As a fan of Australian native spices, I was delighted to use them with another indigenous product, pearly meat from the Pinctada Maximum oyster which is world renowned for the pearl it can produce.


  • 50g bean thread noodles

  • 3cm ginger, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 400g pearl meat

  • 1 teaspoon ground lemon myrtle

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground native pepperberry

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice and zest of one lime or 2 or 3 native finger limes

  • ½ cup native mint or mint leaves, roughly chopped plus a few sprigs

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped

  • Baby gem lettuce leaves separated (or the inside of cos lettuce)


  • 1.

    Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl.  Pour over boiling water to cover.  Set aside for 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Drain well, cover, cut into shorter pieces and set aside.

  • 2.

    Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add ginger and garlic and cook until golden, softened and aromatic but not brown, stirring frequently.

  • 3.

    Sprinkle lemon myrtle, pepperberry and salt on pearl meat and toss to coat evenly on all sides.

  • 4.

    Remove ginger and garlic to a large bowl. Increase heat under pan to high and add the remaining olive oil. Flash fry the pearl meat, in batches if necessary to avoid over-crowding the pan. It may need slightly longer on the second side to caramelise but do not over cook.

  • 5.

    Add to the bowl with ginger and garlic.  Season with lime zest, lime juice (or finger limes), mint, red onion and mix well.  Toss through bean thread noodles and taste for seasoning.

  • 6.

    Place two or more baby gem leaves on four entrée plates, top with pearl meat mixture and top with a few springs of mint and extra finger lime pearls if available. 

  • 7.

    Lyndey’s note: to make 24 canapes use 2 witlof in place of the lettuce leaves.

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