Silver Travel Cook Club - January 2020

Emerald Waterways' Recipe of the Month

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Silver Travel Cook ClubEmerald WaterwaysThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a mouth-watering helping of the classic Vietnamese dish Beef Pho, courtesy of sponsor Emerald Waterways and inspired by their Majestic Mekong river cruises through Cambodia and Vietnam. From Cambodia’s Siem Reap, explore the majestic Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, before boarding your award-winning Star-Ship for a truly inspiring adventure on the mighty Mekong River.

And you could win an Emerald Waterways goodie bag and a copy of From China to Vietnam: A Food Journey Along the Mekong River by Luke Nguyen.

Full of beautiful landscapes, welcoming people, superb food and poignant history, Emerald Waterways will lift the treasure trove as you navigate between Cambodia and Vietnam. Enjoy a journey of discovery as you uncover hidden wonders, and enjoy authentic local experiences, from cruising through floating markets where you can shop for fruit, clothes and souvenirs from the side of your boat, to watching children riding on the backs of water buffalo, you will be immersed into the rural lifestyle of the charming destinations you will visit.

Angkor Wat
Reflections Restaurant - Emerald Harmony

Your Majestic Mekong itinerary begins with a three-night hotel stay in Siem Reap, where early mornings and ancient architecture promise to be the perfect combination during a sunrise visit to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is sure to fascinate, as is the sacred Ta Prohm Temple. Then join your Emerald Harmony Star-Ship for your journey along the majestic Mekong as it introduces the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, invites you to a family owned Lanh My, a silk-producing factory, and to attend a scarf-weaving workshop in Long Khan Island. Arrive in the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh where you will disembark for a two-night hotel stay.

Enjoy generous inclusions such as return flights and transfers, delicious dining with drinks and insightful excursions. We even include all tips.

Departure dates and pricing:

  • 15 days, departing July 2020 - May 2021
  • Cruise from £2,895 pp including flights, tips, excursion options and wine and beer at lunch and dinner

Recipe: Emerald Waterways’ Favourite Beef Pho

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 litre low salt beef stock
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • large thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 230g sirloin steak
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 200g flat rice noodles
  • 2 spring onions, shredded
  • 1 small red (bird's-eye) chilli, finely sliced
  • Handful each of Thai basil and coriander
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


Vietnamese Beef PhoTip the beef stock along with 500ml of water into a large saucepan. Sit the onion and ginger in a frying pan over a high heat and char on all sides, around 3-5 minutes (you can also do this under your grill). Once charred, add to the beef stock. In the same pan, toast the spices for 2-3 minutes and once they begin to smell fragrant, add them to the beef stock as well. Bring the stock to the boil, then turn to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes before straining.

Meanwhile, cut the fat from the steak and wrap in cling film, then put into the freezer for 15 minutes – this will make your steak really easy to slice! Slice it thinly, then cover with cling film again and pop into the fridge.

Taste the beef stock and use the palm sugar, fish sauce and soy to season. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and split between two bowls, topping each with the sliced beef. Bring the stock to the boil and then pour into the bowls (the heat will cook the beef). Top each with the spring onions, chilli slices and herbs. Serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over.

Emerald Waterways goodie bagA Food Journey Along the Mekong River by Luke NguyenHow to win an Emerald Waterways goodie bag and a copy of From China to Vietnam: A Food Journey Along the Mekong River evoking this majestic river.

Simply tell us in the Comments section below about your favourite Asian dish or food memory. We’d love to know, and the best entry will win a super Emerald Waterways goodie bag and copy of this fabulous book.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 14 Comment(s)

  • TPM
    over 1 year ago
    A few years ago my partner & I were in Chiang Mai, Thailand on a cooking course. I was making a Thai green curry and still remember asking the chef how many chillies I should add, as i like things spicy. He said that for me, as a tourist, 10 and that locals will add 20! I tentatively dropped chopped up and dropped in 6, and the curry still blew my head off!
  • robertd4
    over 1 year ago
    Its gotta be the spicy noodles from our local takeaway :)
  • SilverTravelEditor
    over 1 year ago
    Thanks everyone for the mouth-watering stories of your favourite Asian dish or food memory.

