If it comes down to trying local food while traveling, I'm all in. Why would you fly to some place just to eat the same stuff, you're able to eat whenever you want while you're home? I know these certain groups of travelers, which are way to eager to get their hands on roast pork and fried potatoes – speaking for the Germans right now – once they've arrived at their travel destination but usually, those are the ones, choosing the all-inclusive tour and I am really not a big fan of that.
But I know that you aren't either and so I'll try my best to get some vacation feeling into your kitchen 'cause these recipes are damn delicious.
Poke – Pupukea, Hawaii
Poke (pronounced “Po-keey”) is a tasty and also very healthy Hawaiian fish salad, usually prepared with fresh and raw Ahi (tuna). I am not that much into raw fish. I'm deeply ashamed to admit that I prefer vegetarian sushi without the fish (please don't hate me for that) and so you can probably imagine that I was kinda prejudiced against Poke but I was brave and tried and oh boy, it tasted so good. I've already mentioned where to get the best spicy poke bowl while you're at the North Shore of O'ahu in my >>Hawaii Food Guide<< but here's the recipe, so you can try it at home and get some Aloha, even if you're far away from beautiful Hawaii.
First of all, the Spicy Poke Bowl consists of, well, Ahi, which is marinated, cooked Quinoa and a mixed salad with dried seaweed. First of all, you have to prepare the Ahi. If you don't live near the ocean and you're not able get freshly caught tuna, get some fresh frozen tuna, labeled as “sashimi grade” or simply talk to your local and trusted fishmonger. This is very important since you don't want to catch salmonellae.
- 4 shallots (very thinly sliced)
- 1 scallion (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of mayonnaise or Japanese mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp of Sriracha sauce (it's a hot chilly sauce, the spicier you like it, the more you can add)
Afterwards, cook the Quinoa. If you haven't heard about Quinoa, it's a very healthy seed from South America and is rich in proteins and fibers.
How to cook Quinoa:
First of all, you have to rinse out the Quinoa with cold water for about 5 minutes, otherwise it'll taste bitter. Then cook up some water with vegetable broth. Add the Quinoa once the water is boiling and simmer it for 15 minutes, afterwards, turn off the stove and allow the Quinoa to infuse for 10 minutes, while being covered. If there's still some water afterwards. No problem, just pour it off carefully. Your Quinoa is done once its nearly completely translucent.
While you let the Quinoa cool down, prepare the salad with some lettuce, cucumber, some sliced and dried seaweed and tomatoes. You can dress the salad with some soy sauce, but not too much.
Add the Quinoa to the salad and top all of it with the spicy Ahi and et voilá – your Spicy Poke Bowl is done.
Posh Cheddar & Pickle Baguette – London, England
This one is from my favorite natural food and sandwich store Pret A Manger, spread all over London. All you need is a freshly crisped up baguette (I prefer whole grain), matured cheddar (Pret uses Croxton Manor but any other matured cheddar you like will do it.), roasted tomatoes, red onions, cress, salt and pepper, mayonnaise (like Hellmann's real mayo for example) and most important of all: the pickle.
What is pickle? It's a kinda sweet-sour spread with apples for example, which goes great with cheese and is a characteristically British ingredient.
Ingredients Pret Pickle:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1lb / 500g apples
- ¼ cup raisins (optional)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- salt to taste
Heat the oil in a medium pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until they're translucent. Add all other ingredients, despite the salt, but allow them one after another to heat up. Once you've added the water, boil it and add the salt. Afterwards let it simmer for about 45 minutes until its reduced and thickened. Puree half of the pickle and add it to the rest. Let it cool down.
Now slice open the baguette and spread the mayonnaise on it, season it as preferred, add the cheddar, the red onion, cut into rings, the roasted tomatoes, cress, top all of it with the pickle and you're done with your yummy lunch for your break or as provisions when gone hiking.
Açai Bowl – Pupukea, Hawaii
Açai is known as the super expensive super fruit from South America. Açai berries are rich in vitamins, fibers, antioxidants and magnesium. I ate my first Açai Bowl at Crispy Grindz, right across the famous surf spot Pipeline at the North Shore and I instantly fell in love with this bowl. It consists of frozen Açai puree, granola and bananas. But you can add any other ingredient you like.
