[25 Apr 2010 | 165 Comments]
a recipe for hakka noodles, a Malaysian street food using egg noodles and pork sausage.

Asia »

[25 Apr 2010 | 165 Comments]

a recipe for hakka noodles, a Malaysian street food using egg noodles and pork sausage. [More]

Featured, Latin America »

[18 Apr 2010 | 102 Comments]

photo by Kristen


I recently went to an "all-inclusive" resort in Mexico.  Having never been, I expected a landlocked version of the Love Boat.  I think the hotel made a good margin on us.  We didn't eat, drink or sun ourselves into a coma.  The food was actually much better than I expected (not so the margaritas) and there was something very Epcot Centerish about wandering around "Mexicoland" on the way to white sand beaches.  Not sure we will do it again, but it was a nice way to spend a few days.


We spent one day in Playa del Carmen, sitting out in the sand with a lunch of ceviche and tacos.  It’s a nice little town if you stay away from the frog place and Carlos and Charlie's.  There is something special about sitting in the shade, drinking Mexican beer and eating snacks while listening to the waves.




Truth be told, the tacos were pretty much the best food on the Love Boat.  Once we figured out where they were, we at lunch in the same spot (there were something like a dozen restaurants) .  Watching the guy cook them to order, I realized I have never seen tacos made exactly this way before.


For those of you that don't live in Texas, pico de gallo is a ubiquitous condiment/salsa made of tomatoes, onions, peppers and lime.  Replace it with any salsa you like.


I like these tacos on the small side, with corn tortillas, but they work just as well with flour.  With the smaller tacos, the fish lasts longer.  Be gentle once you starting cooking the fish to keep the batter from coming off.



Yucatan Fish Tacos



12 oz fish prepared using the recipe for Oistins Fish Fry

1 onion, long sliced

2 Tbsp olive oil

White wine

Pinch of red pepper

1 avocado

Pico de gallo

Corn or flour tortillas



  1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

  2. Sauté the onion until the onion starts to become translucent.

  1. Add the fish with a pinch of hot chili

  1. Once the fish starts to warm, add a splash of wine.  Allow the wine to boil off and remove from heat.

  1. Warm the tortillas on a griddle or flat pan.

  1. Prepare the tacos with fish, a slice of avocado and some pico de gallo




Caribbean, Featured »

[11 Apr 2010 | 103 Comments]

photo by daveypea


Its hard to go wrong with fried fish.  Fish and chips is not a fare landlocked in the UK, although its hard to match the popularity of UK chip shops.  As I have posted before, fried fish is common in the Caribbean Islands.


Friday's in southern Barbados brings the Oistins Fish Fry, near some of the best beaches on the island.  Dozens of fish stands appear, the tourists pour in and everyone enjoys the island version of Shriner's fried fish benefit.





I use the frozen fillets from Whole Foods.  They are excellent quality and come in the perfect portion for 2-4 people.  Be cautious not to marinate the fish too long in the lime, or you'll be frying ceviche.  I grind the panko a bit to avoid ending up with tempura, but I think the panko adds a good crunch to the breading.



Oistins Fish Fry

2 mahi mahi filets (12oz)

Juice of 2 limes

1 egg

1/2 white onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 in grated ginger

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

Pinch of clove

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup panko, ground a few seconds in a spice grinder

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp hot red chili

1/2 tsp salt





  1. Rinse the fish, dust with salt and marinate it with the lime and 2 tablespoons of water for 30-60 minutes.

  1. Beat the egg with a little water.   Add the onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, clove and pepper.  Mix well.

  1. Rinse the fish again and cut into 1/2" strips.  Marinate with the egg/seasoning mix for a few hours.

  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, flour, panko, peppers, paprika and salt in a shallow bowl.

