Sunday, 5 December 2021

A Bloody Fine Stay.

Our November 2021 visit to French Pass & d'Urville Island was from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st November 2021 It was memorable for a variety of reasons. The Blood Red Super Moon was seen - the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years! The sky was clear and we had a good view of it.
Blood Red Moon

A couple of Rugby matches featured and we had the luxury of Sky Sports to watch the NPC final (Waikato beat Tasman) and the Test Match - (France beat the All Blacks). Not a happy time for the local viewers.
Watching defeats on TV


The fishing featured Cod & Mussels from Current Basin on Thursday, a poor catch of assorted fish on Friday at the Rangitoto Islands, a rough trip and few fish from Greville Harbour on Saturday and our quota of cod from Current Basin in the rain on Sunday.
Linchtime at the Rangitotos

The Masked Stranger

Sashimi anyone?

Lunch Stop

Steve's new bait board,

Retrieving boats at French Pass

On the home front, we ate and drank well; Glen and Richard made Spring Rolls, but the proposed wine tasting competition was put off till another day.

Pie are round!

Maori Bread!
A small portion please!

Spring Roll Chefs.

A note:
The GPS function of a lost hearing aid is not very accurate in a region of poor cellular reception. The aid is still lost and the insurance company is poorer. (Have you ever heard of a poor insurance company?)

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Dry July?

 Dry July? 

I think not. 

The Saturday of the Flying Wok trip was a terrific storm with heavy rain and strong Northerly winds. Nevertheless the trip went ahead although two of the wokkers elected to stay home and Tom left "Doris" in the Nelson marina and travelled to Webber's house in French Pass by car. 

While driving to French Pass we saw a lake before Rai Valley which had been pastures, It extended across the road through Ronga Valley. Several small slips over the road were cleared and the yard outside Webbers holiday house was a pond because of the blocked stream. 

The Saturday night dinner menu specified fish cakes but as the weather prevented launching George's "Bossanova" and the menu could not be changed, tinned tuna was obtained from the local store to make the fish cakes. 

The house TV had Sky Sports and so the All Black vs Fiji rugby featured as did the Tour de France race for the cyclists. 

A pond? No, it's the car park.

Sunday was a little better (weather wise) and so we made a couple of trips in 'Bossanova" to catch fish and mussels (as specified in the weekend menu) in Current Basin. Tom and Dick left early in the morning to return to Nelson to pick up "Doris"

"Doris" arrives.

Pelorus Jack was here!

A new game was introduced on Sunday night - Beer Tasting. I wonder if Stoke Brewery will sponser beer for the next Flying Wok trip!

Beer Tasting results & comments

Monday saw us travel North to the Rangitoto Islands where we caught fish - gurnard, snapper, tarakihi and blue cod. It was good weather with little wind, flat sea and only a little rain. As usual, we ate well. George caught a crayfish over 9 pounds. 

Crayfish for nine. 

George found his lost weight belt - it had fallen from his boat. The Webber graveyard has an appropriate sighn on the gate.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

March 2021 - Here we go again!

 Nine wokkers went again to French Pass & stayed at Webber's old house. Two boats - Doris & Bossanova. Three vehicles. Motored to Rai Valley's Brick Oven shop for luncheon then on to French Pass on the Saturday. A quick fish for teatime food. All complained of tiredness so no cards that night. 

This adventure (March 2021) saw old & new things. The usual old things - fishing, food, drinks, card games & staying at Webber's house in French Pass. Old but new saw new/old foods. Along with mussels, snapper. smoked moki and fish pate we had freshly made quince jelly and bread & butter pudding. Not the bread & butter pudding that I remembered from boarding school but a gastronomic delicacy. More please, chef!

Other new items were the electric motor powered burley mincer. However after a bucket full of frames mincing, it broke down on a cod head and has gone to mincer hospital for repairs and a future trip. 

The mincer in action.

Our chef had entered the national (age category) cycle championships and brought his cycle and a fan to create a breeze while cycling on the spot. He claimed that he was "on the wagon" but somehow he broke this promise. 

Cycling to nowhere. Note the drink bottle on the chair.

On the way from French Pass to Greville Harbour we encountered a large pod of dolphins and so stopped off to see these creatures 

Both boats had setlines. aboard. On Sunday Doris laid the setline in Greville Harbour and were surprised to catch half a dozen gurnard. On the Monday Bossanova and Doris laid lines around the Rangitoto Islands. Bossanova were blessed with several snapper while Doris caught sharks - both Spiny Dogfish and Carpet sharks. So the laid the line again. More sharks!

