Donal Skehan
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  • Was up at 3.30am this morning to catch these Vietnamese ladies harvest young green rice- a delicacy in Hanoi at this time of year! Here they are using a machine to separate the rice from the stems... #DonalVietnam
  • Egg coffee for breakfast in Hanoi! Sounds very strange but a combination of egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, butter and laughing cow cheese is whisked until fluffy and thick and served with hot coffee! Incredible rich taste- like a liquid tiramisu! #DonalVietnam
  • Filmed at one of Hanoi's oldest and most famous restaurants today, Cha Ca La Vong, where they have been serving the same one dish for over 100 years- turmeric fish which is marinated for 12 hours with galangal and fish sauce then threaded onto bamboo skewers and chargrilled over hot coals- the fish pieces are then fried in shallot oil and served to the table on a hot plate where diners mix in dill and spring onions and serve over rice vermicelli noodles with peanuts, coriander, chilli and shrimp paste. Hugely popular here and I can see why! #DonalVietnam
  • Street food at the bustling market in Sapa- this lady was selling spicy pigs ear salad... #DonalVietnam
  • Morning market shopping in Sapa! On the way to Hanoi... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ Pork with ginger, turmeric, mint and toasted sesame seeds... #DonalVietnam
  • Just can't get over the stunning scenery here! Not bad for a Tuesday! #DonalVietnam
  • On the streets of Sapa making apple wine with apples grown by the Hmong tribe... #DonalVietnam
  • Sad to say goodbye to our fantastic Red Dao hosts for the past three days... Heading to Hanoi tomorrow to focus on street food! #DonalVietnam
  • The incredible dry store at the top of a Red Dao tribe house- here they store corn, rice and pumpkins through the winter. The kitchen is just underneath so the heat and smoke helps to dry the produce out... #DonalVietnam
  • Brilliant few days filming with the Red Dao tribe just outside Sapa! #DonalVietnam with @jonnyrocksville @lenocks...
  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
  • This little girl is eating sticky rice cooked in a bamboo shoot! The rice is stuffed into the hollow shoot and sealed with a banana leaf, then boiled until tender... Then the whole rice filled bamboo shoot is grilled over an open fire- it results in a chewy sweet rice cylinder with the most incredible texture! Really special! #DonalVietnam
  • The colourful and detailed clothing the women of the Red Dao tribe wear can take up to a year to embroider by hand... #DonalVietnam
  • Incredible day spent learning from and cooking with the Red Dao tribe in North West Vietnam- their are 5 different tribes in this area and each has their own language and distinctive traditional clothing... #DonalVietnam
  • View from my breakfast table! Stayed in Sa Pa last night high in the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level... Off to spend the day with a local Red Dao family to learn more about their traditions... #DonalVietnam
  • Have just eaten from this fairly intimating platter of mystery meat! You choose what you want from pig tongue, liver, heart and blood sausage and it gets boiled up and served with a fiery hot dipping sauce with chilli, meat broth, fish sauce and spring onions. Also interesting they eat it with potato noodles rather than rice noodles, in broth and mint... Swallow the fear, get in there and eat like the locals do! #DonalVietnam
  • Chicken for sale at Bac Ha market- incredible experience, like nothing else, have whiplash from everything I have to look at! #DonalVietnam
  • Flower Hmong tribe at Bac Ha market this morning selling fresh vegetables and sugar cane... #DonalVietnam
  • Great meal this evening! Finally in Sapa after the longest bus ride ever today 8am-11.30pm! Up early tomorrow morning to film at Bac Ha Market... #DonalVietnam
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Corn On The Cob That Bursts Into Flames? Yes Please!

Meat is the obvious choice for a barbecue, but there are lots of other options for non meat eaters, the BBQ sweet potato and halloumi salad is a perfect example, but I always like to make sure my accompaniments are exciting too. A few nights ago we had a beautiful dinner of balsamic chicken thighs with a tomato and feta salad, and some BBQ Corn on the cob. The recipe here will change the way you eat corn forever! To be honest it’s the only way corn should ever be eaten.  Just slathered with a little bit of butter, garlic and parsley is a nice easy option but you can totally go one step further and roll the hot corn on the cob in grated Parmesan cheese with a little chopped chilli or with a little bit of lime and basil butter.

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Pizza? On The BBQ? Are You Avin’ A Giraffe?!

I have been dying to cook pizza on the BBQ for ages and I finally plucked up the courage to make it happen a few weeks ago.  After a lot of research on the matter, the choices boiled down to two major options, one to cook it directly on the grill which had it’s hazards, and then choice I went with which was to buy a pizza stone.  The decision was made easy when I spotted a cute little stone for about 15 euro on sale in a hardware shop.  The beauty of cooking on the stone is that you get left with a fantastic crispy and chewy base.  You pop the stone on BBQ for about 45 minutes ahead of cooking and then when it’s nice and hot, you slap on the pizza base and assemble the pizza toppings.  In about 6-8 minutes you are left with one of the most delicious pizzas you will ever make at home.

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Swedish Summer and Boozy Bum Chicken…

It’s been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last few days, but I have good reason! After a couple of crazy months, I can well and truly say I have switched my mind to the standby position.  We’re spending some time in Gothenburg soaking up some Swedish sunshine and inspiration before work starts on the new book when I’m back.  It’s given me a bit of time to work through the notebooks full of recipe ideas I’ve been writing over the last year and over the weekend I managed to whittle it down to a really solid list of tasty recipes.  The whole book writing process has always been a learning process and I think now I have a really good idea about how I want to write the next one.  In lots of ways there is a detachment between writing the recipes, testing the recipes, and shooting the photography for the recipes and so for this next book I want to combine all three and really give a sense of real life cooking as I work through the production process.  I’m planning on cooking and shooting everything chez moi, so the next few months I’m sure our kitchen is going to look like a bomb hit it! :)

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