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November 2017 Archive

Foodie Guide: The Best of Ubud

Foodie Guide: The Best of Ubud

Image: Asia Web Direct

Ubud is considered in many ways to be Bali's cultural heart, so join us as we take you through a foodie's guide to the best food available in Ubud.

Bridges Bali

One of Ubud's most famous and scenic dining spots, Bridges Bali not only overlooks the Campuhan River, but is also doubles as an Art Gallery. The traditional Balinese-styled venue features a wine bar up front, and an elegant dining space, serving both casual lunches and romantic candlelit dinners. Bridges Bali offers both traditional Asian dishes, as well as Western delicacies, so you are never spoilt for choice. Must try dishes are the beautifully pan-friend barramundi, and the mouth-watering chocolate mousse trio.

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Campuhan Bridge, Jalan Campuhan, Ubud

+62 (0)361 970 095

Opening hours: Mon - Sun 11:00AM - 11:00PM

Image: @virginietiah

Swept Away Restaurant

This hidden gem is located with The Samaya Ubud, and sits on an elevated deck that overlooks the beautiful river that runs across Ubud. The ambience of this restaurant is perfect for a relaxing evening with a glass of bubbles. While enjoying the view you are treated a relaxed, light and healthy menu with a mixture of salads and sandwiches during the day.

When the sun sets, Swept Away's menu transforms in a modern eclectic and adventurous array of cuisine. From char-grilled beef medallion, to crispy red snapper and Bebek Mamya (crispy fried duck), your taste buds are bound to be Swept Away for sure! 

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Banjar Baung, Desa Sayan, Ubud, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali

+ 62 361 973606

Opening hours: 11:00am-10:00pm

Image: @hoteldomestik

 Moksa Plant-Based Restaurant

Moksa Plant-Based Restaurant creates healthy food in the most inspiring and extraordinary of ways, with the organic farm located in direct proximity to the restaurant. Customers are invited to see some of the preparation of the delicious range of food, creating a hands-on feel to the farm-to-table experience. The menu consists of a large range of organic and plant based meals, a favourite being the Jackfruit Tacos, and the homemade Grilled Vegetable Salad.

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Puskesmas Ubud II, Gang Damai, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar

+62  813 3977 4787

Opening hours: Tue - Sun; 10am - 9pm, Closed on Monday

Image: @moksaubud

For an even more local Indonesian experience, Asian Home Gourmet brings the best of the country to you with our Indonesian range. 

The Health Benefits of Fermented Food

The Health Benefits of Fermented Food

Image Credit: Breakfast With Flowers

When foods are fermented it means that they have been through lactofermentation. This is the metabolic process where natural bacteria, yeast or fungi feeds on the sugar and starch in the food, and change it into alcohol or acids. Some of the most popular fermented food can include yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut and cheese.

1: Fermentation restores gut health

Strong gut bacteria is extremely important for comfortable living. Throughout the process of ageing our production of the required digestive enzymes for digestion decreases, and eating fermented food can help aid the stomach when this occurs. If you suffer from digestive issues, eating fermented food is believed to significantly help balance the production of stomach acids. When hydrochloric acid is low in the stomach, fermented foods increase the acidity of gastric juices to ease digestive discomfort. However, when stomach acids are too high, fermented foods can assist by protecting the stomach lining.

2. It has properties which fight cancer

Fermented foods are increasingly recognised as being helpful in lowering risk of cancers in the colon, liver, breast, and small intestine. The probiotic strains which are generated in the fermentation process are believed to remove body toxins.

Kimchi is a fermented dish which is comprised of probiotic strains that destroy organophosphorus pesticides. Kimchi comes in various forms, including a delicious soup made with our Spice Paste for Korean Kimchi Soup which has fermented chilli peppers and vegetables to create a hearty spicy, tangy soup!

3. Fermented food cuts the sugar content of foods significantly

Another bonus of eating fermented food is that it is known to help reduce sugar cravings. It increases the number of healthy bacteria, and this in turn subdues the microbes which cause sugar cravings. It  also cuts the content of sugar in foods, as these sugars are converted during the fermentation process. 

4. Fermented food increases micronutrients

Some strains of lactic acid bacteria created during fermentation can help to increase the B vitamins in foods, including Vitamin B-12 which is an essential vitamin for the body to effectively function. B-12 is believed to treat anaemia, assist memory loss, slow ageing, and boost energy and mood.

5. Fermented food helps boost our immune system

Fermentation of some food such as yoghurt is suggested to strengthen the immune system by increasing the antibodies that fight infectious diseases. Lactic acid ferments, for example in sauerkraut, are suggested to support the immune system while creating antioxidants.

El Nido Travel Guide

El Nido Travel Guide

Image Credit: Journey Era

A tropical getaway nicknamed 'Heaven on Earth' El Nido is located south-west of Manila in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. Known for its limestone structures, amazing coral reefs and stunning beaches. It is currently ranked #17 in Condé Nast Traveller's list of 'the 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World'. With the best time to travel in December, January and February, we suggest you start packing!

