One of my favourite things about travelling is tasting local foods. As we cannot travel at the moment, I thought it was a good time to share recipes from around the world.
My career in travel has certainly developed my palette. From Spain to Sri Lanka, no matter where I travel, I love trying local foods. I have tried to replicate some of them at home, and with the exception of a tasty prawn pil-pil, I tend to fail miserably. Yes I can make a Thai curry, but I cheat by using shop-bought curry paste! So I decided to ask some of Ireland’s top chefs, journalists and bloggers to share their favourite recipes from around the world. These are all recipes that you can create at home and I look forward to trying them all soon. From crab cannelloni to chicken biryani, there is something to suit all tastes. I hope you enjoy it.
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1. Japan: Guillaume Lebrun’s King Crab Cannelloni
“He doesn’t run a cookery school, and he’s never on television, and so diners who have been eating in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud for years probably don’t even know his name, or his face. But that’s how he likes it. In his moral world, a chef is the invisible, toiling master-guru who creates majestic foods within the heat-filled dungeon of his kitchen”. This piece was written ten years ago by food journalist Kevin Myers, but it still rings true today.
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Two-Michelin star chef Guillaume Lebrun is my brother-in-law, and is probably the reason I developed my love for food – although my mother might have something to say about that! I have been fortunate to enjoy Guillaume’s cooking many times and dine in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, so he was my first port of call when I decided to write this post of recipes from around the world.
I was surprised that this King Crab Cannelloni recipe, which is on the menu in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, is possible to replicate at home. Most of the ingredients can be found locally or in an Asian supermarket. If you do manage to recreate this masterpiece, please let me know, I would love to see the photos!
- 70g red king crab per person
- 3-4 drops yuzu juice
- 3 drops Tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise* seasoned with yuzu juice
- 1 tsp fresh coriander, sliced
- 1 tsp fresh basil, sliced
Carefully combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate and reserve until required.
*Mayonnaise base recipe
- 3 egg yolks,
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 litre raison oil or other neutral oil
- 20g salt
Mix the egg yolk, mustard and salt together in a food mixer using the whisk attachment. Add a tablespoon of warm water to help the blending process, and slowly streamline in the oil until incorporated. This is a mayonnaise base – which can be seasoned with various ingredients to suit a particular dish – yuzu juice in this case.
Wasabi crème fraîche
- 50g crème fraîche
- 5 g wasabi paste
- Squeeze lime juice
Lightly whip ingredients together, season and taste and chill.
- 25g lemon zest, brunoise
- 250g water
- 75g sugar
- Pinch saffron
- 4.5g agar-agar
- 130g yuzu juice
- 1g xanthan gum
Place the zest, water, sugar, saffron and agar-agar into a pan and bring to 90 C / 194 F. Cook for 1 minute, whisking continuously, then chill. Process in a Thermomix. Add the yuzu juice and thicken with the xanthan gum. Chill until required.
Fennel salad ( per person )
- 2 slices fennel
- 2 pieces of pickled ginger
- Pinch dried lobster eggs
- Pinch tobiko wasabi
Assembly and plating up per person.
2 slices of fresh pineapple, sliced on a kitchen mandolin or meat slicer, each 10cm in diameter.
Selection of fresh soft herbs
Wasabi mustard condiment
Spoon the reserved crabmeat into the center of each pineapple slice and roll into a cigar shape to form the cannelloni. Place two cannelloni at the centre of each plate and carefully assemble the fennel salad on top, finishing off with the baby herbs, Dot the yuzu jam, wasabi crème fraîche and wasabi mustard around the cannelloni to complete.
2. Spain: Neven Maguire’s Sea Bass with Chorizo Cassoulet
After cooking along side his mother since he was just 12 years of age, Neven Maguire was given the title of Young Chef of the Year in 1999. Since then he has won numerous awards, worked in many Michelin starred restaurants, become a popular TV personality, and is now one of Ireland’s best loved chefs. I was delighted that Neven took the time to share one of his recipes from around the world with me. This is one I am really looking forward to trying myself.
This recipe has a real Spanish flavour and is very easy to prepare. This way of cooking fish retains the goodness and keeps the fish moist. Fish has become expensive, but sea bass has remained good value, as it is nearly all farmed these days. Line-caught sea bass is now a very rare and highly prized fish.
