went to live with my sister and had to cook. We didn’t have meat so often – it was a payday meal or a Sunday treat. From Hungaria and Austria we have lots of shared recipes. My husband Frank was a bit familiar with my food. He has always loved my cooking’. 


  • 500g of Premium Beef Mince
  • 1 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
  • Half a small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 bread roll or 2 slices of bread, soaked in water to soften
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt, pepper and parsley to taste
  • Oil for cooking


  • Mix everything together in a bowl – make sure to squeeze the water from the bread before adding it to the mixture.
  • Cover the mixture with cling wrap and let it stand for about half an hour.
  • Shape and make burgers, and roll them in some breadcrumbs.
  • Bake in a frying pan in hot oil until they become brown on both sides.

Serve with anything that you like!

Josipa's beautiful kitchen

Josipa’s beautiful kitchen

Josipa’s Chicken Dumplings

By Josipa Pusswald


  • 1 large chicken breast fillet
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • Turmeric
  • Hot chilli paprika
  • 1 tin of chick peas, smashed up with hands
  • 2 eggs
  • Self Raising flour


  • Fry onion and garlic in oil until slightly done.
  • Slice chicken breast fillet and add to onions and garlic.
  • Add dashes of turmeric and hot chilli powder.
  • Add the chick peas, eggs, flour and seasoning to taste.
  • In a pen heat about two fingers of oil and spoon in the dumplings.
  • Take them out when they become golden brown.

This recipe is delicious. Enjoy!

Josipa is her gorgeous kitchen

Josipa in her gorgeous kitchen

Claire Neumeyer’s Zucchini Slice! 

I make this when guests come and they always love it. Its easy, but I get my husband to help grate the zucchini as my hands are too sore! 

A French lady in Mt Isa gave me the recipe about 6 years ago. 


  • 375g Zucchini, grated (unpeeled)
  • 3 rashers bacon
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt, pepper


  • Finely chop the onion and bacon.
  • Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese, sifted flour, oil and lightly beaten eggs, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour into a well greased Lamington tin – around 16 x 26 cm at the base.
  • Bake in moderate oven for 30-40 minutes until browned.

This recipe serves about 5 people.

Claire rehearsing for the Cooma community showing of Ghosts in the Scheme - Concert Cosmopolitana!

Claire rehearsing for the Cooma community showing of Ghosts in the Scheme – Concert Cosmopolitana!