Travel-inspired recipes for you to try at home

17 April 2020

New activities to fill the days, and ways to freshen up mealtimes have been all over social media recently. So, how about combining these with your love of travel to create destination-inspired dishes from across the globe? Here is a selection of authentic recipes, featuring some local specialities, that you can adapt and adopt to keep your time filled, and hopefully your plates empty!

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 used as a sauce, marinade or coating for meat/tofu/vegetables. The finished teriyaki dish should have a lovely gloss to it, as the sauce is either poured over the dish while cooking or seasoned with it afterwards. 

Total preparation and cooking time is around 25 minutes

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



You can substitute the steak for chicken, prawns or any vegetarian alternative/tofu


Cambodia: Chicken Amok

Amok is a deliciously fragrant curry made with a coconut milk-based sauce which 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.  Most good supermarkets these days stock a lot of the ingredients, but so that you don’t have to make unnecessary journeys out to stock up, alternatives have been added here where possible, which you may already have in your cupboards.

Total preparation and cooking time is around 45 minutes

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 can’t find galangal, then you can substitute fresh ginger root, minced)

1 shallot finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 red chili (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, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 can coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp cornflour


To serve:

2 tsp lime zest for garnish (optional)

360g jasmine rice (to make four servings)



This can also be served with roti, or chapatis, and a side salad.


Mexico: Chilli Enchiladas

Our take on a Mexican favourite, using leftover chilli as the filling. A spicy, filling dinner treat with a melted cheese and refried bean topping.

Total preparation and cooking time is around 40 minutes

Serves: 4



4 – 6 Tortillas, preferably corn, although flour tortillas will do if that is all you have

400g leftover chilli (or if you have less, add some cooked white rice into it to make it go further)

1 small can of refried beans*

Half a 250g carton of passata*

100g of grated cheddar cheese



Heat the oven to 200 degrees (or 180 degrees for a fan oven, or Gas mark 6)

Lightly grease the inside of a deep rectangular oven dish

Mix the tin of refried beans with the passata and put to one side

Add several spoons of the chilli/chilli and rice mixture in a line down the centre of each tortilla, roll it up and place it in the oven dish, keeping the fold underneath to prevent it unwrapping whilst cooking.  Continue with the chill and tortillas until all is used and the dish is full.

Pour the bean and passata mixture over the top of the tortillas and spread evenly across, then top with the grated cheese.

Bake for around 30 minutes in the oven until the sauce and cheese topping is bubbling and the tortillas are starting to go golden brown.

Serve with a side salad, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.


*  If you have no refried beans/passata, you can substitute with salsa


Italy: Classic Tomato Sauce

This sauce is a basic Italian tomato sauce, and lends itself as a base to many classic dishes (it can be a pizza base if thickened slightly with a tomato puree, or can be used with minced beef to make the meat layer of a lasagne) or it can be served as a dish in itself with whatever cooked pasta you have to hand. You can add various other ingredients and herbs to it to vary the flavour too*.

Total preparation and cooking time is around 40 minutes

Serves: 4



1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp oil

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped

500ml passata or 600g of tinned chopped tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper




*       Add cooked ham, or cooked bacon lardons to the sauce if you want a meat-based dish, or chili flakes and cooked prawns to make a spiced prawn dish.

*       Add herbs, such as basil, or oregano to give an alternative flavour, especially if using for lasagne or pizza sauce

*       Add a clove of crushed garlic when frying the vegetables


UK: Easter Biscuits

Finally, how about that staycation?

Easter biscuits are a West Country biscuit, traditionally given to guests on Easter Sunday. They are lightly spiced, currant-studded, soft, round biscuits with a sugary crunch.  The true recipe has Cassia oil flavouring (the food grade kind) in it, but this can be substituted with mixed spice and cinnamon if you don’t have it or can’t get it.  This is also an ideal recipe to bake with children as it is quick and easy.



400g plain flour, sieved

200g margarine or butter

150g caster sugar

150g currants

2 eggs

2 - 4 tbsp milk (if dough is dry)

6 drops of cassia oil (or 1 level tsp ground mixed spice and 1 level tsp ground cinnamon)



To discuss anything travel-related, whether that’s your next adventure or which of these recipes you’ve enjoyed the most, contact your Travel Counsellor and they’ll be happy to help.

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