- For frozen Açai puree, you'll need some powder or some smoothie packs (1-2 packs per serving or 1 tbsp of powder)
- 0,13lb / 60g almond milk
- ½ frozen and chopped banana
- 0,13lb/ 60g frozen and chopped strawberries
- 60g frozen blueberries.
Put all of it into a mixer and blend it until its creamy. Afterwards, put some granola into a bowl (healthier version would be without granola but it tastes good.) and the puree on top of it. Add some sliced banana, a dash of peanut butter, some chia seeds, maybe some dried coconut and whatever berries you like on top of it.
Ta-da! Your healthy breakfast is ready. You can prepare the puree the night before and leave it in the fridge. Açai bowl has lots of good effects. It's a light food but still full of vitamins and all the things you'll need for a good start into your day.
Kaiserschmarrn with Zwetschkenröster – Austria
Kaiserschmarrn is one of the most famous desserts in Austria and its some kind of chopped and sugared pancakes with confectioner's sugar and Zwetschkenröster are stewed plums. Unlike the Açai Bowl, this one isn't healthy at all but if you're in Austria, you definitely have to try some real Kaiserschmarrn. Its very puffy and sweet and perfect after a long day on the slopes. My following recipe is from the area of Styria.
- 1/8l milk
- 0,29lb / 130g flour
- 4 yolks
- 4 egg whites
- Dash of salt
- 0,18 lb / 80g sugar
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 0,09lb / 40g butter
- 0,66lb / 300g plums
- 0,33 lb / 150g sugar
- grounded cinnamon
Scrub the plums, core them and chop them into small pieces. Let the plums, together with the sugar and cinnamon, simmer for an hour. Put it aside, once the Zwetschkenröster is done.
Combine milk, flour and the yolks with the dash of salt, add 0,07lb / 30g sugar and the vanilla sugar. Let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes. Beat the egg whites and the rest of the sugar until its stiff and gently fold it into the batter afterwards.
Put the butter into a pan and heat it up until its bubbly. Put the batter into the pan until its golden on the bottom. Preheat the oven to 392°F / 200°C. Sprinkle some more sugar on top of the batter and put the pan into the oven for 15 minutes.
Tear the finished batter carefully apart into small pieces, add some confectioner's sugar and the stewed plums. Ready to enjoy.
Tres Leches – Sámara, Costa Rica
Tres Leches cake will probably be the sweetest thing you'll ever ate and the Costa Rican national dish is packed a punch since it mostly consists of cream and evaporated milk but it's tasty nevertheless. I've ate my first Tres Leches in 2014 when I stayed at the pacific coast of Costa Rica for one month and a friend of mine got one from his neighbor for his birthday. You cannot eat more than one slice but it has a very special, milky taste due to the evaporated milk and a somehow flummeresque texture. But once you're in Costa Rica, you can't get past this dessert and I'm going to reveal my recipe, which I got from one of the local employees at my aunts hotel in Guanacaste, near Sámara.
- 4 yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 0,22lb / 100g sugar
- Dash of salt
- Dash of grated lemon zest
- 4 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 0,55lb / 250g cream
- 1 tin of evaporated milk
- 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk
- Frosting (optional):
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tbsp sugar
First beat the egg whites with the sugar and salt until it's stiff. Gently fold in the flour, cornstarch, lemon zest and the yolks. Preheat the oven to 356°F / 180°C, fold the batter into a rectangular baking pan and bake it 25-30 minutes. Don't let the cake turn too dark.
Combine the cream, evaporated and sweetened condensed milk and set aside.
Once the cake is done, let it cool down and pierce it several times with a fork afterwards. Slowly pour the cream-milk mix on the cake and put it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
If you want, you can beat the remaining egg whites with the 4 tablespoons of sugar stiff and put it on top of the cake before you serve it. Pura vida!
Low Carb Cinnamon Rolls – Berlin, Germany
Those cinnamon rolls aren't really a characteristic German thing to eat but since Germany, and especially cities like Berlin, jumped on the eat healthy and stay fit bandwagon and the city definitely likes to reinvent itself, this recipe is also great to share. Everyone knows those sweet cinnamon buns, which nobody can say no to and which are also rich in calories but I found a healthy alternative.
