Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
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Oriental Steak Salad

You can add as many other ingredients to the salad as you want, beansprouts, or snow peas all work great in this. I used fillet steak here, but as this can be quite expensive, other cuts will work just as nicely, try sirloin or a good quality shoulder steak. This recipe can also be made ahead of time, marinade the meat in the fridge, prepare the veg beforehand and only toss with the dressing when you are ready to eat.

Serves 4
4 x 120g fillet steak
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
6 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
Small handful of chopped coriander to serve

For the marinade and dressing:
1 chilli, deseeded and minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

Place the steaks on a plate.

Mix all the ingredients for dressing/marinade together and pour 1/4 of the mixture over the steaks.

Toss all the veg together in salad bowl and set aside.

Heat a large griddle pan and fry the steaks for 3-5 minutes on either side depending on their size.

Remove the steaks and allow to rest on a chopping board for a few minutes.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine.

Slice the steak thinly, sprinkle with a little chopped coriander and serve with the zingy salad.

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Mini Steak and Mushroom Pie

These look great served in individual little pie dishes, but if you don’t have any to hand, simply use one large pie dish. You can cook the pie mix ahead of time, freeze and defrost when you want to use it.

Makes 6 mini pies
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 lb of stew steak or diced beef
250g of mushrooms
500ml of beef stock
250g of puff pastry
2 red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
2 egg yolks

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, and brown the meat on all sides. You may need to fry the meat in batches in order to get a nice colour. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the garlic and onions until soft. Add the beef stock, meat pieces, salt and pepper and combine. Lower the heat, cover and cook over gentle heat for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Make sure to give the mix a stir every now and then to prevent it sticking at the bottom. The aim is to get the meat as tender as possible, so you may need to add a longer cooking time depending on the meat you buy.

10 minutes before the mix is finished add the finely sliced mushrooms and stir through to combine. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220˚C/ 430˚F/ Gas 7.

Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry to about a centimetre in thickness. Empty the steak and mushroom filling into your chosen pie dish or dishes and drape over the pastry. Leave about 1cm of pastry over the side of the dish and then push the pastry in to the dish so you end up with a nice crust the whole way round. Using a pastry brush, coat the pastry with the egg yolk, this will produce a delicious golden coloured crust.

Place in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the pastry puffs up and turns a nice golden brown.

Serve straight away with a tasty salad and enjoy!

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