I cook, a lot. I operate two food trucks in Denver, CO, have been a chef at one of the best Italian restaurants in the country, and constantly challenge myself in the kitchen. Traveling has made a big impact on what types of foods I like to eat and what I want to make for dinner every night at home.

My travels through Asia have taken me to India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, and South Korea. In each place, I ate a lot. Part of that was the affordability of the food, but the real draw was the excitement the food brought me and my tastebuds (not necessarily my stomach, but we can put that aside). It was spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and savory. These flavors changed my pallet, and I have been craving them ever since.

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Pork Larb in Thailand features all of these flavors.
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Chicken Rice in Singapore was so simple, but packed with flavor.

Every night at home I try to re-capture these flavors in my own way. Each dish has something sweet, spicy, sour, salty, and savory. Cooking with new ingredients and trying new combinations keeps me hungry for more. Here are some examples of how Asia has influenced my cooking:

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A Korean inspired Taco.
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A sweet and spicy glazed salmon.
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A rice bowl, packed with flavor. My ode to a Bibimbap.

I cannot wait to get back to Asia and eat more of the amazing food that made that region of the world so special to me. Cooking is not only a great creative outlet, but you can make great meals for yourself every night and save lots of money for your next trip! If you would like to learn how to make any of these recipes, reply in the comments below and I can share them with you. Now, if only I can replicate sitting on the street on a little plastic stool when I eat these…

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