But first, those cinnamon rolls are full of gluten – which is absolutely not a bad thing. Gluten are the glue that keeps several grains together and pure gluten are simply proteins - a lot of proteins. I know it's kinda hot to have some kind of intolerance but I'm gonna convince you of the contrariety.
- 1 sachet dried yeast (dissolved in 50ml of water)
- 0,17lb / 75g almond flour
- 0,17lb / 75g Gluten
- 0,11lb / 50g low-fat curd
- 1 egg
- Dash of salt
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp of xucker light (xucker light is made of erythritol and a sweetener without calories)
- 0,11lb / 50g protein powder (best is to go with vanilla)
- Sliced apples, dusted with cinnamon
- Xylith chocolate chips (chocolate also made with erythritol, meaning less sugar, less calories)
- 3 tbsp cream cheese light
- 1 tbsp skinny yoghurt
- 1 tbsp xucker light
Dissolve the dried yeast in water, set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients and add the yeast afterwards. Knead the dough. If its still moist, add some more almond flour. Set aside for 30 minutes – covered.
Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface (use almond flour) and put the sliced apples with the chocolate chips on it. Cut the dough (horizontally) into 0,40 inch/ 1 cm thick slices and roll them into buns. Put the buns on a baking sheet and put them for 10 to 15 minutes into the oven at 320°F / 160°C. Let the cinnamon rolls cool down and frost them if you like. Happy healthy eating.
Chocolate Brownies – London, England
One of my housemates, during my time in London, worked as a chef and sometimes, he brought some brownies from work back home. Those were the best brownies I've ever eaten. Sweet but not too sweet, chocolaty and the perfectly fudgy. Unfortunately, I've lost the original recipe and it took me several years to find something that got very close to it. The difficulty while baking brownies is, not to leave them in the oven for too long. Otherwise, they will become too dry, so best is to keep an eye on them while baking.
- 0,50lb / 225g butter
- 0,66lb / 300 g dark chocolate chips
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 0,60lb / 275g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 0,30lb / 135g flour
- ¼ tsp salt
Melt the butter and two-thirds of the chocolate chips on low heat. Let it cool down a bit before adding the eggs, otherwise they will scramble. In the meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together. When they chocolate-butter mix has cooled down enough, add it as well. Fold in the flour and salt afterwards. Pour it into a baking pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of it. Preheat the oven to 315°F / 160°C and bake the brownies for 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind, you want them fudgy ;) Once they're done and all cooled down, you can cut them into pieces. Enjoy!
Picadillo a la habanera con arroz y chatinos – Havana, Cuba
Where are the Spanish speaking folks? The following dish is a characteristic Cuban one. Ground beef with rice and plantains. By the way, chatino is the Cuban word for plantains, usually they're called plátanos. Plantains are bigger than bananas and unsuitable for eating them raw. They don't taste good but once they're cooked, they're delicious. Ground beef is actually not the cheapest meat you can get in Cuba but Picadillo a la habanera is, combined with white wine, a really great dish from the Caribbean.
- 1,1lb / 500g ground beef
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 medium sized pepper
- 4 clove garlic
- 4 tomatoes
- 0,22lb / 100g olives (If you don't like olives, just like me, you can omit them)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 100ml dry white wine
- 4 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 plantains
Heat up the oil in a pan and cook the ground beef well until it crumbles. Chop the onion, pepper, garlic and tomatoes and stew them a little in a second pan. Start preparing the long grain rice.
Add the tomato paste and the white wine and let all of it simmer for approx. two minutes, now add the ground beef and let it simmer again for two minutes. Season it with salt and pepper.
Peel off the plantains and cut them into 0,80in / 2cm thick slices. Put oil in another pan and set the plantains into the cold (!) oil, so they're covered up to 50%. Heat the oil up afterwards and deep-fry them for five minutes on one side, turn them to the other side for another five minutes.
Afterwards, put them on a paper towel, mash the plantains, put them back into the pan and deep-fry them for another three minutes from both sides. Afterwards, back on the paper towel, let them drain well, put a little salt on them and serve the plantains together with the rice and the ground beef mix. Relish in your delicious Cuban dish.
I hope you enjoyed my favorite recipes from all over the globe. Have a great time cooking or baking them and an even greater time while enjoying the delicious and tasty flavors.
Until then, happy traveling.