We went fishing around here and were rewarded with a lot of Tarakihi - between the two boats we caught over forty Tarakihi by winding up above the bottom. If the line was left on the bottom, it was taken by a blue cod within seconds. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

2020 - Covid-19 trips

2020 Adventues

2020 was marked by Covid-19 pandemic. This resulted in the cancellation of the proposed March trip, but Flying Wok could not be put down for long, and the crew got togeter again in July and November for further trips. 

The July trip was marked by the absence of Brian (who was at a cycling event overseas) (though the North Island is as far overseas as we could get these days). Cooking duties were taken oner by our Sous Chef  and diver George. 

November saw the boys at it again. Memorable events were the weather - pouring rain, glassy calm and sunny, strong winds then cold and overcast for our final day. The changes to the shower / toilet facilities in the Webber's house were much appreciated but the chest freezer sufferred a mishap during renovations and had been retired. One of the wekas had sneaked inside and part eaten a loaf of bread. Also pecked was the bag of burley pellets. 

Blue Cod

Lunch at the Rangitoto Islands,


Filleting fish




Chef & diver George with tasty nibbles.


Weka strike!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020


A Flying Wok trip for March 2020 was proposed. We were to stay at Webber's house in French Pass and use boats owned by Tom and George. Brian was to go on a cycling competition for which he had been practising and dieting but this was cancelled because of Cornavirus.  George was to do the chefing duties. As the departure day approached one then several Wokkers withdrew. The illness became more serious and most of the participants were over 70 years of age (& of higher risk of complications from infection) and movements became more restrictive. Webbers informed us that the accommodation was closed and so the trip was cancelled.  The entire nation was put into lockdown. 

As a result there was no March 2020 trip; I did not post pictures and an account and pictures of the November 2019 trip and so this posting will be of the previos trip and a couple of movies that I took on a recent trip through the Fishermans Passage and the French Pass. 

The Mad Hatter

Tom at the helm of Doris



Throw Backer


A little crayfish
A couple of videos that I took on 15th March from Vic King-Turner's "Transition"

French Pass

Fisherman's Passage

Friday, 24 January 2020

In Memorium

2019 saw the deaths of two much loved persons. Denis Creed had been ill for several years and died in December of 2019. Vivienne Leachman, the wife of the late Andrew Leachman also died in December of 2019. Both will be fondly remembered by the Wokkers. 

CREED, Dennis Edward:
QSM; LLB; M.StJohn.
09.09.1955 - 07.12.2019
Dearly loved and loving husband of Lucie; superdad for Tom, and Oliver; beloved and respected father-in-law of Jasmine, and Kelsie; adored by his grandchildren Elizabeth, and Edward. A lovely man, a gentleman, joker, leader, role-model, excellent raconteur and BBQ chef, singer, actor, wine connoisseur, fisherman extaordinaire, pillar of the community; intelligent, thoughtful, generous, loyal, and the light of our lives.
An exemplary family man who served his community well.
Forever Loved
Friends of Dennis are respectfully informed that a private cremation has been held. Messages to Marsden House, 41 Nile Street East, Nelson 7010. In lieu of flowers, donations to Nelson Tasman Hospice would be greatly appreciated.


LEACHMAN, Vivienne Linda
(née Parrant):
11 April 1945 -
12 December 2019
It is with deep sadness we farewell our beautiful mother who passed gracefully at home after a short illness with her three girls by her side. A wonderful wife to the late Andrew, adored mother of Victoria and the late Miles, Siobhan and Conrad, and Vashti and Darren. The most supportive hands-on Granny to Catherine, Fintan, Kingsley and Kobi. We are heartbroken but forever grateful for all she has given us. Mum, you surrounded yourself with your loves: family, friends, music, travel, clothes, design, and nature. You left with dignity and no regrets. A true friend and inspiration to so many. We love you so much. We invite Viv's friends to celebrate her wonderful life in her beautiful garden at 176 Nile Street, Nelson, on Monday, December 16, between 2.00pm and 4.00pm. Alternative venue – umbrellas!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Flying Wok Recipes

