Meet Traveling Spoon host Nayna. As a freelance food and travel writer, Nayna knows a lot about good food. While Nayna lives in Manila, she is also an avid traveler and adventurous eater, having grown up surrounded by the tastes and aromas of her grandmother’s kitchen. She loves experimenting with family recipes and adding new dishes to her repertoire, always ensuring that everything she prepares is made from scratch. Read on for her recipe on how to make a delicious dish of tofu & kangkong adobo, Filipino-style.
Our Chennai host, Sundari is bringing you the recipe for a delicious and popular South Indian tea-time snack, dal fritters. Made with chickpeas and deep-fried to crispy perfection, dal fritters provide the health benefits of chickpeas along with the renowned tastiness of fried foods. Keep reading for a taste of traditional South Indian cuisine enjoyed straight from your own kitchen. Thank you Sundari!
Pepes ikan, or fish steamed in banana leaves, is one of Indonesia’s best dishes. Here’s how you can re-create this deliciously flavorful version of tuna pepes, thanks to our host Putu. Read on for more.
A salad featuring fresh coconut? Count us in! Sayur Urab, translated to mean “mixed vegetables”, is a classic Balinese dish that is perfect for anyone looking to spice up their salads in a flavorful and exciting way. Follow host Wayan’s recipe below for a delicious, healthy dish that will give you a glimpse into authentic Balinese cooking without having to leave your kitchen.
The lotus, or bua, is an important symbol in Thai culture as a sacred flower in Buddhist tradition. Within Thai cuisine, various parts of the lotus are eaten. With its abundance of minerals and vitamins, the lotus has several health benefits, such as increased bone density, healthier heart function, improved digestion, and better blood circulation. Ever wondered how you could cook lotus and make a delicious meal? Our host Pink in Bangkok shared with us her recipe for this deliciously savory traditional Thai dish, stir-fried lotus runners with shrimp. Read on for more.
Spanakotiropita, a cheesy version of the renowned Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, is a must-try dish when you visit Greece. Essential to creating that perfect flaky texture is setting the pie with layers of phyllo dough. Phyllo dough pies have a rich history rich built around tradition, practicality, and deliciousness. Back in the day, it was a farmer’s go-to lunch meal because the spinach, cheese, and flaky dough packed just the right amount of punch, in its own self-contained package, to last a day’s worth of strenuous labor. In this recipe, our host, Christina, perfects centuries of tradition, as inspired by her own grandmother’s pies, to make a delicious spinach pie that you can re-create in your own kitchen.
Ramadan, a month of intense prayers and fasting currently being observed by Muslims worldwide (June 5 – July 5th, this year), is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam. According to the Royal Embassy of Saudia Arabia:
“Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset.”
However, there is also a very special meal after the fast that Muslims can look forward to, iftar. Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset. We recently shared with you one of our host’s favorite recipes for breaking the fast, Malaysian fish head curry. But iftar differs across Muslim communities around the world. Here are some of our favorite iftar traditions the span the globe!
In India, most Muslims break their fast with haleem because it is very filling. The preparation of haleem is considered to be an art as it is slow-cooked for hours together on firewood. The ingredients include meat, barley, pulses, pounded wheat, spices, especially kababchini (all spice) and ghee. The garnish includes fried cashews, golden fried onions and a slice of lime. Check out this recipe if you are curious!
In Pakistan, iftar is usually heavy, consisting mainly of sweet and savory treats such as jalebi. The jalebi is by deep-frying a wheat flour batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
Beguni is a must have recipe for Iftar in Ramadan in Bangladesh. Beguni is a Bengali snack made of eggplant which is sliced and battered before being either fried or deep fried in oil. We have also found a video recipe for you!
In Turkey, sugar and sweet foods symbolize happiness and goodwill, and no iftar is complete without sweets and candies during Ramadan. One the most beloved sweets since the Ottoman Empire, the baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
Happy Ramadan to everyone celebrating this month!
The coconut has been acknowledged as one of the most versatile fruits on the planet, and it has even been called the world’s most versatile superfood. Coconut milk, in particular, a creamy, non-dairy alternative made by processing coconut meat with water, is widely used as a food ingredient in many South and Southeast Asian countries. Coconut milk is so delicious and versatile that famous American actor Dustin Hoffman once said that “all you need to sustain life is coconut milk and sunshine.”
If you’re still not convinced of the power of coconut milk, here are five delicious Asian dishes where coconut milk plays an extremely important role of bringing the dish to life, check them out!
