Island News

Trio set kitchen on fire

Written By : Mela Tuilevuka. ‘You know it is known to us Fijians that this is a woman’s job, and I did not know how to cook until Icame here’
09 Aug 2008 12:00

Written By : Mela Tuilevuka.
‘You know it is known to us Fijians that this is a woman’s job, and I did not know how to cook until Icame here’

There is a saying that goes ‘too many cooks spoil the soup’ but it is the other way round for three men Nacanieli Veitayaki, Amena Wainibu and Laisiasa Rokoduru who are fire fighters at the National Fire Authority in Walu Bay, Suva.
This time it is ‘too many cooks, make the best soup’ for these men as they prepare lunch for the Red Watch crew who were on duty at the station on Tuesday.
When I first asked head-chef Veitayaki what was on the menu today, he just told me ‘soup’ and I figured, it might be corned beef soup with noodles – the usual bachelor meal.
So I watched as they washed, peeled and chopped their vegetables.
But one question was running through my head, were we going to eat soup with rice or was the meal going to be the famous soup rice that I had heard so much about but have not tasted?
I did not want dwell on it but watched as the trio set out to do their duty they were rostered to do.
Head-chef Veitayaki said that he did not know how to cook and he never used to cook at home.
“You know it is known to us Fijians that this is a woman’s job, and I did not know how to cook until I came here,” Veitayaki said.
“Over here, when you are rostered to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have to cook something and it has to be edible.”
During our conversation, Rokoduru managed to take over the reigns from Veitayaki as he went ahead giving instructions on what ingredients to throw into the pot first.
“That’s what I am talking about, I think Lai has something else in mind for lunch today and not soup,” Veitayaki said.
In the end the meal for the day was stir-fry corned beef with vegetables and rice.
Here are the ingredients:
l Six (6) tins of Farmers corned beef.
l Half a pumpkin.
l Four (4) carrots, peeled and slice.
l Two (2) celery.
l Two (2) onions.
l Two (2) bundles cabbages.
l One bundle long bean.
l Five (5) packets noodles.
l Garlic
l Ginger
l Salt according to taste.
l 1 cup water
Method:
l Fry onions, garlic and ginger together until golden brown.
l Add corned beef and stir.
l Add all the vegetables and let it simmer for a while.
l Add salt at this point according to taste and also add flavour from the noodes pack.
l Once all the vegetables are cooked, add noodles and let it simmer until noodles are cooked.
l Serves 20 people.
The trio wanted to know what I thought of their dish, as I also got a chance to taste it. Well I didn’t have to provide them with a verbal answer as there were no left-overs on my plate after I wiped it clean.


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