Flying Wok Recipes

Harissa BBQ Whole Fish
Blend the following ingredients together.
50g fresh red chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground caraway seeds
1 tab smoked sweet paprika
2 garlic cloves
2 tab tomato purée
3 tab red wine vinegar
4 tab olive oil
Cover fish well with paste.
Tinfoil, BBQ
Image result for fish

Thai fish cakes
400g boneless white fish fillets, some roughly chopped, some wizzed
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons grated palm or brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon tamarind extract
1 egg optional
4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped finely
80g snake or round beans, thinly sliced
1 small red capsicum, cut into a small dice, optional
½ tsp  Baking Powder
100 g Rice Flour
4 spring onions (all)
Thinly slice most of fish, wizz remainder.
Mould into small patties and deep fry.
Dipping Sauce.
Mint Jelly, 
Sweet chilli sauce
Sesame oil
A little fish sauce
 Image result for fish

Panko Crumb Fish with Wasabi Cream
250g sour cream
1 Tab wasabi paste
Pickled pink ginger, chopped
Chopped parsley

Mussels in Black Bean and Chilli Sauce
Mussels, steamed open, shelled
3tsp cornflour
1 Tab salted black beans
2 small chopped red chillies
2 clove garlic chopped
2 Tsp grated ginger
3 Tsp oyster sauce
2 Tsp soy sauce
1 Tsp sugar
3 Tsp veg oil
1 med sliced onion
1 sliced red capsicum
200g baby corn halved
3 spring onion cut 1in.
 Combine cornflour with 1/2 cup (125ml) of water.
Place black beans  in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add chilli, garlic, ginger, oyster and soy sauce, sugar and cornflour mix and combine.
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat and stir fry onion for 1 minute.
Add the capsicum and baby corn and stir for another 2 minutes.
Add Mussels to wok and stir fry about 1 min. Add the sauce and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.
Stir through spring onion.

Flying Wok Fish Cakes (Crumbed)
250 g fish or mussels
2 Tab rice Flour.
½ tsp  baking powder.
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 kaffir lime leaves (finely shredded)
1-2 tsp red curry paste
 4 spring onions (all) sliced
Fish Sauce.
Coriander - chopped.
 1 Egg
 Thinly slice most of fish, roughly chop remainder. Mix everything.
Mould into small patties and pan fry in oil and serve with Dipping Sauce or for Flying Wok Decadence, pan fry on low heat to set, cool, flour egg and Panko Crumb, then Deep Fry.
Dipping Sauce. 
¼ Cup. Mint Jelly. 
¼ Cup. Sweet Chili Sauce
 2 tsp Sesame Oil. 
1 tab Fish sauce

Vietnamese Caramelised Fish
Fish fillets cut up into about 4 inch pieces.
1⁄3 cup castor sugar            
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chilli pepper
2 slices ginger, julienned
Ground black pepper
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook the sugar over low to medium heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown and caramelized.
Remove pan from heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel.
It will smoke slightly.
Return the pan to low heat and gently boil for about couple minutes while stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir in the shallots, chilli and ginger.
Add the fish in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, turning the fish occasionally and carefully.
Serve with rice.

Tandouri BBQ Mussels
Place mussels in shells on BBQ till open.
Discard top shell, save mussel liquid from shell.
Clean up mussels to liking ( eg. Hard tongue, detritus)
Mix Plain Yoghurt with a few tsp. of tandouri Paste, mussel liquid & finely chopped mint. 
Place a tsp. of mix onto each shell, and back on the BBQ until the sauce just begins to bubble.
Sauce should turn a dark red.
Garnish and serve.
Tandouri Paste
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup lemon juice
5cm fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, skinned, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon chilli paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons oil
3 teaspoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
Image result for green lip mussels

Spicy Fried Chicken or Fish
Mix 3 Cups buttermilk with salt (2 Tab)
Hot Sauce to make marinade.
Add the chicken or Fish, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2 cups all-purpose flour  
1 tab onion powder. 
1 tab cumin powder
1 tab sweet paprika   
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the Honey Peppercorn Drizzle
3/4 cup honey.
2 Tab pink peppercorns. 
Zest and juice of 1 lime.
Grind Peppercorns and mix all to make drizzle.
Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne in a large bowl and divide among 2 shallow platters and season generously with salt and pepper.
Drain the fish in a colander and pat it dry.
Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow excess to drain off.
Dredge in the second plate of flour and pat off the excess.
Put the fish pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.
Fry in batches till crispy.
Serve hot drizzled with the honey peppercorn drizzle.                       

