A Celebration of International Cuisines

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Since we’re looking at all things international, it would rude not to take a look at some of the scrumptious food the world has to offer. Although, we may consume the likes of frozen pizzas or the standard cheesy pasta when you can’t be bothered to put in the effort, or the standard array of curries you get when you take a late night trip to Manzils, we’re looking for something else…

Vietnamese Prawn Pho:

Ingredients:

  • 4 birdseye chillis, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, cracked
  • 2cm piece of ginger, squashed slightly
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 600mls of fish or vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 150g cooked king prawns
  • 150g rice noodles
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:

  1. Pour the stock into a medium size pan, add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger and two of the chillis and briskly boil for about 15 minutes to create the basic broth. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
  2. Add the prawns to the soup and add three of the spring onions, the fish sauce and the herbs (whilst reserving a little of each herb for garnishing). Put the lid back on the pan, and leave it whilst you carry out step 3.
  3. In a pan of boiling water, cook the beansprouts for 1-2 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain them and add them to the soup. Place the rice noodles in the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes (or less if using straight-to-wok noodles). Remove the lemongrass, ginger and garlic from the soup.
  4. Divide the cooked noodles between two deep bowls. Pour the soup over the noodles. Garnish with a little of the coriander and mint leaves, a few slices of red chilli and spring onion. Serve with a wedge of lime.

Spanish Churros with Chocolate Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 50g butter, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • about 1 litre sunflower oil
  • few chunks of bread

For the sauce:

  • 200g bar dark chocolate, not too bitter, broken into chunks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the cinnamon sugar:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Boil the kettle, then measure 350ml boiling water into a jug and add the melted butter and vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder into a big mixing bowl with a big pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the contents of the jug and very quickly beat into the flour with a wooden spoon until lump-free. Rest for 10-15 mins while you make the sauce.
  2. Put all the sauce ingredients into a pan and gently melt together, stirring occasionally until you have a smooth shiny sauce. Keep warm on a low heat.
  3. Fill a large deep saucepan one-third full of oil. Heat until when a cube of bread browns in roughly between 45 seconds – 1 min. Cover a tray with kitchen paper and mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together.
  4. Fit a star nozzle to a piping bag, 1.5-2cm wide is a good size. Fill with the rested dough, then pipe 2-3 strips directly into the pan, snipping off each dough strip with a pair of kitchen scissors.
  5. Fry until golden brown and crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the kitchen paper-lined tray. Carry on cooking the rest of the dough in batches, sprinkling the cooked churros with some cinnamon sugar as you go.
  6. Once you’ve cooked all the churros, toss with any remaining cinnamon sugar and serve with the chocolate sauce.

Chinese Crispy Chilli Beef:

Ingredients:

  • 350g thin-cut minute steak, very thinly sliced into strips
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • cooked noodles, to serve (optional)
  • prawn crackers, to serve (optional)

Method:

  1. Put the beef in a bowl and toss in the cornflour and five-spice. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until hot, then add the beef and fry until golden and crisp.
  2. Scoop out the beef and drain on kitchen paper. Pour away all but 1 tbsp of oil.
  3. Add the pepper, half the chilli, the white ends of the spring onions, garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 minutes to soften; but don’t let the garlic and ginger burn.
  4. Mix the vinegar, soy, chilli sauce and ketchup in a jug with 2 tbsp water, then pour over the veg. Bubble for 2 minutes, then add the beef back to the pan and toss well to coat.
  5. Serve the beef on noodles (and with prawn crackers, if you like) scattered with the remaining chilli and the green parts of the spring onions.

Hopefully these simple recipes get you inspired to try something new, and stretch your skills a bit further afield!

Recipes from BBC GoodFood

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History student and new Features Editor for 2016/17. Consumer of chocolate, of tea and vodka, voyeur of Scandinavian crime dramas , and writer…or attempting to anyway.

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