Batu Ferringhi is a beach resort northwest of George Town on Malaysia’s Penang Island. It is known for water sports and seafood restaurants. We ate steamed fish in a seafood restaurant offering a choice of live seafood from its aquariums. After choosing a live fish from a tank, we waited for it to be cooked, knowing that it could not be fresher. After dinner, we visited the night market.This steamed fish dish is commonly known in Malaysia as “Ikan Siakap Tiga Rasa.” “Ikan” means fish, “Siakap” refers to the type of fish (often snapper or sea bass), and “Tiga […]
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Beef Bourguignon, also known as Boeuf Bourguignon, is a classic French stew that originated in the Burgundy region of France. It is a hearty and flavorful dish known for its tender pieces of beef slow-cooked in red wine with vegetables and aromatic herbs. The first time I tasted the rich, smoky flavour of this dish in France, I realised that the stews I had eaten in England had been missing something important. This is a perfect winter dish.Beef Bourguignon originated in the Burgundy region of France, which is also known as Bourgogne in French. The dish has its roots […]
Known as Huí-GuōPork or double-cooked pork belly, this dish has a long history that can be traced back to the Song dynasty (960–1279). Its predecessor, “Yo Bao pork,” was recorded in the 《竹屿房杂部》, a book on longevity and lifestyle during the Ming dynasty, written by Song Xu.Double-cooked pork is inspired by Sichuan flavours and originally comes from the Sichuan region of China, which is why it’s so spicy. The Sichuan region is known for being humid and lush, an environment that produces many hot peppers and chilis, including the tribute pepper, Sichuan pepper, and Erjingtiao chilli.I first ate this in London’s Chinatown […]
This was a business trip that was memorable because of the hospitality of our hosts. They took me and a colleague from the UK to watch a football match between the two rival local teams – River Plate FC and Boca Juniors.Superclásico is the football match in Argentina between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. It derives from the Spanish usage of “clásico” to mean derby, with the prefix “super” used as the two clubs are the most popular and successful clubs in Argentine football. In fact, the term ‘Clásico’ originated in Argentina, particularly with this match […]
In South American cuisine, aji is the name for both a variety of chilli peppers and fresh salsa made with these peppers. This Colombian recipe is known as salsa de aji picante, and it features two jalapeno peppers, making it pretty spicy. Eight months before my son was born, I was working on a project in Colombia. One evening, my local host took me and the team to a Parrillada in the hills overlooking Bogata. The meat was awesome, but the salsas that accompanied the meat were mind-blowing. This is one of those salas.
Tibetan momo is a kind of filled dumpling, which is also called “mog mog” in Tibetan. The Tibetan people deeply love it. The size and shape of Tibetan momo are like walnuts, with swirls on the top. They look neat and beautiful. They’re a bit similar to dumplings in northern China, but the taste is different. Momo is a popular food in Tibet, Nepal and India. I spent two months in Tibet in 1987 and consumed many momos, usually made with yak meat. The momos made a pleasant change from the ubiquitous Yak burgers that were also on offer. As […]
Chengdu Kung Pao chicken, also transcribed Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, garlic, peanuts, vegetables and chilli peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan province of southwestern China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. The first time I enjoyed this dish in Chengdu was in 1987; it consisted of cubes of chicken, whole garlic cloves, peanuts, and red chillis stir-fried together in more or less equal quantities. I had arrived in Chengdu after a 63-hour train journey from Guangzhou. After having to eat the good but plain food served on the train, this was an assault on my senses. After […]
Saigon summer rolls (Nem cuốn) often contain a combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, and sometimes protein, all wrapped in rice paper. Different variations may include the use of different herbs, vegetables, or protein choices based on individual tastes and regional preferences.When Vietnam, opened up in the 1990’s, I was in Hong Kong, so my colleague and I went to Saigon for the weekend. With the help of a photocopy of a hand-drawn map bought in a side alley, we tracked down the address of a building used by my father (then a British army intelligence officer) as his HQ in […]
Grilled Portuguese sardines make a classic dish, often celebrated for their simplicity and delicious flavours. Mrs F and I visited Portugal many years ago and found a small market not far from Lisbon. One of the staff was cooking sardines served on fresh, crispy bread. There is something particularly good about eating grilled fresh fish in the open air.