Laksa Flying Wok
Chill coconut cream in tin. Open and take solids off top. Add to pan and cook till splits
Whizz to paste Garlic Ginger Coriander Root Red Onion
Add to coconut and sauté.
Add laksa paste.
Add fish or chicken stock and coconut juice.
Simmer. Add seafood.
Place rice noodles, shredded lettuce, in bowls.
Divide seafood over noodles.
Top up with broth.
Garnish with chopped coriander and fried shallots.

Whole Baked Fish
2 x whitefish, whole (about 300 g each)
1 x onion, chopped
1x garlic clove, crushed
1tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1tsp lemon rind, chopped
2 tab tamarind sauce
1 tab light soy sauce
1 tab peanut oil
1. Place fish onto large pieces of Baking Paper. Make three deep incisions with sharp knife on each side of fish.
2. In a food processor, combine onion, garlic, ginger, lemon rind, tamarind sauce, light soy sauce and peanut oil, blend until the mixture is smooth.
3. Spread mixture on both sides and inside the fish.
4. Wrap fish in the Baking paper and then tin foil around fish, secure firmly.
Place fish in a baking dish, bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes, or until fish is just cooked.

Mussel Pakoras and Spicy Mayo
1 cup chickpea flour.
1 Tab garam masala.
1 Tsp. fenugreek.
1 Tsp. spanish paprika.
Salt & Pepper.
¼ cup yoghurt. 
¼ cup water.
Spicy Mayo
1 tab mayonnaise
1 tab plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp fresh lemon juice chilli Sauce (Siracha) or sauce of your choice.
1/2 tsp sugar, optional

Soy Braised Fish
500gr. fish (Chunky)                       
½ Tsp salt                                         
2 Tab Sherry
4 Tab cornflour                               
1 egg white                                      
1 Tsp. ginger
3 tab oil                                                           
2 tab soy sauce                
2 tsp sugar
120ml stock                                     
Parsley garnish.                
Selection of stir fry veg. for bed.
Cut the fish steak pieces about the size of a matchbox.
Mix together the Salt, Sherry and a tab cornflour.
Marinade about 30 mins.
Dip pieces of Fish in Egg White and then in Cornflour.
Heat oil in pan and fry pieces till golden, stirring gently to separate each piece.
Add the ginger, soy sauce, sugar and stock, then cook for 3-4 mins. or until juice is mostly evaporated.
Should finish with a golden syrupy thick sauce. You may need to remove fish from sauce to reduce to desired consistency.
Serve on a bed of stir fried vegetables
Image result for fish
Paua and Kohlrabi Fritters
400gm minced paua
200gm grated kohlrabi.
½  cup red onion, finely diced
1 lemon, zest and juiced
¼ cup coriander, rough chopped
1 tab sweet chilli sauce
Salt and fresh black pepper
250ml fritter batter base mix,
Image result for kohlrabi
Thai Fish Cakes
Red Chilli
Palm Sugar
Lime Juice
Chilli Paste
Fish sauce
Lime leaves
Rice noodles
Whiz together
Mix in beans cut ¼ inch & rice noodles soaked and cut 25mm.

Peach Salsa
Tin peaches.
Salt & pepper
Spring onion
Red onion
Mango powder or lemon Juice
Whiz lightly,
Adjust consistency with peach syrup.
Image result for peach

Panzanella Salad
Cut Ciabatta or similar Bread into roughly ½ inch squares. 
Place in oven until lightly browned dry and crispy.
Dice Tomatoes,
Slice Red Onions. Tear Basil Leaves, Chopped Parsley,
Cracked Black Pepper and Salt. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Add Bread across top of salad while still warm. (not hot)
Drizzle with good Balsamic Vinegar. Drizzle on good Olive Oil generously, (the bread will soak up a lot of Oil.)
Mix all together gently and serve.

Image result for panzanella

Smoking Fish.
2 cups brown sugar
1 Cup plain salt.
1 Tab cracked black pepper
1 Tab garlic or onion powder (optional)
Mix and pack enough around to coat fish. Cure 4-8 hrs. or overnight.
Rinse off mix and pat dry.
Put on S/S wire rack or hang in front of fan till good pellicle (tackiness) forms. (1-2 hours.)
Hot smoke.
Result: Good smoke penetration and colour.

