Moveable feasts: Mark Hix celebrates the renaissance of healthy, delicious and reasonably-priced British street food

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A few weeks ago, the chef and restaurateur Thomasina Miers and I set off at 6am from The Harvest at Jimmy's Festival in Sufolk and headed over to Ludlow to judge the British Street Food Awards. Fresh, delicious and reasonably-priced street food is something to be celebrated and this fantastic event, which is the creation of Richard Johnson, is now set to happen every year at the Ludlow Food Festival.

If only just a tiny percentage of our street food was as good as the stuff we tasted in Ludlow. I've attended so many food festivals in the UK where all that's on offer are overcooked rare-breed hamburgers and dodgy paellas.

But thanks to initiatives like the one in Ludlow, the tide is turning in favour of healthy and tasty street food. We can't all afford to eat in Michelin-starred establishments and one of the best things about good street food is that it's there for everyone to enjoy.

I've decided to showcase some of the winning street food creators from the recent awards, so read on to find out more about each of these enterprises, together with a recipe for one of their delicious snacks.

You can catch up with two of the street food specialists I have featured here, La Grotta Ices and Meat Wagon, this weekend at Jason Lowe's Towpath Cafe (52 Whitmore Road, London N1 5QG). Towpath will be hosting a mini food festival and pop-up gig with special cocktails designed by Nick Strangeway, with all proceeds to the War Child charity. Do pop along – it should be fun.

Scallops with celeriac, bacon and seashore vegetables by Healthy Yummies

Serves 8

Healthy Yummies is a creative catering outlet specialising in delicious and nutritional snacks and its director is Nichola Smith, who used to work for me at the Rivington. Nichola had rounded up some fantastic ingredients such as seashore vegetables, dived scallops and fantastic bacon to produce this top-notch snack, served in the scallop shell, on a bed of creamed celeriac. Dishes such as this one represent the sophisticated and imaginative side of street food and demonstrate how a restaurant dish can be transformed into something simple and delicious that you can enjoy while you're on the go. For more information see healthyummies.com.

If you can't get your hands on wild sea vegetables then use a few leaves of baby spinach instead.

Half a small head of celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
A couple of good knobs of butter
A little vegetable or corn oil for frying
60g streaky bacon cut into rough 1/2 cm dice (or use ready-cut pancetta or bacon cubes)
8 medium-sized scallops, cleaned and the half cup shell reserved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A handful of sea vegetables such as sea beet, sea aster, sea purslane and sea blite, etc

Put the celeriac into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender, then drain and blend until smooth in a food processor; return to a pan and add a little butter and re-season.

Fry the bacon in a little vegetable oil for a few minutes until nicely coloured, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Season the scallops and fry on a high heat in the same pan for about a minute or so on each side.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the butter in a pan and gently cook the sea vegetables for a couple of minutes until tender, seasoning with a little pepper and salt if necessary.

To serve, warm the scallop shells then spoon a little of the celeriac into each shell, place the scallop on top, then toss the bacon with the sea vegetables and scatter on top.

Black pudding Scotch duck eggs by Eat My Pies

Makes 4

This fantastic pie and Scotch egg company is the creation of Andy Bates who told me that my layered chicken and ham pie published in this magazine four years ago was the inspiration for him to start making pies. This black pudding Scotch egg, with a slightly runny yolk, was utter perfection. For more information, visit eatmypies.co.uk.

4 duck eggs boiled for 4-5 minutes, cooled in cold water and peeled
175g good-quality Cumberland sausagemeat
175g black pudding, chopped
Flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
50-60g fresh white breadcrumbs
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying

Mix the sausagemeat and black pudding together and divide into 4 balls. Flatten them into patties, then wrap the meat around each of the eggs evenly, moulding it with your hands.

Have 3 shallow containers ready, one with the flour, one with the egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Put the eggs through the flour first, shaking off any excess, then through the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs, re-moulding them if necessary.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 140-150C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Cook the eggs for 3-4 minutes, turning them every so often so they are evenly coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

The definitive burger by the Meatwagon

Serves 4

I've had burgers and I've had burgers – but Yanni's burgers are the best I've ever eaten. He is on a mission to serve the best hamburger and as far as I'm concerned he is pretty much there. His regular visits to the States have certainly paid off and he moulds and cooks his amazing burgers to order from his little van, which is based in Dulwich but which also travels all over London – check out themeatwagon.co.uk to find out when he's in your area.

Yanni uses a good amount of fat in his ground chuck steak which is crucial for keeping his hamburgers nice and moist. He also slaps a cheese slice on the burger when it's almost done and then puts a cloche over the top to let it steam a little, which is an inspired extra touch.

Yanni's burger is served with a homemade chilli relish which is a mixture of fresh and pickled chillies. I think the recipe is a well-guarded secret, so for this recipe I have used a mix of 60 per cent ketchup and 40 per cent Tewksbury mustard with slices of dill pickle and beef tomato.

1kg coarsely minced chuck steak with about 20 per cent fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable oil for grilling
4 slices of cheese
4 soft burger buns

Mould the mince into round patties the same size or a little larger than the burger buns. Season the burgers then heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, keeping them nice and pink. If you are using cheese, just place on top of the burger for 30 seconds or so to melt it.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the bun, assemble with your chosen relish and serve immediately.

Lemon granita by La Grotta Ices

Serves 8-10

Kitty Travers specialises in delicious ices which she makes at home and stores in a freezer in her bedroom. Her ices aren't made with commercial ingredients, and the flavours shine through. Her flavours include pumpkin "mini-milks" infused with fig and peach, and this fantastic lemon granita. See lagrottaices.tumblr.com.

500ml water
250g granulated sugar
The juice of 10 large lemons (plus the zest from 5 of them)

Put the water and sugar into a saucepan with the lemon zest, bring to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves; simmer for a minute.

Remove from the heat; cool. Stir in the lemon juice; transfer to a shallow, non-reactive container; put in the freezer for about 4-5 hours.

Stir the granita every so often so that it doesn't freeze into a solid lump (you want the consistency to be a little granular). Once frozen, break the ice up into small pieces; return to the freezer, then after an hour break it up again; then serve.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little