1. Tom Kha (Thailand)
Tom Kha is a spicy and sour hot soup from Thailand, and compared to its twin, Tom Yum, which is a clear broth with lemongrass as the leading spice, Tom Kha is clearly defined by its use of coconut milk. Here is a recipe for you to try!
photo courtesy of Akito-X
2. Nasi Lemak (Malaysia)
Widely considered to be the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. The name literally means “creamy rice” because the rice is soaked in coconut milk before it is steamed with the other ingredients. Often served with spicy sauce, cucumber, roasted peanuts, or fried eggs, Nasi Lemak is a dish that enjoys a wide popularity even in countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand.
Photo courtesy of mila0506
3. Watalappan (Sri Lanka)
Watalappan is a delicious sweet steamed coconut custard from Sri Lanka, and it is particularly popular amongst the Muslim community. With a taste that is heavily built on coconut, watalappan has become one of the must-have desserts in any special occasion such as a wedding in Sri Lanka.
Photo courtesy of Sajana D. Ratnayake
4. Laksa (Malaysia)
Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, the Penang Laksa has been ranked 7th out of the 50 most delicious food in the world by CNN in 2011.
Photo Courtesy of dion gillard
5. Halo-halo (The Philippines)
The name “halo-halo” is the Tagalog word for “mix mix”, so it should not be a surprise that halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert made from sweet beans, sago, gulaman, tubers, fruits, and of course the coconut. As chef Leah Cohen describes, the idea is to mix everything together and eat it like a sundae. Here’s a video recipe for you to try!
Photo courtesy of dbgg1979
Today we want to share with you 4 awesome Youtube recipes that we love when it comes to learning how to make Asian food at home.
But before we dive into the recipes, we want to introduce you to one of our favorite Youtubers, Mark Wiens of Migrationology. Mark lives in Bangkok and posts about his travels and culinary adventures in Bangkok, Thailand and throughout Asia. His video below of his best meals of 2015 is wonderful (and hunger-inducing) – the sheer excitement and joy on his face at 12:01 is simply golden.
Awesome, now that we’re all craving to taste some of these dishes, let’s move on to some real recipes, shall we? 😁
1. Malaysian Chicken Curry
A beloved dish in Malaysian cuisine, the chicken curry tastes even better if you add some eggs and potatoes. The channel Flavours of Asia also has tons of other food recipes that you could easily experiment with at home.
2. Vietnamese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
Craving some Vietnamese cuisine? check out Van’s Kitchen and maybe even surprise your family or friends with a bowl of spicy beef noodle soup for your next dinner
3. Korean Kimchi
The Korean kimchi has always been a myth to me. I have been to many Korean restaurants here in the U.S. with my Korean friends , but they are almost never happy with the kimchi at these restaurants because they are too “watered-down”. Kimchi prepared in the right way sure looks spicy, but it’s definitely a worth a try.
4. Pad Thai
An absolute must-have in every single Thai restaurant, the Pad Thai is probably the most popular Thai dish around the world. Ever wondered how it is prepared? Here is a video to quench your thirst of curiosity and point you towards the right direction of becoming a Thai food master chef!
If you end up trying some of these Youtube recipes, take a shot and tag us on Instagram with #mytravelingspoon, we can’t wait to see what you can create!
Remember those late nights in college, when all you need is a bowl of hot, warm and tasty ramen to keep you motivated? Providing an affordable and instant food experience, ramen has been able to command a universal appeal in both the East and the West. In fact, the United States consumed 4.2 billion packets of ramen in 2014, while China consumed ten times as much with a massive appetite of 44 billion packets.
So how did ramen came about and why is it so wildly successful? Today we will delve into the origin and history of ramen to find the answer.
First referred to as “shina soba”, the original ramen was created by two Chinese chefs in Tokyo in 1910, and the noodles became an instant hit in Japan due to its enhanced taste. After Japan’s defeat in WWII, however, the word “shina”, which originally referenced China, was seen as an embarrassing ethnic slur, and the noodles took on the name of “chuka soba”, with “chuka” being the more acceptable term for chinese style.
The first person to create the instant packaged version of ramen that we know today is Momofuku Ando, who founded the Nissin company. Contrary to its current reputation, the ramen was considered a luxury item when it first launched, as it costed five times more than the Japanese udon that people could find on the streets. Thanks to its instant nature and its taste appeal, the new noodle concept became increasingly popular, allowing the ramen industry to leverage economies of scale to deliver a much more cost-efficient product that anyone can enjoy.
Today, ramen has secured an almost irreplaceable spot in our contemporary food culture, and it is taking on more variations than ever! Ramen hamburger buns, ramen burritos, there are even ramen lobster rolls! To learn more, here are 30 different ways to enhance your ramen experience, and here is a guide to different ramen styles for your next food adventure!
Dear readers, what are the different variations of ramen noodles you have tried? Are there any other food whose origins and history you are particularly intrigued in? Or maybe you would like to personally experience the authentic noodle culture in Japan or China? Tell us your experiences and thoughts, or tag us on instagram at #mytravelingspoon to let us know!