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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Sweet Chilli Chicken Maki

Maki is one  of the most common types of sushi, and it’s known by its outer layer of  dried green nori seaweed. This is the best starting point for first-time  sushi rollers.  For the less adventurous sushi samplers among your  guests, this sweet chilli chicken maki is a little less daunting.  You can poach the chicken breast in water until cooked through and then it will be quite easy to shred; otherwise, simply use leftover cooked chicken.

Ingredients
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce
1-2 sheets nori
Cooked sushi rice
50g rocket

In a bowl, mix the chicken with the sweet chilli sauce.

Take a sheet of nori and place it shiny-side down on a rolling mat with the longest end facing towards you. Using wet hands — this will prevent you having a fist coated in sushi rice — spread one-sixth of a portion of the rice in an even layer on the nori, leaving 2cm of nori visible at the end farthest away from you. Don’t squash the rice or make the layer too thick — you should be able to see the nori through the rice.

Spoon the chicken mix in a line across the nori, about half way through the middle of the rice. Top with a few leaves of rocket.

To roll the sushi, fold the mat over, starting at the end where the ingredients are and tucking in the end of the nori to start the roll. Keep rolling, lifting up the mat as you go and keeping the pressure even but gentle, until you have finished the roll. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water to seal the sushi roll closed. Don’t worry if anything falls out the sides, just push it back in. The edges may look ragged, but it doesn’t matter.

Remove the roll from the mat and cut it into four even-sized pieces with a very sharp, wet knife. If you do not use a sharp knife the roll will squash as you cut it. Arrange the rolls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Variation:

Spicy tuna maki
1 fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, chopped roughly
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp schimi powder
1 tsp soy sauce

In a bowl, mix the chopped tuna with the spring onions, schimi powder and soy sauce. Then follow the same instructions for making up the sweet chilli chicken maki.

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Sushi Rice and Seasoning

The basic ingredient for any good sushi starts and ends with the rice.  Sushi rice can be bought  in most supermarkets and is a short-grain  Japanese rice, which must be cooled before use as it will turn sticky  and be difficult to work with. It is really important to make sure you  wash the rice under cold water until the water is clear; this ensures  the perfect sushi rice. This recipe makes enough for 24 pieces.  Sushi seasoning can be made at home quite easily, but bottles of  pre-mixed   sushi seasoning can also be purchased in good supermarkets  and Asian shops.

Makes 24 pieces
250g sushi rice
325ml water
2 tbsps sushi rice seasoning

For the sushi rice seasoning
500ml rice vinegar
300g sugar
150g salt

Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a pot with the water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil as quickly as you can.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid still on.

Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep the lid on the pot throughout the cooking.

Remove the lid and put the hot rice in a shallow dish, as this will help it cool, and pour sushi seasoning over the surface of the rice.

Now mix the seasoning into the rice with quick cutting strokes, using a spatula. Try not to over-mix the rice as you don’t want to break down the grains.

The rice should look shiny and be at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

For the Sushi Rice Seasoning:

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then transfer the mix to a sealed container and store in the fridge. The sushi seasoning should last up to six months.

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