Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • 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
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007

I Like Big Buns and I Cannot Lie!

No otha’ bruthas’ can deny… and so on… What is about sweet things like big dirty chocolate cakes, drippy sticky toffee pudding, and oozing eclairs that always seem to grab people’s attention?  I could write fresh and healthy recipes everyday for the rest of my life, and they would still never get the same reaction as the oooohing and aaaahing that a great big, filthy slice of gooey, dark chocolate brownie manages to draw. Some of the first recipes I ever cooke, were baking ones, and to this day it’s one of my favourite forms of cooking in the kitchen.  I have cooked Swedish cinnamon buns to their death at this stage, but they have to be one of the best baking discoveries I’ve come across in the last 5 years.

Continue reading >>

If You Go Down To The Woods Today…

During our forest strolls in Sweden, (yes we take forest strolls now!) we often encountered groups of people carrying baskets full of beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms. A glance of acknowledgement followed by a secretive scurry back in to the woods would be as far as communication would go. Swedes take mushroom hunting extremely seriously and around this time of year, with each new summer rain mushrooms plump up and fill the forest. A good picking spot, once found is hardly ever shared, because the mushrooms will continue to to spring up in the same area.

Continue reading >>

Pushing Grannies and BBQ Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad

There are few things that get me more excited than finding cool vintage props for food photography and Sweden really is a great place to pick up interesting items.  They just seem to have a better way of looking after there old junk! Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Irish ideology is that if it’s broken or old, a skip is ordered and it all gets fecked in, with the thought that out of sight is out of mind and that’s a few more less things to worry about.  The one thing the Swedes have down to a tee, is a fantastic ethos of recycling and which includes rubbish, old pieces of furniture, clothes, and most importantly for me kitchenalia.

Continue reading >>

Swedish Summer and Boozy Bum Chicken…

It’s been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last few days, but I have good reason! After a couple of crazy months, I can well and truly say I have switched my mind to the standby position.  We’re spending some time in Gothenburg soaking up some Swedish sunshine and inspiration before work starts on the new book when I’m back.  It’s given me a bit of time to work through the notebooks full of recipe ideas I’ve been writing over the last year and over the weekend I managed to whittle it down to a really solid list of tasty recipes.  The whole book writing process has always been a learning process and I think now I have a really good idea about how I want to write the next one.  In lots of ways there is a detachment between writing the recipes, testing the recipes, and shooting the photography for the recipes and so for this next book I want to combine all three and really give a sense of real life cooking as I work through the production process.  I’m planning on cooking and shooting everything chez moi, so the next few months I’m sure our kitchen is going to look like a bomb hit it! :)

Continue reading >>

Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake

The Method


Continue reading >>

Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

I came across the recipe for Hasselback potatoes when I was younger and they are so visually appealing that I had to make them. The traditional recipe, originally from Stockholm, calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, but I have tried to make it as simple as possible for this recipe. The potatoes go nicely alongside most dishes. If your potato slices don’t separate while cooking, increase your heat and you should get better results.

Continue reading >>