Top 10 Recipes of 2020 on Grantourismo include everything from a tomato bredie recipe from Cape Town, a côte de bœuf recipe from Paris and an authentic guacamole recipe from Mexico – all recipes from 2010 when we launched Grantourismo – to more recent recipes, such as a sourdough starter recipe and chicken curry pie recipe published at the start of the pandemic.
The top 10 recipes of 2020 on Grantourismo that you searched for and cooked are a mixed bunch of recipes. Some recipes date back to 2010, the year we launched Grantourismo with a yearlong grand tour of the world and a series called The Dish, based on quintessential dishes I learnt to cook in the places we settled into. Others are more recent, including recipes published soon after the world went into lockdown in March when everyone began baking sourdough and we all engaged in cooking projects to keep us calm and sane.
It’s great to see some our personal favourites on the list that have been tried and tested for over 10 years now: 2020 was, after all, meant to be the year we celebrated Grantourismo’s 10th birthday and a decade advocating slow, local and experiential travel, which for us are more sustainable and responsible, and more meaningful and memorable ways of travelling.
Sharing food, cooking and culinary history has been a central part of our quest from the start – whether it’s been encouraging you to do street food tours, sample local food and eat with locals when you travel or to learn to cook some dishes of the places you travel to – and that will remain a part of our mission going forward. We had big plans for Grantourismo this year, as part of our 10th birthday celebrations, but 2020 wasn’t a year for celebrating anything.
After travelling for leisure and pleasure came to an abrupt halt a couple of months into 2020, we hunkered down and began recipe testing for our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook project. Cooking and culinary history went from being one of the key themes of our site to the main focus. While the cookbook kept us busy, we also experimented and came up with fusion recipes like that for our chicken curry pie recipe that’s in our top ten this year.
If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo and the content we create by clicking through our links to book accommodation or a Luxury Escape, rent a car or hire a campervan or motorhome, buy travel insurance, transfer money, book a tour, tickets or attractions on Get Your Guide or Klook, or book online language lessons. You can also shop our Grantourismo online store, for cool products created from my images, from gifts for food-lovers to reusable face masks you’ll want to wear, or make a one-off donation or monthly pledge to our cookbook project on Patreon.
And if you’re still looking for last minute gifts, we have plenty of ideas here: best cookbooks by Australian chefs to support Australian restaurants, cookbooks by Australian women chefs, best James Beard 2020 award-winning cookbooks, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, gifts for lovers of Asian food, gifts for travellers who love photography, and gifts for picnic lovers.
While our recipe testing has been, well, tested, this year by having to move twice during a pandemic, we’re now settled into a new apartment with an outdoor Cambodian barbecue, and have plenty more recipes to explore and test in the new year, so we hope you’ll keep coming back to cook those, and hopefully we’ll all have something to celebrate in 2021.
Top 10 Recipes of 2020 – The Grantourismo Recipes You Cooked This Year
Authentic Cambodian Fish Amok Recipe
We’re delighted to see that the top of our top 10 recipes of 2020 is our authentic Cambodian fish amok recipe. Firstly, fish amok or amok trei, a creamy coconut-based fish curry steamed in banana leaf (which is what ‘amok’ means), is one of Cambodia‘s national dishes, if not the most iconic. Secondly, eating a good fish amok is a highlight for many visitors coming to Cambodia and quite often they’ve told us it becomes their favourite dish of the trip. Thirdly, not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but there are some very inauthentic recipes out there for amok and this one is one of the most genuine you’ll find. It comes courtesy of as well as time spent with old Cambodian cooks in Battambang who make a sublime fish amok in this old style, as well as many sessions in the kitchen with Cambodian chef Kethana Dunnett – arguably Cambodia’s most recognised chef for making classic home-style Cambodian dishes. At her Sugar Palm restaurant in Siem Reap, Kethana’s amok trei is made to order and this fish ‘soufflé’ is steamed in the correct manner. If you came to Cambodia and were served this dish as a curry – well you’ve had a fish curry, not a firm, rich fish amok.
Tomato Bredie Recipe from Cape Town
We’re so thrilled that this tomato bredie recipe from Cape Town is another of our top 10 recipes of 2020. When we spent two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, in the middle of our 2010 grand tour of the world that launched Grantourismo, I had no expectations about South African food, and the food of Cape Town. All I knew about was barbecue (braai) with a hot sauce. This bredie (an Afrikaans word meaning ‘stew’), a slow-cooked mutton and tomato stew, turned out to be the dish that we fell in love with and made in the kitchen of the lovely house we settled into. That year was filled with stews, from the French Cassoulet that we made in Ceret to the Spanish Oxtail Stew I cooked in Jerez and the Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds that I learnt to cook in Marrakech and made in Essaouira. From our site stats, it seems this tomato bredie recipe seems to be a hit with expat South Africans and locals alike.
Homemade Chicken Curry Pie Recipe
One of my cooking projects earlier this year was making Southeast Asian variants of the humble meat pie and sausage roll, so I’m glad to see this homemade chicken curry pie recipe was one of our top 10 recipes of 2020. The reason for this project was that we were missing meat pies and sausage rolls from Australia and with no idea how long it would be before we could get back home, I started making them the traditional Aussie way. The same way there are myriad variant of pies and sausage rolls back in Australia these days, soon I started thinking about what I could make here using Cambodian and Thai recipes as a base. This chicken curry pie recipe uses the classic Cambodian chicken curry to make a flavourful spicy chicken pie, which quickly became one of our favourites. I’m really happy to see it became one of your favourites too and made this list! If you enjoy this recipe, check out our other Asian-inspired sausage roll and meat pie recipes.
