Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Wok fried lunch today! Lots of greens including Morning Glory or water spinach stir fried with pork fat and fish sauce... #DonalVietnam
  • Rice fields on the way up to Sapa... #DonalVietnam
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A Blooming Delicious Little Lunch!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you will probably be aware that this weekend marks Ireland’s annual gardening festival, Bloom, which takes place in the Phoenix park, Dublin.  Now although I’m not a big man for the flowers and the pretty stuff, I have a big interest in the growing with a view to eating!  In the last few years there has really been a huge push towards growing your own vegetables, with groups like GIY springing up and going from strength to strength.  You can put it down to the recession and people becoming aware of the many food miles some of the produce in supermarkets have to go to in order to reach our plates, but along with those highly valid reasons personally, I think the sheer success of growing it yourself it’s down to pure and utter enjoyment.

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Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Last weekend we spent clearing our jungle of a garden and now I can safely say it’s looking pretty good. The best addition to our back yard is a little table and two chairs; we’ve been eating outside all week long! Even though it’s a little nippy when the sun goes in, we are persisting and enjoying the great outdoors. The lovely thing about working with food is that you become very aware of changing seasons and I think my tastes have begun to adapt.

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My Top Tips For Growing A Herb Garden!

Whether you have a huge garden or a little balcony, Growing herbs at home means you will always have a good supply to add to your recipes when you need it. Herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme are hardy enough to keep you going throughout the year. Oregano and mint tend to prefer the spring and summer months.  I love being able to head out into the garden to pick big wads of fresh herbs which go great in marinades, dressings and salads.  More than anything it saves on buying packs from the supermarket which can be an extremely expensive habit to get into.

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