Recipes from cookbooks we review, shared with full permission from publishers.

Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice

Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice

Salmon, seaweed and sesame seeds are a popular filling in onigiri (rice balls), especially those sold in conbini (Japanese convenience stores). Tim Anderson has created a one-pot recipe for a Smoked Salmon and Seaweed Rice bowl based on these same flavours. He adds his personal touch by using hot-smoked salmon (which isn’t traditional but works ... Read more »

Microwaved Mabo Aubergine

Microwaved Mabo Aubergine

Mabo Aubergine is a popular Japanese variation of the Sichuan Chinese Mapo Tofu (also known as pockmarked grandma’s beancurd). Here, aubergine takes the place of tofu – it’s soft, silky texture and ability to absorb flavours partners perfectly with punchy pork. But this clever recipe from Tim Anderson’s JapanEasy Bowls & Bento is even better, ... Read more »

Gyoza-Filling Rice Bowl

Gyoza-Filling Rice Bowl

Following on from Masahiro Kasahara’s Quick Pan-Fried Gyoza Disks, here’s another great idea for anyone yearning for the flavours of Japanese gyoza, but not wanting to spend the time shaping individual dumplings. Gyoza-Filling Rice Bowl is the first recipe we made from Tim Anderson’s JapanEasy Bowls & Bento cookbook. Find out more about the cookbook in our ... Read more »

Amok Peanut Vegetable Curry 

Amok Peanut Vegetable Curry

This is the Van Life Cookbook’s adaptation of a classic Cambodian dish, called Amok. Although it’s commonly made with fish, the richly spiced peanut butter sauce lends itself well to a vegetarian version. Although the ingredients list looks long, many go straight into the curry paste, which can be made in a mini food processor ... Read more »

Budget Supermarket Pasta

Budget Supermarket Pasta

In Van Life Cookbook authors Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura share a collection of recipes designed to be cooked and enjoyed in the small kitchen spaces of campervans and caravans, or in the great outdoors. They are also budget conscious, and eat a predominantly vegetarian diet. This Budget Supermarket Pasta recipe includes anchovies and cheese, ... Read more »

Menemen: Turkish One-Pan Eggs

Menemen Turkish One-Pan Eggs

Although it’s commonly served for breakfast, Menemen – aka Turkish Eggs – is also excellent as a quick lunch or light evening meal. This one-pan recipe comes from the ‘Van Life Cookbook: Resourceful recipes for life on the road: from small spaces to the great outdoors’ by Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura. This recipe is ... Read more »

Helim, Sausages, Pickled Shallots and Honey

Helim Sausages Pickled Shallots and Honey

This delicious dish from Hasan Semay’s Big Has Home cookbook makes a wonderful, summery lunch on its own but also works well as part of a more lavish spread. As suggested, we switched out the pastirma for chorizo (as that’s easier to find in our neck of the woods). The combination of flavours and textures ... Read more »

Turkish Ezme

Ezme Salad

For many years, ezme has been one of my favourite side dishes when visiting the many Turkish restaurants of North London. A simple cold dish of chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and red peppers with lots of parsley and mint, ezme is the perfect foil to kebabs such as adana kofte, chicken and lamb cis, and ... Read more »

Firinda Makarna (Cypriot Beef and Bechamel Pasta Bake)

Firinda Makarna

Firinda Makarna is not a dish I’d heard of until reading Hasan Semay’s Big Has Home cookbook, but his description of it as being somewhat like an Italian lasagne was helpful, in that it features minced beef, pasta and a cheesy bechamel sauce. However, in this dish, the minced beef is fried with onions, parsley ... Read more »

Kashmiri Vers Masala Spice Cakes

Kashmiri Vers Masala Spice Cakes

All across India you will find regional spice blends (known as masalas). Vers masala hails from Kashmir and is commonly made and stored in small round cakes or tablets. Depending on the recipe (and the volume you are making), you can add either a small piece of Vers masala or a whole cake; usually towards ... Read more »