    @Easyliving - I love your Vietnamese street food market memory and the sound of that specific dish. It almost had me writing down the ingredients on the shopping list....

    I haven't travelled much in Indochina or south-east Asia myself, but I'm hoping to go to Thailand for the first time later this year. Your Silver Travel Cook Club comments this month have got me drooling already...

    There are a still a few more days left to tell us about your favourite Asian dish or food memory, to be in with a chance of winning a copy of that great cook book we've told you about above, with recipes from along the Mekong River, and a fab goodie bag from our sponsors Emerald Waterways.

  • terrypaul2
    over 1 year ago
    Have enjoyed asian food in this country but not had the opportunity to visit Asia, so being a keen cook it would be great to try out these dishes at home as I love experimenting with new foods.
  • GrannyCR
    over 1 year ago
    I had never had Asian food until we went to Cambodia. What a treat the food was. And, as I now know, so very different from other Asian countries.
  • philatel
    over 1 year ago
    I spent 3 weeks in China, followed by a week in Japan many years ago. Chinese food in China is so different to Chinese food here - went to a concert followed by a meal in China where we were shown how to put together Peking Duck and many other lovely treats.
  • chrismse
    over 1 year ago
    Wow that`s a long list of ingredients, great to experiment with different cultural flavours though. It sounds like an expensive meal with the addition off sirlion steak but maybe good for a special occassion.
  • Easyliving
    over 1 year ago
    We visited Vietnam in 2014 and found ourselves in the Ben Thanh market (created for tourists) in Ho Chi Minh where there was an abundance of superb street food. We sampled much - my favourite being a bowl of Hu Tieu - broth, shrimp, pork, minced meat, noodles, and served with lettuce, chives, and fresh herbs. I'd love to be able to create at home and reminisce of a wonderful time in Vietnam.
  • Happy-Traveller_3
    over 1 year ago
    We had our first holiday to Asia last year - China to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I have happy memories of us sitting in a restaurant in Beijing having ordered Peking Duck. The waitress carved the duck at our table and then showed us how to put the meat and other goodies on the small pancake, how to roll it up and eat it! It was delicious! Somehow I managed to master the use of chopsticks in China but my husband struggled quite a lot! I enjoyed all of the food that we ate in China but the Peking Duck was one of the most enjoyable.
  • Leah50
    over 1 year ago
    As a vegetarian I'm fascinated by the addition of soy sauce to almost any food, it seems to enhance the flavour of just about every ingredient in any Asian dish.
  • Ozdevon
    over 1 year ago
    Anything with noodles & any type of noodles. It pays to be flexible! Visiting Asia your senses are just overloaded, in a good way. It makes you more adventurous with your eating habits.
  • Andrewco
    over 1 year ago
    Our favourite vietnamise good is pho in all its varity and flavours. We have it at the restaurant above new street station as often as we can. We are going to Hanoi later this year and are looking forward to it.
  • JennieSilver
    over 1 year ago
    Crumbs Andrew, that sounds grim! No raw fish for me though. I absolutely love flat rice noodles with almost anything. And the fresh herbs used make a really wonderful additional to the soups.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    over 1 year ago
    I haven't made it to Indochina yet, but my 'favourite' Asian food memory is eating raw oysters in Osaka, whilst working for a Japanese company. Unfortunately, the little molluscs were 'bad' ones, and after flying to Hong Kong for another meeting I spent the three days in this vibrant city hidden away in my hotel room, and visiting the doctor.

    My eyes changed colour, and I've never been able to look at another oyster since that fateful meal.

    Looking forward to hearing about your own more positive Asian food memories, or favourite Asian dishes, if you'd like to win a copy of this month's 'Mekong River' cook book and a fab goodie bag from Silver Travel Cook Club sponsor Emerald Waterways.