From a sizzling all-you-can eat breakfast to a fish you caught yourself at the beach – good food might be our fave reason to go travelling! But you don’t have to cross the globe (and spend loads) to add an international flavour to your meals – communal cooking experiences with people from other cultures and nationalities are part of what’s great about staying in a hostel. Nothing makes you new friends like dishing up a tasty meal!
So spice up your cookery and impress fellow travellers with these easy recipes, perfect for any backpacker budget. Space and equipment can be limited in hostels, so avoid hassle and keep meals quick and simple. With big self-catering kitchens at YHA Brighton, YHA Cardiff and YHA Castleton – you’ve got no excuse not to try these little beauties!
French Continental Brekkie
Start the day with a chic selection of freshly baked baguette slices, sweet pastry croissants and lashings of thick fruit jam (there’s a reason why Bonne Mamam is so good). Don’t forget a steaming cup of coffee to wake you up for the day ahead!
For some quick and tasty French toast, soak bread in a mixture of milk, sugar and beaten eggs. Fry until golden and top with brown sugar, chocolate spread or fresh fruit – bon appetit! Even better, if you have eggs left over why not whip up this French omelette in just 5 minutes? Just cook your beaten eggs in a pan with butter, cheese, plenty of herbs and voila…
Spanish Finger Food
If you’ve been to Spain, you won’t forget their tasty nibbles in a hurry! Recreate a tempting tapas buffet – a wide variety of snacks ranging from mixed cheese and olives to battered seafood – it’s the perfect finger food for socialising.
Whip up a mini paella by heating oil in a pan, softening veg, then stirring in seasoning and pre-cooked rice. Pour in stock, simmer, and then add seafood in the last couple of minutes. Or if they always find you in the kitchen at parties, these chorizo sausage rolls can be made with pre-rolled pastry. Just roll them up, brush with egg to seal before cooking, then let the night begin.
Italian Pizza Parties
Mention the word ‘pizza’ and you’ll have the attention of the whole hostel! There’s nothing like sizzling Italian comfort food, so try your hand at pizza and pasta dishes bursting with herbs, toppings and melted cheese.
Create quick pizzas using flat breads, tomato paste, loads of grated cheese and whatever toppings you fancy. Blast under the grill for a few minutes and share with your new friends! Still hungry? A classic tomato spaghetti can be spiced up with all the herbs lying around the hostel kitchen – trust us, there’ll be loads!
Japanese Ramen Noodles
Love to slurp your noodles and soup? In Japan it shows you’re enjoying your meal and even enhances the flavour – so go ahead, we won’t judge. Whether you use tofu or meat, the delicate tastes of Japanese cooking are a real treat.
Put that Pot Noodle down! Cook veggies in sesame oil and whisk in a soupy broth, then simmer until softened. Stir in ready-cooked noodles, season with herbs and get slurping. For an Eastern twist on storecupboard risotto, get chopping with this simple mushroom-seasoned rice. It’s bursting with flavour and makes a fantastic snack – you can even save it for lunch the next day!
Indian Veggie Biryani
We made this one at the YHA National Office with the Children’s Food Trust – so we know it’s awesome! A deliciously spicy and substantial meal served in one pot, a big helping of this chicken or veggie biryani is sure to go down well with hungry hostellers. Enjoy the bold flavours, smells and colours of India’s unforgettable cuisine with this simply gorgeous dish.
Let’s Get Cooking: Download the full Children’s Food Trust recipe here!