  1. Dredge the fish the flour until covered well.

  1. Fry over medium heat for 3 minutes per side.




America, Featured »

[21 Mar 2010 | 96 Comments]

photo by andidigress


The best part about putting recipes into a blog is hearing back from people that either try them or see something out in the world that draws them back to the food.  So much more interesting that keeping the recipes in a file.  This is one of those recipes…


Ranch Style Beans are something you don’t (can’t) avoid in Texas.  My family loves them, I have loved them since the first time I had a bowl.  With jalapenos, on rice, whatever.  Trouble is, eating out of a can hasn’t been all that appealing for years.  Once you start making everything fresh, or leave college, cans just aren't as appealing.


A friend that read this blog mentioned that beans are sold in Styrofoam cups in south Texas.  I love the idea – a Big Gulp of beans.  It makes perfect sense – beans are easy to make and easy to serve.  A giant cup of beans sounds a little like an SNL skit, but I would buy one.  Sure, I've had plenty of beans as a side at one of our legendary BBQ spots, but I've never sought out a bowl of beans on their own.




This recipe is much more than a knock off of Ranch Style Beans.  Ranch beans are a common side on local tables, so its handy to have a good bean recipe.  More than handy - its critical.  If you're prepared with good recipes for ranch beans and Cuban frijoles negros, you pretty much have beans covered.


The original Ranch Style Beans use pinto, but I have found that its best to mix the pintos with red kidneys, so I keep both on hand.


These can be served over rice or on their own.  They're a simple and satisfying meal by themselves, even out of a Big Gulp cup.



Ranch Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans (or kidney)

3 onions (total), diced

1/4 cup red chili powder (I use Pendrey's Texas Red)

2 Tbsp salt

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

2 strips of bacon, diced

1 Tbsp oil

3 cloves garlic

1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 tsp vinegar




  1. Wash the beans and remove any rocks.  Soak overnight.

  2. Rinse the beans and cover with water.  Make sure there are a couple inches of water above the surface of the beans.

  3. Add 2 of the diced onions, chili, salt, sugar and paprika.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 2 hours.

  1. After 2 hours, cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet.  Let the beans continue to simmer.

  1. When the bacon is done to your liking, add the remaining onion, oil, garlic, and bell peppers.

  1. When the onion has softened and turned translucent, use a ladle to transfer any extra broth from the beans to the skillet.  Take all the broth down to the surface of the beans.  Add the vinegar to the beans.

  2. Boil off the broth from the skillet, until what remains is a thick gravy.

  3. Add the gravy to the beans and serve immediately.  Garnish with cilantro, onions and Mexican oregano.




Featured, Middle East & Africa »

[14 Mar 2010 | 116 Comments]

photo by A. Davey


I have mentioned in prior posts that I once read the New York Times Magazine's food column, but have since given up.  One of the main drivers that chased me towards the travel section was the addition of a series called "Cooking With Dexter".  The series centers on a young cook, maybe 4 or 5, that has more annoying foodie street cred than some of the bloggers I've read.  I have a kid the same age, and other than making play dough, I can't imagine him ever showing the slightest glimmer of the overly precocious Dexter's behavior.


I was poking around the interweb, learning about African street food, when I caught some mentions of Dabo Kolo.  The only African food I cook on a regular basis are Moroccan tagines, so its time I learned more.  One post in particular got me thinking about whether drawing the kid into cooking would be a good idea.  Seems like a simple recipe and very kid friendly.


The short answer is it was a total failure.  The Dabo Kolo turned out great, but the kid kept insisting we use his recipe, which had more to do with assembling everything in the pantry into a grey mush and cooking it.




The optional part of this recipe is the pepper.  If you include the chili, I use the same reshampatti chili I use in Indian recipes, the end result is going to have a bite kids won't like.  If you want to go the kid friendly route, cover the pieces with a little butter and cinnamon sugar while they are still warm.



Dabo Kolo

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp hot red chili

1 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup warm water




  1. Mix all the ingredients together.  Add the water slowly and mix together, making sure the dough is not too sticky.

  2. Knead on a floured surface.

  3. Pull off a ball of dough the size of a golf ball, roll out to form a strip of dough.

  4. Cook in a skillet with no oil until each piece is golden brown.  Turn regularly.