Donal Skehan
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  • Very excited to be filming at this brilliant little street food market tomorrow for lunch in Hanoi! #DonalVietnam
  • I have yet to meet a film crew who trust me behind the wheel so here I am with my buddy TT biking around Hanoi! Better him than me the traffic is nuts here! :) #DonalVietnam
  • 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
Blog Archive
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One Wedding and a Roast Chicken…

Last weekend my cousin Emma got married in Brooklodge, Co. Wicklow, now if you are a regular subscriber to Delicious magazine you might recognise her as one of the people I was teaching how to cook a roast chicken a couple of months ago.  Emma is my eldest cousin on my mom’s side of the family and up until my little brother arrived on the scene we were the only little people around, therefore lots of attention, presents you know the deal.  Earlier this year before all the marriage madness took over I roped her in to a photoshoot for my Delicious magazine column, and after promising there would be dinner, she reluctantly agreed.

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One Tray White Wine Chicken Roast with Zesty Potatoes and Asparagus

When choosing a chicken for roasting make sure to choose a bird that’s nice and plump, which looks healthy with no blemishes or imperfections and has nice unbroken skin. You can use whatever veggies are in season to pop in the tray alongside the chicken. Veggies like beetroot, squash, and tomatoes are all ideal additions. This is a great repertoire recipe which you can produce at the drop of a hat with little thought!

Serves 4
800g baby new potatoes, halved
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated
1 lemon, sliced
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1.5kg free-range chicken
Large knob of butter
1 large bunch of asparagus, woody ends snapped off
1 125ml glass white wine
Handful of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

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Roast Chicken with Lemon and Oregano and Ready for Spring!

January really is one of those months that my appetite doesn’t know what it wants.  One half of me wants something warm and comforting to hold off the the cold weather and the other half has had it up to here with rich stodgy winter food.  So trying to find the balance between the two is often difficult.  My solution has been to stick with the winter foods for now, but generally teaming them up with a light side salad, bulghur wheat packed with fresh flavours and spiky lemon dressings, which is so far working pretty well as a compromise.  This is all fine for now but I am so ready for some new foodie inspiration and thankfully spring is just around the corner, so things are most definitely looking up!  In fact we are busy getting the garden ready to plant some vegetables for year 3 of my kitchen garden project.  This year will by my year- I’m telling ya!  No spinach going to seed, no dead as a dodo carrots, no this year it’s going to be all change… I hope!

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