The classic Cook Islands party dish (as seen in the Cook Islands episode of Real Pasifik) receives a healthy update from local Cook Islands chef, James Raukete. If you don’t happen to have breadfruit to hand, then simply swap it out for Maori potatoes, standard potatoes or add in some extra kumara.
James believes that this dish got its name from the mayonnaise that was mixed through the potato salad. After asking a few people to spell out the name for him, James had received several different variations; ‘Mayonese’, ‘Minus’, ‘Minese’ and ‘Mayonnaise’. And having also asked around about the origin of this salad, James had two separate people tell him it was originally a Russian salad that was adapted in the Cook Islands.
In any case, while the appearance of the salad may seem somewhat questionable to some, it certainly tastes delicious!
250g purple kumara
250g gold kumara
250g orange kumara
200 g breadfruit, peeled and cored
1 spring onion, finely sliced
100g snake beans
salt & pepper
4 coconuts, mature
Juice from tinned beetroot (Just enough for colour)
2 large boiled eggs, peeled and grated
1. In seasoned water bring the kumara, with the skin on, to the boil. Cook each type of kumara in separate pots. Cook until tender.
2. Strain water.
3. Allow the kumara to cool slightly, but peel while still warm. Discard the kumara skin.
4. Dice the kumara into 2cm cubes. Reserve.
5. Cut the breadfruit into 2cm cubes.
6. In another pot, fill with water and bring to the boil.
7. Add the breadfruit and cook until its just soft.
8. Wash the beans. Cut off the tops and tails of the snake beans.
9. Cut the snake beans into 2 to 3 cm long pieces
10. In a pot, boil enough water to cover the beans.
11. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat and add the beans to the seasoned water.
12. Once the water comes to a boil again, turn the heat down and let the beans simmer for about 4 minutes or until they are tender but still crisp.
13. Strain the beans and plunge into a bowl of ice water.
14. Once the beans are cool, remove from the ice water (allow the kumara, breadfruit and beans to cool before mixing in the dressing).
15. Combine the kumara, breadfruit, beans and spring onions in a large bowl.
16. Add 2/3 of the coconut dressing and combine thoroughly.
17. Season to taste
18. Arrange salad on a platter or in a salad bowl.
19. Drizzle over the pink coconut topping.
20. Sprinkle over the boiled eggs.
Coconut Dressing Method
1. Grate the coconut in to a bowl.
2. Add 1/2 C water to the bowl.
3. Place a tea towel or muslin cloth over the bowl and carefully pour the mixture into it.
4. Gather up the edges and squeeze until all of the liquid has been removed. Discard the coconut.
5. Pour coconut cream into a pot.
6. Bring coconut cream to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the coconut cream thickens. Keep simmering until the cocnut cream takes on a jelly like consistency.
7. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Pink Coconut Topping Method
1. Using 1/3 of the Coconut Dressing, in a mixing bowl, mix Coconut Dressing with Beetroot Juice. Just enough juice to give the dressing a bright pink colour.
The end result!