Tastes of Travels: Grills Around The Globe
It’s summer barbeque season! But if you already have your T-bone down to a Tee, and can slow-cook ribs worth shouting about from the rooftop, what’s next on the menu?
As integral as grilling is to summertime, for many of us, travelling and enjoying the flavors of other countries is a summer staple too.
So, we asked Classic Journeys guides to share grill recipes from around the globe. While you might not wake up in the countryside of the western cape, you can bring a braai to your backyard with Clive’s sizzling South African steak recipe…and transport your taste buds to other destinations too…
South African Braai
South Africans braai almost weekly (rhyming with ‘eye’, it’s an Afrikaans term derived from the Dutch word for ‘roast’.) If we are celebrating a special occasion such as a birthday or a rugby match, we will gather for a big braai. We even have an official Braai Day—September 24th. The other term you need to know is Braaimaster, who is the person in charge of cooking. Traditionally, we use a wood grill, but I’ve found you can add a smoker to a gas grill a similar effect.
Biltong, to snack on while you wait for the main event (it’s our version of jerky)
Beef steak (whichever is your favorite)
Sausages (traditional boerewors are spiced sausages formed in continuous spiral)
Braai salt (we buy this ready-made, but you can make it by mixing up coarse salt, sugar, coriander, black pepper, paprika, garlic, cumin onion powder, and thyme). I rub it into the steak before you cook it, then pour a pile on my plate and dip the steak into it as I eat. So delicious.
Braaibroodjie, which is a grilled cheese sandwich. Grill 2 slices of buttered white bread, with cheddar cheese, onion, tomatoes and chutney in between).
A South African red wine (my favorite is Pinotage.)
I would call Asado our national dish. Chilean life revolves around asado gatherings at our homes or ranges. Never say no if you are invited to an asado! We traditionally use a simple iron wood grill named a parrilla, but you can use charcoal or a gas grill as an alternative. After enjoying delicious food with friends and family, it’s tradition to applaud the chef—un aplauso para el asador!
1 bunch parsley
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon oregano
1-2 teaspoon pepper flakes
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Beef steak, cooked low and slow – South Americans do not rush! We like our steaks medium to well done.
Coat the steak in this for an hour before you cook, and make extra to pour over the steak once cooked!
Potato salad (potatoes, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and mixed vegetables)
A Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
Maybe sushi is the first Japanese dish you think of, or ramen. But we grill too! Yakitori is essentially grilled chicken on a skewer. It comes from the Meiji era (1868-1912) which was when cooking chicken became acceptable in Japanese society. Before then, chicken was not socially acceptable in Japan! It’s very different now, we actually pick breeds of chicken precisely for the flavor they give to Yakitori!
Usually we use a charcoal grill, however I have cooked yakitori on all kinds of grill and as long as you have heat and meat, you will be able to make this dish!
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice wine
2 tablespoons of sake
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Fry these ingredients until they become a syrup.
Boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes, put onto a skewer then brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt. What cut of chicken you use will determine the name, e.g. thigh would make momo yakitori, tender is sasami.
Grill the chicken skewers until cooked, turning often.
Once cooked, brush on the yakitori sauce and grill for another 2-3 minutes until it becomes sticky.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds, hot pepper, and salt.
Indian Tandoori Murgh
Tandoori murgh, which is often called tandoori chicken, is grilled or roasted chicken with a delicious spiced marinade. Traditionally, the dish is cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor, a cooking method that dates back over 5000 years which is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts. Tandoori chicken itself dates back to the 1940’s and a restaurant in Peshawar.
4 chicken legs
Tandoori marinade. You can buy this ready-made if you don’t want to make it, otherwise, fry together:
½ cup of oil
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of cayenne
1 tablespoon of garam masala
Then cool completely, before mixing with:
1 cup of yogurt (plain or Greek)
1 lemon or lime, juiced
6 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of salt
Coat the chicken in the tandoori marinade and refrigerate for 4-8 hours. (If you want to make the marinade extra good, you can brine the chicken for a day before.)
After marinated, grill on medium high until cooked.
Raita (mix finely-diced cucumber, cilantro, mint and yoghurt)
Indian naan bread (or similar flatbread)
Indian beer or gin & tonic
Our barbeque ritual—which is really a rite of passage in Turkish culinary culture—is called Mangal. Mangal means serious business here! We gather together with our loved ones, with the head of the household in charge of the grilling, and someone else in charge of the preparation. The most famous food from a mangal is what Americans refer to as a shish kebab. Şiş is the Turkish word for sword, and the name comes from the times when Medieval Turkish soldiers would their meat on their swords over open fires! I’ll finish with an important piece of advice: Always go to a Turkish Mangal on an empty stomach, we will feed you very well!
Lamb or beef chunks, marinated (for at least 2 hours) in –
½ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Skewer the meat and grill, turning every few minutes, until cooked.
Add wedges of red onion, bell pepper squares and mushrooms to the grill if you want.
Pita or flatbread
Coban salad (cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, onions, parsley all chopped, with olive oil and lemon dressing)
Beer, wine or Turkish raki
The Turkish may say otherwise 😉 but the truth is that Greeks are the masters of grilling! Mycenaeans were making souvlaki over hot coals millennia ago!
Chicken or pork chunks, marinated in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt
Skewer the meat and grill or griddle, turning until cooked
Sliced onions and tomatoes
Tzatziki sauce (mix Greek yoghurt, cucumber, mint and garlic paste)
Many countries make kofta, but Moroccan kefta is different and, to me, far more delicious! Herby and aromatic, it’s a national institution in Morocco. Some people will tell you that minced meat is better, others will say you should chop it finely for a juicer texture… You’ll find kefta in our medina markets, where they’ll be grilled before your eyes.
1 pound of minced / ground / finely chopped beef or lamb combined with:
1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of mint
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and pepper
Shape into cylinders around a wooden skewer.
Turn on a grill until cooked.
Flatbread (we have Batbout, which is similar to pita)
Cous cous salad
Moroccan mint tea
Italy is the birthplace of pasta, pizza…and porchetta! This barbeque beauty is an ancient pork roast and you will find it through Tuscany’s markets, town squares and roadside stalls. It is simple but delicious, we have sagras—Italian food festivals—dedicated to this dish alone.
Traditionally, porchetta would be made with a whole pig, slowly roasted over a wood fire, but you can also make a delicious, small-scale version with particular cuts of pork, cooking with indirect heat on any kind of grill. A smoking box adds delicious smoky notes if you’re not cooking on a wood grill.
Boneless pork belly
Boneless pork loin
2 fennel bulbs
1 bulb of garlic
Salt & pepper
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves
Blitz in a food processor to make a paste.
Lay the pork belly side-down and spread the filling over in an even layer. Roll it up with the pork loin, tying together with butcher’s string.
Refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
Grill on low for 5-6 hours.
Rest 30 minutes before carving.
Bread – a white crusty bread roll to hold the meat
Side vegetables – whatever you fancy, cooked with Italian olive oil of course!
Aperol spritz – see how Suzie Piegza makes it here.