Enjoying a delicious local meal is one thing, but knowing that where you have chosen to dine also makes a real difference to disadvantaged youth gives you even greater satisfaction. Many Intrepid travellers know the dining delights of KOTO in Hanoi and now Ho Chi Minh City. KOTO was established in 1999 to support deserving young people and Helen Cunningham explains why it’s one of her most memorable meals in Asia…
“If you’re a people person, then some of the best travelling discoveries you can make come from meeting the locals at your destination. For a down to earth, realistic and sometimes colourful experience, I thoroughly enjoy the knowledge, company and stories that the locals are willing to share. Having travelled through many Asian countries, I love to get away from the regular, most visited tourist spots and sample local cuisine, culture and art, and in return the locals are excited to share their lifestyle with me.
From learning the secrets of cooking perfect couscous, to enjoying a tranquil picnic in mountain gorges, Carlie Smith discovered why the aromatic flavours of Morocco will infuse your memories for years to come….
“Everything about Morocco was amazing – the sights, the smells, the people. However, the one thing that really stood out to me, and still does, was the amazing food experienced along the way. From something as simple as harissa and fresh dates eaten with the locals in the main square of Marrakech, to exotic tajines, with their incredible mix of savoury and sweet, cooked in the most wonderful earthen pots – just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
Travel is about seeing, feeling, touching and most importantly, tasting! And where better to get culinary advice from a local than in Italy. Lea Barlow took time out to find out this traditional recipe and the result is a favourite and easy dish she enjoys making at home…
“This is not exactly a recipe. In Italy we stopped for lunch at a great little restaurant. They served their great crusty bread with a dish of spread that we all fell in love with. We asked about it and how to make it and discovered that it was very simple.
It is now the Year of the Rabbit in Cambodia, because the country has just celebrated their most important festival of the year, Khmer New Year. And no Khmer festival passes without some sweet treats.
Sticky rice forms the basis of many sweet dishes. It’s different from regular long grain rice and is readily available from Asian grocery stores. Sticky rice is traditionally soaked overnight and steamed, not boiled, and when cooked it turns from white to translucent.
Today, the food of Malaysia is a centuries-old blend of foreign influences and a delicious combination of cuisines. Just like in countries such as India and China, the ideal balance of any savoury dish is six senses – sour, sweet, pungent, salty, acidic and hot!
A much-loved thing about travelling is getting to taste these mouthwatering local dishes and one of Malaysia’s most famous is laksa. It’s so prevalent that the smell of laksa almost permeates the whole country, and as Intrepid Express reader Sarah Evans reflects, learning to cook the dish when you get home can bring your luscious memories of Malaysia back in an instant…
Alan Rosenthal has just released his delicious new cookbook stewed! 80 Irresistible stews and One-Pot Wonders. It’s a feast of international dishes, from jambalaya and curries to tajines, and best of all, the 80 recipes are economical, tasty, comforting and simple to make at home.
Alan travelled the world researching this book, so Intrepid Express asked Alan what was his favourite dish in Vietnam, and his answer was instantly pho. This iconic dish is so delicious and healthy and thanks to Alan, now you can give it a try…
Thali, meaning ‘plate’, could be described as India’s answer to ‘fast food’. Found just about everywhere, from restaurants to roadside dhabas, these delicious dish-of-the-day selections are a fantastic way to enjoy the local specialities.
Originating in southern India, a thali is a round silver plate that is divided into sections, or alternatively contains a set of smaller dishes within. Into each of these compartments you would normally expect to be served dahl (lentils), one dry subji (vegetable) dish, one gravy subji, dahi (yoghurt), sometimes rice and unlimited chapatis (a type of bread). There’s no need to decide on your selection, because order a thali and you’ll receive whatever has been prepared that day. And don’t expect to be given a fork, this is the time to learn to master the art of eating with your hand – right hand only of course!
To enjoy the fun of thali dining at home, here are recipes for three common inclusions, but of course you can add in small serves of your other favourite Indian dishes. And if you don’t have a thali tray, then go traditional and serve on a banana leaf…
Some of the richest real life experiences revolve around food, and where better than Cambodia to combine flavourful local experiences with exotic regional dishes.
Cambodian cuisine is often described as a mixture of Thai and Vietnamese – but don’t tell that to a Cambodian. They believe their cuisine is in a class of its own, and they’re right!
Highlighting the delicious delights of Cambodian cuisine is non-profit organisation Friends-International. We are thrilled to announce the launch of their second cookbook From Spiders To Water Lilies, now available on-line. It features over 160 pages of mouth-watering traditional recipes, (one of which we share with you here), plus exquisite photography and inspiring stories from one of Asia’s most fascinating countries.
Dining in Croatia is a wonderfully relaxed experience, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they don’t take their food seriously.
Croatians are fabulous cooks and as Intrepid Express reader Karen Keenan discovered, you’ll feel so satisfied after a local meal that you won’t want to move a mussel…
“A few years ago when I was on holiday in Croatia, we were treated to this marvellous recipe as a special feast type treat one day. The local people were very proud of this recipe and put a lot of love (as well as boasting and showing off) into showing us how it was made.
Fresh whole mussels in garlic-tomato broth: