Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • We had a bit of an audience for filming earlier- Vietnamese kids in the hills of Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Breakfast in Vietnam! Beef Pho- deep broth with noodles, herbs and thin slices of beef! Bloomin delish! #DonalVietnam
  • These lovely ladies cooked us dinner this evening- just left Hanoi and on our way up towards Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • First meal after 36 hours traveling: Lau ga! A big dig in soup with noodles, tofu, veggies, herbs and eh... chicken feet! :) 🍗 #DonalVietnam
  • A little vlog from London feat. @mycupcakeaddiction plus HUGE NEWS: My youtube channel just hit 100K SUBSCRIBERS! Huge thanks for all the support- link in my profile! X
  • Truffled goats cheese with honey and almonds @copitatapas for lunch today- life just got better! 🍴
  • Peanut butter snicker squares from filming yesterday with @mycupcakeaddiction! Coming up on my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • My mom's creamy white wine chicken on the blog today! Great mid week meal! :)
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Duck Pomegranate and Mint Salad

The combination of rich duck meat, a salty dressing, the sweet tang and texture of pomegranate seeds and the hit of freshness from the mint and coriander make this salad particularly special. You can easily make this recipe with pan fried duck breasts, but I have cheated slightly and used those wonderful Silverhill duck breasts, which simply need to be crisped up in the oven. This is a super little winter salad which is wonderfully aromatic.

Serves 2
1/2 Silverhill crispy aromatic duck
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 large handfuls of winter salad leaves
A good handful of fresh mint leaves
A good handful of fresh coriander leaves
1 pomegranate, halved

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 small thumbsized piece of ginger, finely minced
Zest of 1 orange

Cook the duck in a hot oven, until crispy, remove and shred the meat.

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

Hold the pomegranate cut side down and bash the skin with a wooden spoon to remove the seeds to a large mixing bowl.

Mix all the ingredients for the salad and the duck with the dressing in bowl with the pomegranate seeds.

Pile onto large serving plates and serve straight away.

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Tune in to Four Live on RTÉ One today!

This week on Four Live I’ll be cooking one of my favourite fish dishes and Martin McLoughlin from Nicky’s Plaice will be on to give his top tips of which types of fish to buy and what to look for!

Make sure to tune in from 4pm today onwards, and remember to tune in to Kitchen Hero tonight! :)

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Pea, Mint and Pancetta Soup

A true classic, but it never fails to get me excited. The combination of mint and peas is unique and it’s a really fresh flavour for a soup in the summer. You can, of course, make this with frozen peas, and unless you can pick some from your own garden, the frozen pea route is actually the better option. I add pancetta to my soup for a salty kick.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon of olive oil
200g of pancetta pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 litre of vegetable stock
500g of frozen or fresh peas
1 small bunch of mint, about a handful
sea salt and ground black pepper to season
Crème fraîche to serve

Place a medium-sized pot over a high heat and fry the pancetta in a drop of olive oil for about 4 minutes until crispy. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

You should be left with enough oil and pancetta fat in the pan, if not, add a little more olive oil and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the potato and vegetable stock. Bring to a steady simmer and cook until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. It should take about 10 minutes.

Add the peas and mint and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Then, blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

Taste and season with sea salt and ground black pepper as required. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and crispy pancetta pieces.

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Harissa Fish with Carrot, Mint and Spring Onion Salad

This is a snappy little dish dish with a nice hit of spice. Harissa paste is a super handy storecupboard ingredient which really adds an extra kick to dishes like this. You should be able to find it most supermarkets close to the spices.  It goes really well on fish, poultry and meat.

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Pea Mint and Feta Pasta

This is a super simple little supper which can be thrown together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. To be honest, if you can’t get peas straight from the garden it’s almost better to use frozen here, as peas begin to loose their natural sugars as soon as they’re picked, so even fresh ones in the supermarket probably won’t be as good as you will get frozen. This recipe is easily adapted with most leftovers you might have in the fridge. I love a little bit of chorizo added here or maybe some freshly chopped basil with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

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