- 4 x 150g (5oz) sea bass fillets, bones removed and scaled
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 tsp softened butter
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 100g (4oz) raw chorizo, skinned and diced
- 150ml (¼ pint) vegetable stock
- 400g (14oz) can mixed beans, drained and rinsed (such as haricot, cannellini, borlotti and black-eyed beans)
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- 2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp snipped fresh chives
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
Heat 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté for 2–3 minutes, until sizzling. Remove the chorizo and drain on kitchen paper.
To prepare the sea bass, score the skin in thin parallel lines using a very sharp knife and season the flesh side lightly, then cut each fillet in half on the diagonal. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Once the butter stops sizzling, add the sea bass, skin side down, and cook gently for 4–5 minutes to get the skin crispy, then carefully turn over and cook for 2–3 minutes to brown lightly. Sea bass is best served slightly pink and still quite moist.
Pour the stock into a pan along with the cooked chorizo and the mixed beans and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, until warmed through. Season to taste, then whisk in the butter and stir in the parsley and chives.
Spoon some chorizo cassoulet in the centre of each warmed plate and arrange the sea bass on top, skin side up.
3. India: Sunil Ghai’s Chicken Biryani
Sunil Ghai is the leading Indian chef in Ireland, winning an impressive array of awards including FOOD&WINE Magazine’s Chef of the Year 2009. Former Corporate Chef of the Jaipur & Ananda Restaurant Group, Sunil has won many fans, including myself, for his bold, contemporary cooking style.
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This must be the best Indian in town. It was definitely the best I have tasted! What a way to showcase the authentic dining experiences you can expect on an @insightvacations tour 😍 BTW this is just the starter! . . . . . . . #insightvacations #thetravelcorporation @escortedtours #diningexperience #indianfood #foodie #foodporn #food #indian #travel #travelblogger #dublindining @dublinfoodguide @dublinfoodies #dublinfood #dublinfoodporn
Sunil is currently at the helm of his own venture at Pickle Restaurant Eating house & Bar on Camden street, Dublin 2 and Tiffin by Sunil in Greystones, which is first Indian Deli in Ireland. “Many of my influences in the creation of my recipes come from my mother. She has a fantastic imagination when it comes to cooking and I have yet to taste food quite like it”.
I have visited Pickle Restaurant on a few occasions and I am convinced it is the best Indian Restaurant in Ireland. When I decided to write this post on recipes from around the world, I knew it needed to include one of Sunil’s recipes. Sunil tells me that this one-pot Chicken Biryani dish is definitely one that you can replicate at home! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 500g/1lb 2oz chicken (on the bone)
- 200g/8oz onion, sliced
- 100g/4oz yoghurt, whisked
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp deggi mirch chilli powder
- 1 tsp mace and cardamon powder
- Few threads saffron
- 30g/1oz mint, chopped
- 30g/1oz coriander
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
- 500g/1lb 2oz rice, soaked
- 20g/1oz whole spices mix (green cardamom, cloves, bay leaf)
- 2 litres/4 pints water
- 1-2 sprigs mint
- Ginger julienne, for garnish
- Green chilli julienne, for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Rose water, few drops
- Screw pine (kewra), few drops
Clean the chicken, removing any extra fat and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Whisk the yoghurt, adding ginger garlic paste, deggi mirch chilli powder, mace and cardamon powder, salt, chopped mint and coriander. Add this mixture to the chicken and keep it in fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours.
Wash the rice in cold water gently at least three times and then leave to soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Boil water, add the whole spice and salt and let it boil for 15 minutes. Add the rice and cook it only 40 percent. Drain the rice and keep aside.
Heat a saucepan and add the ghee. When it is hot, add the bay leaf and onions and cook the onions until golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and sauté for 10 minutes. Put the par boiled rice on the chicken and simmer. Add green chilli, ginger, mint and saffron. Cover it tightly with a lid. Let it cook for 15 minutes and remove from the heat.
Serve it with raita.