Getting There

From surrounding capital cities, there are three ways to travel to El Nido:

Plane - regular flights depart daily from Manila or Cebu. For a duration of around one hour, it is by far the most efficient option. Planes land at Lio Airport, about a 20-minute tri-cycle ride from the main city in El Nido.

Bus - From most major surrounding cities, buses run each day and take approximately 6 hours. They are the most economical option and, although lengthy, are often almost a guided tour in themselves.

Boat - the most picturesque way to travel. Anywhere from 7-10 hours, the trip varies on a day-to-day basis and can be cancelled at very short notice due to local weather conditions. Depending on the time of year, weather conditions, frequency of trips, and the company you select, changes can be made to your schedule minutes before you previous departure.

Beach Days

Coated in palm trees and enclosed by the mountainous surrounds, Nacpan Beach is both quiet and the most popular tourism location of the region. For a day out with the family or a peaceful beach day on your own, it is most certainly a local must-see.

Duli Beach - the largest stretch of beach in the region, Duli Beach is known for its white and soft sand. The perfect picnic spot, it's a family friendly beach location with little to no rock or limestone formations in the area. The shallow waters also make for the ideal spot to sit during the much warmer hours of the day.

Island Hopping

Simizu Island - known for its beautiful limestone formations and clear turquoise water, Simizu Island is renowned for its snorkelling and diving spots. The region is also known for its local vendors and is regarded as one of the best places in El Nido to grab lunch.

Bacuit Bay - renowned for its dotting of islands and innumerable locations to visit. With over 45 individual islands, the area has more than enough to keep you on your toes.

Natural Wonders

Ille Cave - archeologically one of the most significant locations in El Nido. With relics and evidence of tribes from more than 12,000 years ago, the Ille Cave is a wonder to behold and an amazing place to explore.

Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls - for those who love a good hike, the Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls are a 40-minute trek, that is truly worth the effort. The refreshingly clear pool at the base of the waterfalls is the perfect place for a romantic day-trip.

Local Cuisine

Although El Nido is part of the Pinoy or Filipino cuisine, there are a few speciality dishes that identify the region. For breakfast, we highly recommend Tocino and Garlic Rice, the most traditional morning meal. It consists of sett, thinly sliced poke sausages, fried egg, sliced and friend tomato, and white garlic rice. The dis is surprisingly light and very filling.

 

Travel Vietnam Like a Local

Travel Vietnam Like a Local

Image Credit: Shogun Supa

Travel Vietnam Like a Local

So, you're thinking of going to Vietnam and want the authentic experience? Vietnam is an iconic holiday destination known for its breathtaking landscape, friendly residents, exquisite cuisines and affordability. It has world famous beaches, but its incredible heritage and historic sites are often forgotten.

Must eat: The Quintessential Vietnamese Pho

Vietnam is well known for its simple but authentic Vietnamese Pho, with Pho noodle stands scattered across the city. This is a delicious and affordable meal in Vietnam, made from salty broth, fresh rice noodles, chicken/beef and a blend of delicious herbs. To enjoy the authentic Pho experience from home, make yours with our Spice Paste for Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup, it contains a delicate blend of ginger, coriander, star anise and cinnamon which makes it utterly irresistible. 

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Image Credit: Miss Cheve

Must experience: Crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels

When adventuring Vietnam, there are numerous opportunities to reflect on both the wonderful and devastating moments of its heritage. The Cu Chi Tunnels are remembered as the complex maze of underground connected tunnels, where Viet Cong soldiers would hide from American soldiers during combat in the Vietnam war. The tunnels are over 121km long in Cu Chi alone, and are filled with trapdoors, living areas, storage caches, weapon factories, hospitals and kitchens. During the war, the tunnels had minimal food, air and water, and sicknesses such as malaria were prevalent. This site is a must-see to understand Vietnam's rich history and tenacity.

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 Image Credit: Arresting Piano

Must eat: The tantalising Banh Xeo

A trip to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without the flavoursome Banh Xeo! This is a crunchy crepe filled with pork, bean sprouts, shrimp and herbs. To eat Banh Xeo like a true Vietnamese local, slice it, roll it up into rice paper leaves and dunk it in some side sauce!

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Image Credit: Mch Case

Must experience: Mountain Biking through the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is famous for having the oldest Asian Karst mountains, formed a staggering 400 million years ago. The park has hundreds of extraordinarily large cave systems and underground rivers which you could spend weeks exploring. Many people enjoy the beauty while forest trekking, and locals enjoy mountain biking around the region.


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Image Credit: Jonny Rouse 7

Must eat: The palate-satisfying Cha Ca

Cha Ca is a rite of passage adored by the Hanoian people, with restaurant names dedicated to the dish. The meal includes a tasty combination of fried chunks of fish, commonly seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric and dill which will blow you away.

