The 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo include everything from Southeast Asian specialities – Cambodian fish amok, Singapore laksa, Vietnamese spring rolls, and Thai crab omelette – to a French classic and stews from Spain, South Africa and Morocco.
Another year and another fascinating mix of recipes make up the 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo. These are the recipes that you searched for, discovered and referred to the most during 2018 on Grantourismo. As our recipes are some of the most visited pages on our site, we thank you for spending your time here.
The 10 most popular recipes of 2018 include newish recipes, such as Lara’s culinary adventures in Vietnamese spring roll making, along with some of Grantourismo’s oldest recipes, which I posted in 2010 as part of my recipe series Weekend Eggs, in which I cooked breakfast eggs dishes around the world, and The Dish, in which I learnt to cook the most quintessential dishes of the places we travelled during the yearlong global grand tour that launched Grantourismo.
That year that launched our Grantourismo project with our epic 12 months of slow, local and experiential travel, during which we attempted to live like locals in holiday houses and apartment rentals around the world, was our attempt at doing a contemporary grand tour.
Our mission was to explore more immersive and more enriching ways to travel, which in turn we hoped would help to make your travels more meaningful and more memorable. Food was a massive part of that.
We travelled more slowly and more sustainably, spending two weeks in each place, living like locals as much as we could, and we travelled experientially, getting as hands-on as we could and learning as much as possible in those two weeks in each place. A lot of that time was spent cooking.
Much of my time was spent learning dishes from locals, whether it was chefs like Jordi Artal in Barcelona or cooks such as Desak in Bali, and perfecting them during our time in that place, to show you that not only can you get some real cooking done when you’re on holidays, but that learning to cook the local food will give you a great insight into a place, its people, and its culture.
That’s why I get a kick out of seeing you use those early recipes, from Pierre Gagnaire‘s Cote de Boeuf recipe, which he shared with us in Paris (only after some persuasion; the chef insisted couscous was the quintessential dish of Paris – I would have taken his word for it, only we’d just arrived from Morocco where I’d learnt to cook Lamb Tagine) to Tomato Bredie, a Cape Town stew I discovered, jet-lagged, thumbing through cookbooks in between playing the piano the night we arrived in South Africa.
So here are our 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo.
10 Most Popular Recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo
This Cambodian fish amok recipe was the most visited of our 10 most popular recipes of 2018 and I can probably put the popularity of this Cambodian amok trei recipe down to how many inauthentic versions there are of this steamed fish curry on the internet. If you’ve tried the excellent fish amok at The Sugar Palm restaurant in Siem Reap, easily Cambodia’s best fish amok, then you’ll understand. That fish amok recipe you found online that uses ‘amok powder’ as a base and cooks it to a curry texture, and not steamed to something between a mousseline and a soufflé is just plain wrong.
The formation of this very old Cote de Boeuf recipe courtesy of French chef Pierre Gagnaire began in the kitchen of his restaurant in Dubai for a behind the scenes magazine feature focused on me working in the kitchen of this multi-starred chef. Chef Gagnaire has a reputation for unlikely ingredient parings, but this bone-in beef dish stole the show that whole evening. When we interviewed Gagnaire in France months later after lunch at his Paris restaurant, we asked him to share the recipe and it’s been a favourite ever since on our website.
I’m quite proud that this time-consuming recipe for Rabo de Toro or Oxtail Stew, which hails from Jerez in southern Spain, still ranks so well. It was number one in 2017. Prepared over two days, it’s a melt in your mouth kind of dish that for Lara screams winter in Spain. I’ve found it really only works with great quality oxtail meat – which is not that easy to find here in Cambodia unfortunately. Otherwise I’d be making it right about now.
Learning to make this Moroccan Lamb Tagine Prunes Almonds dish in Morocco was one of my highlights of cooking, ever. I learnt to make it Marrakech from a wonderful local cook who was both the manager and cook of our Marrakech riad. Then on a cold afternoon in windy Essaouria on the Atlantic coast, we took a guide to source the best local produce so I could reproduce the recipe I learnt in Marrakech in our Essaouira riad. With a warming fire, some good red wine, bread and couscous to go with the dish, it was one of the most memorable meals of our 2010 trip.
Although I’m very proud of this Bubur Ayam or Indonesian Congee with Chicken recipe, I have to confess that I never really saw it as a recipe that would become so popular, yet I’m pretty sure it has been in the top ten recipes on Grantourismo since I learnt to make it in Bali on our 2010 grand tour. Cooking with Desak at our tropical villa in Tumbak Bayuh was another culinary highlight of that year. Desak made this several times as I watched and learnt and she kindly shared the recipe with me.
Lara is very happy that her Vietnamese deep fried spring rolls made the list of the 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo, but she’s disappointed that her various fresh Vietnamese spring roll recipes did not make your list of favourites, as they are her favourites. And I enjoy them too. They’re great as a starter or for sharing at a gathering, especially at this time of year.
I’m really happy people are making this Crab Omelette recipe from Thailand, as it’s one of my all-time favourite decadent weekend eggs breakfast dishes although it works beautifully as a brunch dish, too. Thankfully we don’t have to always do the hard labour of painstakingly getting the meat out of the crabs because the vendors in Siem Reap will do it for you. Shhh… don’t tell anyone. This is a wonderful dish to make for breakfast Christmas morning also, as it pairs very nicely with a glass of bubbly or three.
This Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle recipe is the most surprising entry into our top 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo, as it’s a damn hard one to prefect unless you’re making them regularly. I’ve had my fair share of pretty average results with this, but I made it recently and it worked just fine. Just a warning! But it’s so great to see our readers attempting this kind of thing.
I love this Singapore laksa recipe as it’s so close to the laksa that I used to eat almost daily in Chinatown on my way to evening classes at university in Sydney many years ago, and that Lara and I used to eat on weekends when we’d go to Sydney’s Chinatown to go shopping at Paddy’s Markets. I used to try to figure out the ingredients by separating them at the end of eating a bowl. There is a long list of ingredients but luckily we can get them here in Siem Reap and I make this Singapore noodle soup dish at least once every few weeks.
The recipe for this classic Cape Town stew called Tomato Bredie is another slightly surprising one in our 10 most popular recipes of 2018. Maybe it’s South African expats looking for the aromas of home aside from barbecue? I have no idea. But I love the fact that this Tomato Bredi dish, along with the Rabo de Toro recipe, are both best eaten on the second day when the flavours have really come together.
So what did you think of our 10 most popular recipes of 2018 on Grantourismo? Did you make any of these? We’d love to hear from you. We’d also love to know what you’d like me to cook for you in 2019.