Thai mussels

Serves 4

Mekong catfish (Ca Kho)

Serves 4

Pickled onion squash

Makes 1-2 jars

Get your goat: Develop a taste for the new kid on the block

It's a staple food all over the globe. Now at last this tender, tangy, super-lean meat is finding favour here, too.

Coronation chicken on toast

Serves 4

Meals without frontiers: Asian migrants to the UK have given their own twist to English dishes

We know that "foreign" food swept into these isles in the Elizabethan age of exploration. Walter Raleigh and others who went forth brought back tomatoes from Mexico (love apples as they were then called), sugar, spices like paprika and chilli, almonds and other exotic ingredients used for ever-more-thrilling, outrageous feasts for the rich. In truth, many favourites thought to be quintessentially British – tea, potatoes – were brought in from elsewhere and naturalised. As Rose Prince writes in her book, The New English Kitchen (2005): "This is a country ... with a five-hundred-year-old history of food piracy, borrowing ideas from other shores, importing their raw materials and learning to cultivate them on our soils." Brits were suckers for wild and new tastes, continuing an irrepressible national characteristic.

South of the border: Why Mexican food is now hot stuff

Nachos may be a fast-food favourite, but the subtler joys of real Mexican food have been harder to come by – until now.

How very Moorish: Spice girl Skye Gyngell hots things up for summer

Gently spiced dishes based on the subtly sweet flavours of North Africa are perfect for balmy English summer meals, says Skye Gyngell

Grilled poussin with harissa

Serves 4

I pod: Mark Hix sings the praises of the versatile pea – his favourite vegetable of the moment

Peas are very in vogue at the moment, and whether they are fresh or frozen, they're still one of my favourite vegetables. I always have a packet of frozen peas in my tiny freezer at home as they are so versatile when I want to knock up a quick soup or add a finishing touch to pastas and risottos. The market tends to get flooded with foreign imports during May and June and our own native peas and beans start to appear properly around now. Peas are at their best when freshly picked; if you wait too long they can end up being a bit tough and not quite so sweet. I love serving them at the table in their pods for guests to snack on during a meal.

Fresh pea falafels

Makes about 20 patties

Keep it raw: How not to cook

No frying, boiling, roasting or toasting – this is food in its purest form. If you think preparing it must be simple, think again.

Tiny tubs of taste: Growing your herbs is the biggest favour you'll ever do your food

Herbs are simple, inexpensive and the crowning glory of so many dishes

Thai fish cakes with dipping sauce

Ingredients to make about 15
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas