Preparing fennel, cooking kale and an all-fruit Cape gooseberry, avocado, date and apricot wrap!


We got a nice bulb of fennel while grocery shopping during the weekend. It was primarily due to the placecard they had – it sounded good so I bought it. It’s not the cheapest thing at RM 31.90/kg and my love is so good that she knew the fennel I was holding would be around RM 6 before I went to the weighing machine.

fennel price

It turned out to be RM 6.76 but close enough for government work! smirk

I like this vegetable – I had to watch a YouTube video to know how to properly cut it (there’s a bit of root inside that requires a wedge cut with a sharp knife) and I gave it to Ling raw to see if she liked it for my next cooking experiment.

cleaning fennel

It tastes like liqorice, you know, the black candy that’s sold in a long string. It’s due to the strong aniseed flavor, which can be quite intense when eaten raw but goes away when you cook it.


The bunch of curly kale is a US import and quite expensive at RM 52.49/kg. The two stalks we got cost RM 20 and it felt pretty light to me. Kale and fennel are things we haven’t tried before so I wanted to cook it.

curly kale

It was done two ways – I already knew I wanted to steam mine but my dear stir fried hers with some shallots and oyster sauce and I must say, it tasted really good! This kale in this dish alone costs RM 10 though but well worth it.

stir fried kale

Back to the fennel, I wanted to add it into this new all-fruit wrap that I did for breakfast but I totally forgot about it. It was still an interesting experiment though.

fruit wrap

You will need:

  • Natural dates with branches
  • Avocado
  • Nutella
  • Apricots
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Cape gooseberry (known here as Physalis)

apricot avocado dates wrap

The interesting bit about this all-fruit wrap is that everything except for the Cape gooseberry can be split in half and has a seed inside – the avocado, the apricot, and the dates.


I like eating good dates – these are Tunisian ones still on the branches, semi-dry and premium ones sold under the “Black Amber” label.

dates on branches

I basically put the avocado (with bites taken out of it coz we were hungry) on first and then added the apricots and dates.

fresh apricots

All of these are split in half by hand and the pit thrown away. I just arranged the halves of the respective fruits on the tortilla wrap.


The Cape gooseberry is sprinkled down the middle for an acidic, citrus-y bite. I’ve seen a lot of high end Japanese bakeries use this as a decoration and the shroud (the leaf like things on the side) is *not edible*. I wonder what the people eating those pastries whole would feel like. Heh.

Physalis (which is what Cape gooseberry is marketed as here) is a nice berry though – it’s yellow and the larger it is, the sweeter it becomes.

cape gooseberry

I finished off the wrap by putting a bit of Nutella on top of the avocado (it tastes great together) before chilling it in the fridge for 5 minutes and wrapping it up.

The dates provides the saccharine sweetness, with the apricots bringing it’s own mild nectarine fructose into the mix, and the avocado gives off a smooth mouth-feel with the Cape gooseberries there for a sour bite.

avocado nutella wrap

I can’t say it’s a successful wrap coz there’s not enough “moisture” inside – I think adding yoghurt would do wonders for it. It’s still a nice experiment even though I totally forgot about the fennel.

I used all of it for a nice cottage pie, as well as my version of the kale – coming up in the next post! 🙂

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36 thoughts on “Preparing fennel, cooking kale and an all-fruit Cape gooseberry, avocado, date and apricot wrap!”

  1. How did the fennel and kale taste?

    Thanks for giving a thumbs-up, HB!. Jaya Grocer do sells fennel, but Mama Carrie doesn’t seem to know how to cook it. Reading about your first-time experience, at least now I know that fennel would have a “strong aniseed flavor” if eaten raw… =)

    • I love the fennel! 🙂

      Eaten raw, it tastes a lot like licorice with it’s aniseed flavor. Curly kale also tasted good, it’s my first time eating them both.

      I cooked fennel in a cottage pie (of sorts) and there’s still the aniseed flavor, it’s just not so overpowering as eating it raw.

      I read your comment about organic kale – that must have been even more expensive!

      Where did you get it from?

      Thanks! 😀

      • Ah, pie sounds a good recipe. I’d definitely consider fennel when I’m baking a pie from scratch.

        The kale, I bought it from Justlife in Ikano. Truth be told, I’ve never paid any attention to the price per kg but it’d not be a surprise if it’s as expensive as the US-imported one. =)

        • Yup! I wanted to make this epic cottage pie (it turned out to be quite epic indeed). 😀

          Thanks for that! We’ve been to Justlife before, it’s the place that sells sprouted bread that goes for about RM 10 a loaf right?

          I remember their bread (quite good) but didn’t get anything else.

          I’ll go and have a peek but yeah, organic should be more expensive – two organic garlic bulbs are already RM 13. -_-

          Thanks Ciana! 🙂

          • No probs, HB. =)

            It should be, but I can’t remember if they still sell the sprouted bread or not. I do remember that they sell quite a variety of NZ-imported organic household cleaning products.

          • Yeah, I remember seeing all that but about a month ago, we dropped in to get some sprouted bread so it should still be there. 🙂

            Organic stuff is something we’ll love to buy and eat but not all the time coz it can be extremely pricey – the garlic bulbs being a prime example.

            I was quite shocked when I saw the price tag. 😀

    • Yeah, I haven’t come across fennel and curly kale until the latest trip to the grocery too! 🙂

      I liked both of them!

    • Yeah, that’s coz curly kale is a US import. 🙂

      I didn’t expect it to be so expensive too, I thought the stalk I took was rather light. Haha!

      Which goes to show my lack of experience in shopping for fresh produce.

    • Haha! Yeah, it’s full of berries! 🙂

      Yup, I find the Nutella and avocado combo to be great – but it’s better when it’s mashed up and mixed together instead of doing it the lazy way like this post (was very hungry dy).

  2. I don’t like eating the raw fennel but when is cooked, it’s good! Same goes to the kale, ur steamed version is much more nicer than mine,dear. I told you, you can cook well.Mine is more towards Chinese style..ahhahah. Hugs.

    • I think the raw fennel would be good in moderation! 🙂

      It’s just that I forgot to put it inside the wrap.

      Thanks dear, but I think your stir fry is much better than mine – a very comforting taste.

      Love you always! *hugs*

    • Yeah, I’m starting to be a real fan of fennel too! 🙂

      I love kale too but as a US import it can be quite expensive. I heard there’s organic kale here too but I’ve never seen it before.

    • No worries Mel! 🙂

      It’s my *very first time* eating fennel and curly kale too unless I’ve eaten it during my 3 travels to Europe or while studying in NZ and Australia without realizing it.

      It’s new to me too, which was why I wanted to buy it and try cooking it. It turned out well in the pie I made! 😀

  3. You are so amazing! You seem to know exactly how to use all the exotic imported vegetables that are alien to me. I am so happy to see the Fennel. I have a large collection of pure essential oils at home but had no idea what the Fennel Oil was about. Today I see its photo here.

    Can you please open a cafe in KL? I want to eat!!!

    • It’s all due to Google mate! 🙂

      I had to search about how to clean and prepare fennel coz I haven’t used it before and the placecard says curly kale is very nutritious when steamed so I already had an idea of how to cook it.

      Fennel tastes a lot like the licorice sticks to me – which is a good thing as I love aniseed, probably one of the few people who does, it seems a lot of people aren’t fans of it.

      I am considering the idea actually! 😀

    • Yup, it’s a very creamy fruit that tastes good both sweet and savory! 🙂

      I prefer avocado sweet though but a lot of US people seem to prefer it savory due to the association with guacamole while I first encountered it as a sweet shake.

  4. HB, I had fennel in a restaurant some time ago and it tasted not bad at all. I should cooked more with fennel for it a vegetable I some time forgot about at time.

    • I just came across fennel over the weekend while grocery shopping! 🙂

      I like how it looks so I bought it. I love the aniseed taste too but it’s subdued when it’s cooked.

      Curly kale is a US import, at least the ones that I bought – I like it too, looks like another one of those “fad foods” a.k.a. “superfoods” (a term a really dislike).

    • Yup! All it needs is some yoghurt for some moisture! 🙂

      It’s a good wrap and we found two new vegetables to cook with too – fennel and curly kale.

      I’ve never seen fennel before the weekend, unless I accidentally have eaten it while studying in NZ and Australia.

  5. i make kale chips in the oven!

    and fennel with butternut pumpkin pureed as a soup is delicious!

    fennel goes well with goats cheese imo

    • Nice! I’ve been wanting to make kale chips too! 🙂

      It sounds really nice.

      Fennel in soup! Oh, I just remembered that I’ve had it before in Club Med Bali. That’s why the name sounded familiar.

      First time cooking it though, thanks for the tip on cheese and as a puree! 😀

  6. you can bake kale, so it becomes like kale chips which are a healthier option for normal chips
    sugar apricots are really nice.. u can lightly poach them in sugar, water, vanilla and 1 cinnamon stick and maybe … lemon thyme.. then have it with a scoop of ice cream.. or panna cotta
    fennel + orange is a good combo too if making into salad

  7. perfect timing huai bin. i’ve been searching for curly kale in the supermarkets for a long time to no avail. now i know where to get them. tks! also, always a joy to read ur cooking posts. keep ’em coming! 🙂

    • Thanks Immi! 🙂

      Yup, there’s going to be a lot of cooking posts now!

      No worries, you know it’s from Ben’s Independent Grocer just from looking from the photos? Haha!

      Yup, they carry them in the Paradigm branch, it’s the closest full fledged grocery shop to me (5-7 minutes) and surprisingly I can get there and back faster than Giant in PBD, which doesn’t have close to the same range of quality of produce that BIG has.

      Let me know how you cook your curly kale! All the best! 😀


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