Travel Counsellors shares destination-inspired dishes from Japan, Hungary and Cambodia.
Japan: ginger teriyaki beef
Teriyaki is traditionally a type of Japanese cooking where soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar are mixed together to make a sauce that is also used as a marinade or coating for meat, tofu or vegetables.
Ingredients (serves 4)
– 80ml teriyaki sauce.
– 125ml hoisin sauce.
– 2 Tbsp rice wine (mirin) or substitute rice vinegar and add 1 tsp sugar to counteract the sour flavour, or even a dry sherry can be used (although this will alter the flavour a little).
– 1 Tbsp oil.
– 750g frying steak cut into thin strips.
– 250g broccoli cut into florets.
– 250g sugar snap peas, rinsed and trimmed.
– 115g baby corn, halved lengthways.
– 4cm piece of fresh ginger grated (or 20g of minced ginger).
– 120g beansprouts.
- Combine the sauces and the rice wine in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat half the oil in a deep-sided frying pan or wok and stir-fry the steak in batches until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan and stir-fry the broccoli until almost cooked through and tender.
- Return the steak strips to the pan together with the sauce mixture, and the remaining ingredients except for the beansprouts and stir-fry until everything is tender.
- Add the beansprouts and stir-fry for a couple more minutes until they are cooked through.
- Serve with steamed rice or any cooked noodles you prefer
You can substitute the steak for chicken, prawns or any vegetarian alternative like tofu
Hungary: beef goulash
This is a hearty rich soup of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices. Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish containing a generous amount of paprika, which reflects the nation’s love of the spice and gives the dish a red hue.
Ingredients (serves 4)
– 3 Tbsp vegetable oil.
– 700g stewing steak, diced.
– 2 Tbsp plain flour.
– 1 tsp caraway seeds.
– 2 onion, diced.
– 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced.
– 2 crushed garlic cloves.
– 2 Tbsp tomato puree.
– 2 ½ Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika.
– 500ml beef stock.
– 2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes.
– Bunch of parsley.
– 200ml sour cream.
- Heat the oven to 160 degrees (or 140 degrees for a fan oven, or gas mark 3).
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in an ovenproof casserole dish. Coat the beef in flour and caraway seeds and season with salt and pepper and fry in 2-3 batches until browned. Remove the beef and set aside.
- Add the remaining Tbsp of oil to the pan and add the onion, pepper and crushed garlic and fry for 5-10 minutes on medium heat until softened.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan then stir in the beef and paprika until well coated.
- Pour in the beef stock and chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on the dish and place in the oven for two hours.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and a drizzle of sour cream to serve.
Cambodia: chicken amok
Amok is a deliciously fragrant curry made with a coconut milk-based sauce that is infused with curry spices and is traditionally served either in a coconut shell or in a bowl made from banana leaves. It is typically accompanied by gorgeously sticky jasmine rice, and is most commonly fish or chicken.
Ingredients (serves: 4)
For the amok paste:
– 3 Tbsp lemongrass stalks, chopped (you can substitute with lemongrass paste, or even some lemon zest finely grated if you don’t have fresh lemongrass).
– 4 whole large fresh mint leaves chopped (or a teaspoon of dried mint).
– 1 tbsp minced galangal (if you cannot find galangal, then you can substitute fresh ginger root, minced).
– 1 shallot finely chopped.
– 2 garlic cloves crushed.
– 1 red chilli (seeds removed, flesh finely chopped).
– 1 tsp ground turmeric.
– 1/2 tsp salt.
– 1 Tbsp water.
– 1 Tbsp coconut milk.
– 1 tsp palm sugar (you can substitute maple syrup, or half the amount of muscovado sugar, as palm sugar is not as sweet as ordinary sugar).
– 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
The rest of the dish:
– 500g chicken breast boneless, skinless and cut into bite-sized pieces.
– 1 can coconut milk.
– 1 Tbsp fish sauce.
– 2 tsp cornflour.
– 2 tsp lime zest for garnish (optional).
– 360g jasmine rice (to make four servings).
- Prepare and cook the jasmine rice according to the instructions on the packet. Whilst the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish.
- Place all the Amok paste ingredients into a mini blender or use a hand blender, and blend thoroughly for about two minutes. The paste should be fairly smooth and not too thick. If not, add a little more water to thin it slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and fish sauce. Set aside.
- In a deep non-stick frying pan or wok, stir fry the chicken pieces until they are done. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover until needed.
- In the same pan, heat the Amok paste on a medium heat until it becomes fragrant, which should take around 3-4 minutes. When this is done, add in the coconut milk/fish sauce mixture and stir through to combine.
- To thicken the sauce, mix 2 tsp of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the sauce (which has been allowed to cool a little before mixing) in a small bowl, and whisk together to make a roux.
- Pour the roux into the sauce, stirring continuously whilst you pour, and continue to stir until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Once the sauce has thickened with the roux, add the chicken pieces back into the pan and simmer for around 10 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
- Serve with the jasmine rice, and if using, the lime zest sprinkled over the top of the curry.
This can also be served with roti or chapatis and a side salad.