 

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Image Credit: Nj Beo

To bring the authentic Vietnamese cuisine experience to your kitchen, visit our range and check out our Marinade for Vietnamese Barbeque Meat and our Spice Paste for Vietnamese Chicken Curry to bring a touch of authenticity to your meals at home.

How To Make Kimchi

How To Make Kimchi

Image Credit: koreanbapsang.com

A staple of Korean cuisine, Kimchi is a traditional side dish to accompany almost any main meal. It consists of fermented vegetables, mostly cabbage and radish. The superfood is rich in Vitamin A, promotes clearer skin, aids with weight loss, and strengthens your immune system. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and Carotene, which is essential to good health.

With so many health benefits, such a unique flavour and so easy to make, how could you not add this to your next meal?

Traditional Kimchi

Traditional Kimchi is significant both historically and culturally on the Korean Peninsula. It dates as far back as 40-30 BCE, and was popularised from the 7th century onward in light of the food's durability.

To preserve food for greater periods of time and last through colder weather, vegetables like cabbage were fermented and pickled. Large quantities were stored underground in jars, to maintain the right temperature and ensure fermenting occurred correctly.

Over time, additions and alterations to traditional recipes have changed the way the dish smells and tastes. Very traditional recipes, prior to the 17th century, do not include garlic or chilli, despite these ingredients now defining the dish.

Kimchi is produced by placing cabbage and radish into a brine, amongst spices like Korean sea salt (not unlike Kosher Salt), gochugaru (chilli powder), scallions, garlics, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).

The overall flavour is both sour and spicy. The fermentation process produces lactic acid that gives it a powerful tangy flavour, not unlike sauerkraut. In recent centuries, with the addition of chilli and garlic, the dish has become increasingly spicy. As a result of these additions, kimchi gets its classically red appearance.

Modern/Hybrid Variations

With more than 200 variations within the Korean cuisine, not including hybrid dishes, kimchi is an ever-changing dish with infinite combinations and alterations. Modern takes on the dish remove the chilli, add in new variations of radish, combine trendy ingredients like kale, and even the addition of fruit!

Baek-kimchi (otherwise known as white kimchi) is a Korean cuisine variation made without chilli pepper, as a mild-spicy alternative. Chonggak-kimchi is cubed chonggak or "ponytail" radish, a popular spicy kimchi, made with white radish for a crisper, spicier finish. Yeolmu-kimchi is a popular choice during hotter months, and is made with young summer radishes. It has a sweeter taste and is faster to prepare since it doesn't need to be fermented.

Fruit Kimchi is a combination of fresh fruit and mixed nuts, salted and submerged in brine to pickle overnight. The result is a strikingly odd balance of sweet and sour. Common fruits used include pears, pineapple, and grapes. It is mostly served as a breakfast accompaniment and can maintain its flavour, like a regular kimchi for weeks on end.

A more popular variation is Kale Kimchi. It is not dissimilar to kimchi made with cabbage, but has a stronger, more resounding bitter flavour. As fermentation takes place, kale breaks down to produce a very strong kimchi with innumerable healthy benefits.

The traditional flavours of kimchi, are often difficult to reproduce and require years of experimentation with the fermentation process. Make it with easy and home, and skip the days of fermenting, with our Korean Kimchi Soup!

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Foodie Guide: The Best of Ubud

Foodie Guide: The Best of Ubud

Image: Asia Web Direct Ubud is considered in many ways to be Bali's cultural heart, so join us as we take you through a foodie's guide to the best food available in Ubud. Bridges Bali One of Ubud's most famous...

» Read more

The Health Benefits of Fermented Food

The Health Benefits of Fermented Food

Image Credit: Breakfast With Flowers When foods are fermented it means that they have been through lactofermentation. This is the metabolic process where natural bacteria, yeast or fungi feeds on the sugar and starch in the food, and change it...

» Read more

El Nido Travel Guide

El Nido Travel Guide

Image Credit: Journey Era A tropical getaway nicknamed 'Heaven on Earth' El Nido is located south-west of Manila in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. Known for its limestone structures, amazing coral reefs and stunning beaches. It is currently...

» Read more

Travel Vietnam Like a Local

Travel Vietnam Like a Local

Image Credit: Shogun Supa Travel Vietnam Like a Local So, you're thinking of going to Vietnam and want the authentic experience? Vietnam is an iconic holiday destination known for its breathtaking landscape, friendly residents, exquisite cuisines and affordability. It has...

» Read more

How To Make Kimchi

How To Make Kimchi

Image Credit: koreanbapsang.com A staple of Korean cuisine, Kimchi is a traditional side dish to accompany almost any main meal. It consists of fermented vegetables, mostly cabbage and radish. The superfood is rich in Vitamin A, promotes clearer skin, aids...

» Read more