4. Morocco: Nadia el Ferdaoussi’s Chicken Tagine
I have been following Nadia’s travel adventures for many years now. A freelance travel, wine and lifestyle writer, Nadia manages to combine all three authentically. Nadia’s Instagram stories always hold my attention, whether she is at home or abroad – something that cannot be said for many travel writers.
When she is not travelling, she is busy creating Fakeaway recipes on Instagram (try the spice-bag you will love it!), or teaching us great value wines to buy from our local supermarket – Nadia also happens to have a WSET Level 3 Award in wines. One of Nadia’s favourite activities while abroad is to take a cookery class and learn from the locals, especially if it includes a trip to a food market. I was delighted when Nadia agreed to share her delicious Moroccan Chicken Tagine recipe. I’m off to preserve some lemons now!
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Despite being half Moroccan, I’ve only ever visited once, but it was an unforgettable few days in Marrakech where I spent hours getting lost in the souks and returning home laden with spices, olives and preserved lemons. I ate tagine for breakfast, lunch and dinner and tried Moroccan wine from Meknes, they make delicious Sauvignon Blanc, the high acidity cutting through the salty, oily foods.
When Sarah asked me to share one of my recipes from around the world, this was an easy decision. I’ve recreated a recipe from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana cookbook ‘Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Olive Tagine’. Even if you do own a tagine, Sabrina says it’s more practical to make this in a conventional saucepan, which is what I did.
I’m not the kind of person who weighs and measures ingredients or pays much attention to temperatures or cooking times, I tend to eyeball it going by look and taste instead and I nearly always make lots of substitutions too. It almost always works out!
- Rapeseed Oil
- Chicken thighs
- Onion, diced
- Garlic, slices
- Carrot, sliced at an angle
- Ras al Hanout
- Salt and Pepper
- Preserved Lemons
- Green onions
- Fresh Parsley or Coriander
- Sliced Almonds
5. Korea: Lisa Cope’s: Kimchi Udon Noodles with Scallions
I first met Lisa when we were on a radio panel together discussing family food habits when travelling. I was intrigued at how often Lisa and her family, which included a toddler at the time, dined out in Dublin restaurants. I immediately started following her website allthefood.ie, on social media and soon realised that it was one of the top food websites in Ireland. Allthefood.ie covers news, reviews and features from Dublin’s restaurant scene. Restaurants featured in the ‘where to eat’ section have all been reviewed by their critics, and Lisa also writes about food and restaurants for the Irish Times.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup (around 115g) finely chopped kimchi, plus 1/4 cup (around 60ml) kimchi juice
- 1 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1/4 cup (around 60ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 300g fresh udon noodles
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1-2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
6. Ireland: Pól Ó hÉannraich’s: Seafood Chowder
I love seafood chowder, it is one of those wonderful hearty dishes that tastes equally as good on a cold winter night, as it does on a summer’s day – especially if are overlooking Howth harbour in 30 Church Street, Pól Ó hÉannraich’s newest restaurant. Pól and his brother Páraic also own a personal favourite restaurant of mine, Bloom Brasserie & Wine Bar. Pól believes in creating the finest of dishes using locally sourced ingredients and preparing them simply.
Seafood chowder is a dish that is very easy to replicate at home. Combine with some traditional soda bread for a tasty Irish dish.
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- 750 g fresh clams, cockles, mussels scrubbed
- 225g waxy potatoes, peeled
- 40g butter
- 75g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
- 1 small onion or banana shallot, finely chopped
- 1 leek, cleaned, halved lengthways and finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 30g plain flour
- 500ml fresh milk
- 200ml fresh double cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 450g Mixed diced fish, cod, smoked haddock, salmon, hake (skinned and cut into 2cm pieces)
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 turns black peppermill
- A few rasps freshly grated nutmeg
- Small handful flatleaf parsley or chives, chopped
Heat 250ml of water in a large shallow pan and add clams mussels and cockles. Put a lid on the pan and allow to steam for 3–4 minutes until they open. Set a colander over a bowl, drain the open shellfish and reserve the cooking liquid. When they are
cool enough to handle, remove the fish from the shells and set aside.