Authentic Mexican Guacamole Recipe
This authentic Mexican guacamole recipe, which Lara made in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, during our 2010 grand tour of the world, was another one of our top 10 recipes of 2020. I think it was halfway through the year, during the northern hemisphere summer, just as Lara was posting another series of Mexican corn recipes for elotes (grilled corn on the cob) and esquites (corn in a cup) that this genuine guacamole recipe that she’d just updated went viral and became incredibly popular. It’s a classic, simple guacamole recipe, which we’d actually been making since we first went to Mexico over 30 years ago. But it was during a Mexican cooking class in San Miguel de Allende in 2010 that we learnt how seriously Mexicans take their guacamole and that fortunately we’d been taught an authentic guacamole all those years, since our first trip to Mexico City. We love that it’s stood the test of time.
Côte de Bœuf Recipe from Paris
This côte de bœuf recipe was another one of our top 10 recipes of 2020, which did not surprise us, as it has been on the lists of our top 10 recipe posts every year since we started Grantourismo. There’s a good reason for this and that’s because it’s just so decadent and delicious. We first had this côte de bœuf when legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire was serving it at his Dubai restaurant and when we visit Paris the year after and dined at his restaurant and interviewed him, we asked him for the recipe. “Five minutes a side on the grill, ten minutes in the oven, and ten minutes rest”, I remember him telling us at this Paris office. I had to trust him, as I didn’t have a thermometer in the kitchen of our Montmartre apartment, but fortunately it turned out to be amazing. If you try this recipe, don’t forget Pierre’s trick with the smoking thyme. You’ll thank me.
Singapore Laksa Recipe
This Singapore laksa recipe was another one of our top 10 recipes of 2020 and it appeared that a lot of Australians searched for this recipe in 2020. Australians love this rich coconut milk-laced type of laksa. Pre-pandemic Australians were frequent travellers to Singapore, so we suspect that must have been cooking this dish to take them back. For years I tried to recreate my favourite Singapore laksa from Chinatown in Sydney but could not get it perfect. Then a couple of years ago I spied a Singapore laksa recipe by legendary Australian chef, Christine Manfield and it it sounded very much like the flavour profile of my favourite Chinatown stall’s spicy coconut-laden curry laksa from all those years ago. With a little tweaking over several iterations, I finally made a version that took us right back to our laksa-slurping days in Sydney’s Chinatown. If you make this recipe, please don’t start off with a jar of ‘laksa paste’, it just won’t be the same.
Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe
We were thrilled that my simple sourdough starter recipe was another of Grantourismo’s top 10 recipes of 2020. When the pandemic hit and people started Googling ‘sourdough starter’, I had just about finished writing my sourdough starter recipe and easy sourdough bread recipe, as I’d been maintaining a sourdough starter and baking regularly for a couple of years. While so many of you had just begun your sourdough journey and were enjoying it, there was amusingly a simultaneous sourdough starter backlash a couple of months later, with well-known cooking writers whining that it was all too hard, it took too much time, it took away income from local bakeries, and even the ridiculous claim that flour gets in your hair. (This was my response to that while Lara’s was to start experimenting with sourdough starter discard recipes.) Only one of those claims stand up – but unfortunately we don’t have a local bakery here in Siem Reap that makes better sourdough bread than I do, so I just kept baking. I have seen great sourdough bread photos on Instagram taken by people who tagged us who were inspired by my sourdough baking and followed my recipes, and I thank them. For me, this is what it’s all about.
Crab Omelette Recipe
I was so happy to see this crab omelette recipe was another of the top 10 recipes of 2020 on Grantourismo as it’s one of my favourite ‘weekend eggs’ dishes from my repertoire of breakfast eggs recipes that I’ve been making since we launched the site in 2010 when I cooked weekend eggs dishes from around the world. This is a heavenly dish that you have to share with close friends over a holiday brunch with some champagne. It’s inspired by a recipe from Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook and while some recipes have not aged well (it is from 1976) the crab omelette recipe is still amazing. While Solomon’s recipe is in the Vietnamese section of her book, we have never seen this omelette in Vietnam and nor have any of our Vietnamese friends. We called it Vietnamese-style and Vietnamese-inspired although my version skews a little more towards Thailand and China with a light touch of oyster sauce.
Lasagne alla Bolognese Recipe
Our lasagne alla Bolognese recipe was another of the top 10 recipes of 2020 on Grantourismo and while there must be countless recipes on the internet, I have to say that this one makes one of the best lasagne alla Bolognese’s we’ve ever eaten. ‘Bolognese’ has to be one of the most abused terms when it comes to recipes, although I have to acknowledge that while mine is authentic to Bologna, some grandmothers there would take offence at me not using pasta sheets with spinach – which is the norm there. But the basics are all true to Italy’s great gastronomic city: the sauce béchamel (besciamella in Italian) is made fresh and there’s no odd cheese on top, such as ricotta. While it’s quite a prep list to make this, the hardest bit is leaving it overnight to firm up and eat the next day.
Authentic Khmer Prahok K’tis Recipe
Our authentic Khmer prahok k’tis recipe is another Cambodian recipe that I’m pleased to see making the list of top 10 recipes of 2020 on Grantourismo. This rich minced pork and fermented fish dip is my favourite, along with natang and rice crackers. There appears to be a lot of debate about how much this dish should taste of prahok, Cambodia’s beloved fermented fish. Too much prahok and visitors to Cambodia won’t eat the dip because it looks like pork and smells like, well, fermented fish. Too little prahok and it’s essentially minced pork with coconut milk. When I make it for guests, I make sure you can just taste the prahok; when we make it for ourselves, it really tastes of the fantastic funky flavours of prahok.
Did you make any of recipes this year? If so, we’d love to hear from you and find out what you thought were the top 10 recipes of 2020, whether they were from Grantourismo or another recipe site, food blog or magazine.