For me the highlights of travelling are the food and the photo opportunities! And there is something very exciting about learning to cook local food in a local kitchen using traditional ingredients. Here's one of my favourite Vietnamese recipes. Tried and tested! Serves 4, as a side dish

Vietnamese recipe for lemongrass & chilli chicken
Vietnamese recipe for lemongrass & chilli chicken

What you'll need

Chicken thigh fillets - 500 g Lemongrass - 2 stalks, chopped fine Thai chilli - 1 Ginger - 1 inch Garlic - 2 large cloves White onion - 1/2  large onion sliced fine Sugar - 1 tbsp Turmeric - 1 tsp Fish sauce - 2 tbsp Oil Coriander

What you do

  1. Clean the chicken and remove the fat. Cut into small pieces
  2. Mince the ginger, garlic and chilli together
  3. Place the mixture in a large bowl and add sliced onion, chopped lemongrass, turmeric and fish sauce. Mix.
  4. Marinate the chicken, cover, and place in the fridge for an hour (at least)
  5. When you're ready to cook the chicken, add enough oil to a large frying pan, to fully cover the base.
  6. Sprinkle the sugar in the pan, and swirl. Wait for it to dissolve
  7. When you can no longer see the sugar granules, add the marinated chicken, making sure each piece is separate and touches the base of the pan
  8. Allow the chicken to caramelise. Then toss to fry the other side
  9. When the chicken is fully cooked, spoon onto a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander

Serve hot with fried rice and a main dish (I made a caramelized fish stir fry I learned in class, and which I adored!)