Cut the potatoes into 1.5cm dice and boil them for 5–10 minutes until tender, then drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a separate large pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon, onion or shallot, leek and celery until soft. Add the plain flour and cook for a minute or two, then add the reserved shellfish cooking liquor and stir until thickened. Add the milk, cream, bay leaf, potatoes and diced fish, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add the shellfish meat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
7. New Zealand: Melanie May’s Anzac Biscuits
Melanie May is one of the most intriguing journalists that I have ever met. I have known Melanie for a few years now but I always seem to be learning something new about her. As well as being a full-time food and travel journalist, Melanie is a qualified school teacher, windsurf, snorkel and sailing instructor, boat driver, open water diver, first aid officer, and she has an orange belt in kickboxing! She also won the ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the Travel Extra Travel Journalist of the Year Awards.
Her blog, MelanieMay.com is a wonderful combination of travel and food. She has travelled to 53 countries but when she is not travelling, she recreate dishes in her home kitchen. This is the reason why I asked Melanie to share one of her favourite recipes from around the world – and I also knew she would have a good story to go with it 😉.
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New Zealand is one of my most favourite countries. I lived there for a year and travelled all over the North and South Islands. I actually bought a van and lived in the van. There was a mattress in the back and I had a camping stove to cook meals and curtains on the window. At night, I would just park up where I could (New Zealand is a fantastic country for wild camping) and I would sleep in the van.
I felt so safe and secure in New Zealand and I didn’t have any issues at all. New Zealand has a great food culture and a fantastic coffee culture. Apparently, the flat white was invented in New Zealand, but just don’t say that to the Australians. When I was driving around, one of my treats after hours behind the wheel was stopping at a cafe, ordering a strong flat white and having an Anzac biscuit.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and these biscuits were baked for the ANZACs serving in Gallipoli during World War I. The sweet biscuits are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a lovely coconut flavour. The biscuits are also made with oats, therefore totally healthy for you! OK, maybe not, but if you make them big enough they are quite filling and are a great (if not entirely healthy) snack. OK, I’ll stop waffling now. Here is my Anzac Biscuit Recipe. Enjoy.
The measurements are given in cups and spoonfuls as for me it is handier. It means if I don’t have a weighing scales I can just use any cup I have to hand. This recipe makes about 15 large biscuits or 24 small ones.
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 of cup desiccated coconut
- 125g of butter (if you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the mixture)
- 2 tablespoons of golden syrup (for crunchier biscuits, add an extra tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted / 350°F / gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray/cookie sheet (or a few small ones) with greaseproof paper.
Sieve the flour into a big mixing bowl. Add the oats, sugar and the coconut into the flour and give it a good mix.
In a saucepan, add the butter, golden syrup and water and melt over medium heat. When the butter, golden syrup and water has melted together, stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Add this liquid mixture into the flour, oats, sugar and coconut mixture. Mix everything together and make sure it is well combined.
For big, thick, chewy biscuits (like the ones in the photos) place one and a half tablespoons of the mixture in your hands and form into balls or patties, but don’t press them down too much. Place on the baking tray and leave space between each one as they
spread out when cooking. For smaller, crunchier biscuits use about a tablespoon of the mixture for each one.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Do not over bake. They will be very soft when you take them out of the oven but they will firm up as they cool down. Leave them on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire
rack (or grill tray) to cool completely. Once they are completely cool, store in an airtight container. They should keep fresh for
about a week, but good luck keeping them that long as they are very delicious and moreish. They also make great bases for ice-cream sandwiches. Bon appétit.
8. America: Nicola Halloran’s Boneless Chicken Bites
Nicola Halloran is owner of award-winning The Wonky Spatula blog. I love Nicola’s no-nonsense, easy approach and although she showcases healthy recipes, she never makes you feel like you are on a diet! Nicola has been a long-time follower of Paleo lifestyle and provides tasty recipes from around the world that are healthy, gluten free, dairy free and even vegan.
Nicola trained as a chef and has a diploma in nutrition. She has a wide following on social media, including a popular Youtube channel, and also features regularly on Ireland AM. These boneless bites are one of Nicola’s all-time favourite treats and a great little recipe to brighten up your evening!
- 2-3 large chicken breasts
- 1 egg – beaten
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot
- 1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
- 4 stalks of celery
Preheat the oven to 220°c (425°F). Chop the chicken breasts up into bite-size pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl with the beaten egg.
