Recipe: Hot & Sour Dipping Sauce | Nước mắm pha

vietnam.food.recipe.img_2926

Nước mắm pha is the quintessential Vietnamese dipping sauce, used on spring rolls, rice noodles, salads, and more. It's sweet, salty, and heavily spiced. A basic recipe includes freshly squeeze lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and water. The real flavor comes from garlic and fresh red chilies. I learned on Food Safari (a great food/travel show - catch it if you can!) that if the cook can get the garlic and chili pieces to float in the nước mắm pha, they will get … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cousin Alfred’s Meat Sauce

vatican.city.food.recipe.img_2636

When I ask my mother how I'm related to Cousin Alfred, the answer usually goes: "Well..." and then there's a  contemplative silence. I can see her running through all our different relations, high up on the family tree, doing mental gymnastics to connect one branch to another. Eventually, she comes out with "I think he's my mothers, mother's cousin's"... and then, either she trails off, or my attention span wanes because, really, all that matters is that he is family, one way or … [Read more...]

Recipe: Watermelon Jam

turkmenistan.food.recipe.img_0573

Imagine living in a place that has a National Holiday called "Melon Day."  You could be surrounded by more than 400 kinds of melon, including some 50 varieties of watermelon.* The cool, sweet flesh would fill your belly and spirit. Eating it would definitely make you smile. And spreading it on bread? Even better. If any of this appeals to you, you might want to consider moving to Turkmenistan. These lovely people have celebrated Melon Day since 1994, and they don't … [Read more...]

Recipe: Singapore Chilli Sauce

singaporean-chili-sauce

The act of "saucing" food in Singapore is not as simple as I expected it to be. From what I can tell, there's two schools of thought on the matter. First: the 'dip & dunk' variety, a.k.a. those who keep a bowl of incendiary hot sauce next to their plates for regular food baths. Second: the 'drizzle & bedazzle' variety, a.k.a. those who let the sauce rain down over their food, free-form. While I wouldn't normally expect this to be a big deal, the foodies of Singapore are so … [Read more...]

Recipe: Coconut Curd | Kaya

singapore.food.recipe.img_9519

Singapore is a true melting pot. In every kitchen, you'll find time honored traditions from around the world, especially India, China, Malaysia, and Europe. Today's recipe, Kaya, belies the British influence on the islands. Think tea time and crumpets. But Asian-style. Here's the skinny: Kaya is Coconut Curd. Curd is a spread that's thickened with egg yolks... In this sense, Kaya is just like Britain's much adored lemon curd, but with the hauntingly addictive flavor of rich, velvety … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ginger Peach Barbecue Sauce

palau.food.recipe.img_9212

Way out in the Pacific ocean sits a bumpy, bumbling little island country called Palau. From what I hear, the fine people (20,000 strong) slather barbecue sauce on just about anything. Fish. Chicken. Even mussels. Some say it's the American influence on their cuisine, but I detect a nod to the rich gingery-garlic barbecue sauces of Asia as well. I immediately knew that I had to make homemade barbecue sauce to experience our Palauan Global Table to the fullest. And if I was going to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mango & Ginger Chutney

myanmar.food.img_8401

Sometimes life throws us some pretty major "boulders" - huge, overwhelming problems we can't seem to solve, let alone nudge out of the way. In Namibia, you can find a lot of these boulders, literally. Strangely out of proportion, these massive stones perch atop bald, widswept vistas. I like to think of these formiddable boulders as mangoes. Yes, mangoes. Something that, if given enough time, will soften and sweeten and delight you. Why can't all problems be this way? Today's recipe … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lemon & Garlic Piri Piri (with poll)

mozambique.foodimg_7302

Welcome to golden, fire-breathing sunshine. This is piri piri, a famous hot sauce in Africa which has hundreds (thousands!) of variations. Today's rendition comes from Mozambique, where bright lemon juice meets smooth olive oil, tiny hot peppers, and a healthy scoop of red pepper flakes. Piri Piri has her roots in Portuguese culture, whose influence is still felt today in Mozambique. Keep in mind that you can make piri piri by mincing a mountain of hot peppers, if you're brave. In that … [Read more...]