Food truck flavors straight from your kitchen

Even before food trucks became a big thing, I was obsessed with them. My very first, somewhat terrifying job, when I was 15, was in a traveling burger van at local summer festivals. We were waiting for the guys to come out of the tent at the end of the night and come down drunk on us. The little van pitches and rolls like a ship on a stormy sea, tossed about by hungry bodies and the funk of stale beer. Fries fried in swirling grease, we narrowly avoided being mutilated as she spat on the floor.

But now I have my own food truck show coming out soon on RTÉ1. I even get my own vintage caravan to simulate another more carefree life. What I discovered amazed me, the sheer inventiveness of what people serve in these small spaces is so impressive. I was a lucky man to have been able to do this, please listen.

The dishes I’m sharing today could all be happily served in a food truck, but suppose you don’t have one, so your kitchen will be fine.

I prefer sea trout to salmon every day. But I appreciate it’s not as widely available, so use salmon if you can’t get it. Teriyaki Sea Trout is packed with bold, punchy flavors nestled in a fluffy brioche bun. Its stickiness is foiled by the crunchy cucumber, deliberately made hot with lots of chilli and fragrant pickled ginger.

Coronation chicken samosas. Photography: Patrick Browne

Coronation chicken was invented by food writer Constance Spry while preparing food for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation banquet in 1953. It originally consisted of chicken cooked in a simple curry mayonnaise, but of course guys like me have been bothering him ever since.

I use crème fraiche to bind the chicken because it needs to be wrapped in filo and baked. I must say that I was quite satisfied with the result. There are instructional videos online on how to make a Samosa, if you have trouble folding.

Thai rice cooker duck.  Photography: Patrick Browne

Thai rice cooker duck. Photography: Patrick Browne

I made this duck dish in my 28 year old rice cooker. You don’t have to have one to do this, but if I had to invest in a good kitchen gadget, this would be the one. I also share simple instructions for an oven alternative.

Recipe: Teriyaki bread with sea trout, cucumber and ginger pickle
Recipe: Coronation Chicken Samosas
Recipe: Duck in Thai rice cooker

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