Janssons Temptation
Slice 1 kg med potatoes thinly.
Layer potatoes and 2 med. thinly sliced onions and 1 tin chopped anchovies alternately in a greased dish, seasoning each layer with white pepper.
Top off with layer of potato.
Sprinkle w/ anchovy oil and 200ml cream.
Top with breadcrumbs and knobs of butter.
Cover and bake 60 mins. @ 180c. Finish uncovered 30mins.
Garlic and Cheese optional additives.
Place onto a baking sheet to catch any cream which bubbles over.
Bake in preheated oven until the potatoes have softened, the cream has reduced, and the dish has turned deep golden brown.

Flying Wok Bread and Butter Pudding
Sandwich Bread ( crusts optional) Thinly butter bread, spread with jam.
Peel persimmons (apples etc) and dice, cook off with a little water and sugar till soft. Drain.
In a deepish baking dish, place a layer of bread, sprinkle on cooked fruit (or Dates sultanas)
Build another layer(s) the same, but keep the top bare. Beat eggs milk and sugar (vanilla) together.
Ratio 3 to 4 eggs to pint, sugar to taste. Pour over enough mix to completely drench bread.
Sprinkle top with sugar, a few knobs of butter and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.
Cook in moderate oven till top browns. The outsides will puff up more than centre but can be very deceptive. The centre takes a long time to cook. When you think it’s cooked put the tip of a spoon down in the middle of pudding to see if it’s still runny inside.

Potato and Tomato Gnocchi.
800g Potatoes
1 Egg
¾ Tsp. Salt
150g Flour
Wash and bake Potatoes approx 1hour, cool slightly and scoop out flesh.
Push through sieve. Mix in Egg, then Flour and Salt. Divide into 6 and 
roll each into Chipolata thickness. Cut into 20mm lengths.
If mix too wet, add more flour. Lightly dust with flour. 
Cook in boiling water in batches till gnocchi floats. 1-2 mins. Remove.
¼ Cup Olive Oil.
4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
1-2 Tins Tomatoes. Blitz briefly.
Basil (optional)
Cheese Topping: Mozzarella, Cheddar Tasty. (Any or all)
Heat Oil in pan, add Garlic and gently cook. Add pureed Tomato
and simmer 10 mins. Check seasoning. Add Basil.
Add Gnocchi and mix in. If using an oven proof pan, sprinkle on Cheese
and brown in oven. Alternatively, divide Gnocchi and Sauce into smaller 
dishes, and finish as above. Garnish with sprig Basil.
Serve with Spicy Floured Fish.

Spicy Floured Fish.
Mix 2 Cups buttermilk with salt, add 2 Tbsp. Hot Sauce to make marinade. Add the Fish, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tbspn. onion pwdr.  
    • 1 tbspn. Cumin Powder
    • 1 tbspn sweet paprika    
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne 
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne in a large bowl and divide among 2 shallow platters and season generously with salt and pepper. Drain the fish. Dredge the the fish a few pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow excess to drain off. Dredge in the second plate of flour and pat off the excess. 
Put the fish pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.  Fry in batches till crispy.
Serve hot accompanied with Gnocchi and Sauce.

Flying Wok Seafood Thermidor Sandwich
Sweat Spinach in Butter till wilted. S&P. Drain.
Slice Sour Dough/Ciabatta Bread Toast or Sandwich thickness. Drizzle with Olive Oil.
Grill in oven till lightly toasted both sides.
Mix Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream, Egg Yolks, Dijon or similar Mustard,
S&P, Parmesan Cheese. Whisk together.
Top Bread with Spinach layer. 
Top With mix of Prawns Crayfish Scallops Fish Mussels etc.
Coat with Sauce Glaze. Top with Grated Parmesan.
Place under Grill for 1 -2 Mins until very lightly browned.
Serve as single layer for entree, or Double for a Sandwich main.🐙

    • 1 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup stuffing
    • 1 cup uncooked popcorn
    • salt/pepper to taste
    • 6-7 lb. chicken
Follow directions carefully.
Preheat oven to 180ºc
Brush chicken well with melted butter, salt and pepper.
Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn.
Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.
Listen for popping sounds.
When the chicken's arse blows the oven door open, it's done. Enjoy.