How Travelling Has influenced what I cook at home

One of my favourite aspects of travel is trying new food, whether it is from a street food vendor or browsing some of the best foodie markets in Europe. There's something about food that really brings people of all cultures together and when you're on holiday, food is one of the best ways to get to know the country you are visiting, by either sampling the local delicacies or speaking to the people who eat it.

Travel has enabled me to try a lot of food that I never thought I would be able to experience and has introduced me to a lot of new flavours. From eating stirfrys and curries in Thailand to eating sauerkraut in Germany, Paella in Spain and even feasting on all the different local delicacies that various parts of Britain has to offer, travelling has really played an influence on what I cook from home and for the better.

I've become more experimental

Since travelling to Thailand back in 2015 and even lesser known parts of Europe, I have become much more experimental with what I eat. When I was in Thailand I fell in love with 'morning glory' which is a stirfry of different vegetables and I love trying all the different curries. Most of my diet these days in now Thai orientated as I love the flavours.

It has made being vegetarian less boring

So many people ask me if I get bored of being vegetarian, but I really don't. The key to never getting bored of a vegetarian diet is learning different cooking methods of all your vegetables and learning how to inject flavour into your dishes - most of which can easily be picked up by trying many different types of cuisines.

I appreciate different cultures

One of my favourite food experiences was visiting the Klienmarkthalle in Frankfurt as it was full to the brim of shoppers sampling different food and market traders boasting about their wares. I was able to peer into peoples shopping baskets and see what people in Germany were picking up as their staple shopping ingredients and I browsed the stalls and discovered lots of different pastries unique to that area. It made me appreciate food that each country has to offer, so much so that it has now become a slight addiction. I try to make myself try lots of food from different countries every month so I can learn more about the culture and why they eat the things that they do.

You don't have to travel far to experience the plethora of cuisines that embraces our planet these days. Most towns have a variety of ethnic stores from Polish supermarkets to Asian superstores and even our own high street supermarkets are becoming much more savvy to world food, incorporating food from all seven different continents into one scrumptious food aisle. So many brands are now coining in on that fact that people want to try new food and have different food experiences.

One of the latest recipes I have cooked is from Thai Taste, a brand which specialises in authentic Thai ingredients and it is a Pumpkin (can be substituted for butternut squash), Galangal coconut curry, which is so aromatic that it reminds me of being back in Thailand.  The recipe has been designed by Thai restaurateur Seb Holmes to inspire customers to create restaurant-quality Thai food at home. The recipe is vegan, gluten free and incredibly easy to make, it's perfect for those who want to try new flavours or relive their own travel memories. 

Pumpkin, Galangal and Coconut Soup

Serves: 2 (GF/VE)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1/4 small pumpkin, roughly 50-60kg, peeled and sliced into 2cm by 2 cm pieces (or squash can be used)
8 Thai Shallots, peeled and slightly bruised
1 head pak choy, tough stem removed and leaves sliced in half
2 green birds eye chillies
1 teaspoon Thai Taste chopped Kaffir lime leaves
2 sticks lemongrass 
10g Galangal peeled
2 coriander roots
2-3 teaspoons Thai Taste soy sauce
200ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of Thai Taste Tamarind Paste
300ml Thai Taste coconut milk
100g Thai Taste rice vermicelli noodles, left soaking for 10 minutes until soft and then refreshed under cold water
10g Thai sweet basil
1 lime, juiced

Firstly, in a small sauce pain bring a little bit of water to the boil and then submerge pumpkin into it. Leave this to simmer and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until soft and then remove from heat.

Next place vegetable stock, 100ml of the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, tamarind, galangal, coriander roots, birds eye chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, pumpkin, pak choy and Thai shallots into a medium saucepan and bring to simmer.

Once simmering continue to cook gently for 4-5 minutes until all vegetables have softened and flavours infused. Finish by adding rest of the coconut milk and sweet basil and serve into soup bowls lined with vermicelli noodles. The dish should be creamy, salty, a little bit spicy and aromatic with a fresh hint of lime.

Many of the ingredients for this dish can be purchased in jar form from Thai Taste, who gave me some of these products so I could test the recipe out for myself.

What is your favourite cuisine?



  1. I think if you are travelling anywhere even if it's just a few county's away you should always give the local cuisine a try. I don't get much chance to travel but near where I live we have a an indoor market that has food from all over the world and I love trying the different foods they have, it is how my love for jerk chicken and rice and pea started x

  2. I always try local food on my travels. I must admit fermented shark in Iceland wasn't the best experience but that is more for the tourists. If you have never tried shrimp and grits in New Orleans you haven't lived, SO much nicer than I expected.

  3. I love trying local dishes - food is a huge part of the travel experience to me! I haven't been out to Asia (yet!) but the food there always sounds really exciting. This recipe sounds fantastic!

  4. It's really good to know that you incorporate your travels with your cooking. It's just amazing to know the culture of a certain place plus being able to taste their dishes too.

  5. I've got to say travelling influences my food choices once I'm back home too. I mean, like you said, one of the most exciting things about exploring the world is trying new local dishes, so it's lovely to bring that experience back to your own kitchen!

  6. I love trying new foods, it's one of the best things about travelling, and it's always nice to bring culinary inspiration home with you afterwards :)

  7. I always try to experience new food when traveling although I find they never quite taste the same when cooking them over here

  8. A girl after my own heart! Great multicultural post. It's always great to explore other cultures and traditions.

  9. I haven't been out to Asia (yet!) but the food there always sounds really exciting. This recipe sounds fantastic!


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