As chef Nornie Bero puts it, this hearty stew is the result of ‘two cultures coming together’ — of her Torres Strait Islander roots and Japanese influence. She even adds a touch of Ireland too with, yep, a Guinness.

Preparation time Prep: 15 mins
cook 60 mins
Skill level Easy Peasy

You will need:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 5–6 medium potatoes
  • 60ml vegetable oil, preferably macadamia oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, crushed and chopped into large 5 cm (¾ in) pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chilli paste
  • 250ml soy sauce
  • 750ml vegan dark beer such as Guinness, or replace with vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon whole pepper berries
  • 250g vermicelli noodles
  • 120g chopped spring onion
  • Handful of karkalla
  • Handful of warrigal greens
  • Steamed rice, to serve (optional)
Recipe: Nornie Bero


  • 1Chop the eggplant and potato into large, chunky pieces.
  • 2Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  • 3Add the potatoes, eggplant, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli paste, and cook until the onion has browned.
  • 4Add the soy sauce and cook for 10–15 minutes.
  • 5Add the dark beer or vegetable stock and pepper berries, then slow–cook over a medium heat for at least 30 minutes with the lid on, or until the potato is cooked through.
  • 6In a separate bowl, place the vermicelli in hot water until clear, then drain and add to the pot.
  • 7Add the spring onion, karkalla, and warrigal greens and cover to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • 8Serve in bowls and enjoy the incredible complementary flavours that happen in your mouth!
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