Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • 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
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Fragrant Thai Chicken Stew

This is very similar to a Thai green curry but it’s a lot lighter in terms of spices, sticking mainly with the fresh ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. I use Kaffir lime leaves here, which some supermarkets carry in the herb section, Asian markets are also bound to have them. Improvise with finely grated zest of lime. If you haven’t used lemongrass before it’s a fantastic little ingredient which is responsible for giving this dish that wonderful light and fragrant flavour. To prepare, slice off the woody ends and the root, you should be left with about 2-3 inches. If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the paste ingredients until they’re as fine as you can get them.

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Tasty Chicken Hotpot

This is the dish you can make when you invite the parents around to show them you really can make it on your own, and that you don’t need your mother to wash your socks anymore! Chicken thighs are a good, cost-effective cut of meat and will hold really well in the freezer, so pick up a few packs.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 chicken thighs
2 red onions, sliced into thick slices
5 carrots, cut into rough chunks
3 celery sticks, cut into rough slices
400g tin chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons English mustard
1 teaspoons dried oregano
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, high-sided pot until it’s really hot. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. There should be enough oil and fat left in the pan, but if not just add another little drop.

Add the red onions and fry until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook for three to four minutes, stirring every now and then.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and stir though with the mustard and oregano. Add in the browned chicken and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and place the lid on and simmer gently for 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve in deep bowls with some thick, crusty bread to soak up the juices.

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Duck Confit and A Tasty Bean Stew

I absolutely love duck confit and this little dish is a perfect compliment. If you don’t order online you should be able to pick up some in most gourmet food stores, but beware they can be pricey so do shop around.

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