Mix the almond and coconut flours together and lay out on a large dinner plate. One by one, cover the chicken breast in egg and then roll it in the flour until coated. Repeat until all of the chicken is covered. Place the chicken on a wire rack and bake in the oven until golden brown and cooked through – roughly 8 minutes a side.
In a small saucepan heat the hot sauce and clarified butter/ ghee, for 2-3 minute – then add to a large bowl. Once the chicken has finished cooking remove from the oven and add to the bowl with the hot sauce. Toss the bites in the sauce.
Plate up and serve with celery sticks and any leftover hot sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
9. Thailand: Kevin Dundon’s Thai Coconut Chicken
Founder of Dunbrody House cookery school with his wife Catherine, and the face of SuperValu’s tasty recipes, Kevin Dundon is one of Ireland’s best-loved chefs.
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I was fortunate to visit the award-winning Dunbrody House a few years ago and taste the celebrity chef’s cooking straight from his own kitchen. I must say I was very partial to The Local’s beer battered fish and chips served in chip-shop paper, as well as our meal in their fine-dining restaurant. Kevin posts live cooking demos on his Instagram feed daily and shares great recipes from around the world. – check it out.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 100 ml pouring cream
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely sliced
- 1 red chilli, seeds kept for added heat and finely sliced
- 6 chicken breasts with skin
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- Freshly chopped coriander for sprinkling – optional.
Heat a large wok (with no oil ), add the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds and stir fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop a little ( quite similar to popcorn). Mix the tumeric, then remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Once the mixture has cooled, mix the cream and transfer to a food processor or small blender, add the garlic, chilli and ginger and blitz to make a coarse marinade. Place the chicken in a shallow non-metallic dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and leave at least for a few minutes.
Heat the flameproof casserole dish, add the marinated chicken pieces ( but not the marinade) in batches and cook until the are browned on all sides. Add the onion at this stage and cook for a few minutes until it is nice apricot or terracotta colour, then add the marinade and the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to the boil and transfer to the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the centre. When the chicken is fully cooked it should feel firm in the centre when pressed.
Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle a few coriander leaves over the chicken, if desired, and serve with plain boiled basmati rice.
10. Italy: Debbie Woodward’s Homemade Sausage Ragu
Debbie Woodward is the founder of the award-winning family food and travel blog, Saucepan Kids. I love to see Debbie involving her children in cooking and menu planning, and this continues when they travel, with a special focus on trying local foods.
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- 6 high-welfare, good quality pork sausages (we use Cumberland as they are nicely spiced)
- 500g pasta (tortiglioni is our favourite as the sauce hides in the tubes but use your favourite)
- 400g tin of good quality whole plum tomatoes (these make a much nicer sauce than chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- A sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 2 tsp fennel seeds smashed in a pestle and mortar
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small glass of red wine (make it good as you may want to drink the rest!)
- Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Heat a pan on a medium/high ring and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into the pan. Break up the sausages into small pieces as they cook – top tip: a whisk is great for this. Add the rosemary, fennel seeds, some salt and pepper and continue frying all together until the sausages are well broken up and browning.
Add the red onion and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes and then pour in the wine. Let the wine bubble away, using it to scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the pan until it has all evaporated. Add the tomatoes along with about half a tin of cold water – this also gets all of the tomato from the tin. Bring back up to the boil, turn the heat down and leave to simmer.
At this stage, depending on how quickly the sauce thickens, you can cook it anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours. If you leave it longer, then you can cover and add more water as necessary.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions, less about a minute or so as you want to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Once the pasta is nearly cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking water. The sauce should have thickened nicely so test the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pasta to the sauce (or vice versa depending on the relative size of your pans) and mix together, adding some of the reserved pasta water to create a lovelocks consistency. Add a generous sprinkling of the cheese, mix in with more pasta water if necessary. Serve up with some basil and a final sprinkle of cheese.
I hope you liked my post on recipes from around the world and that it made you think about travelling again. Let me know if you try any of the dishes at home, and please share your photos on social media by tagging #TheTravelExpertsRecipesFromAroundTheWorld.