The rich world of international dishes has a lot to offer. One of the greatest and most visceral ways to experience other cultures is through their cuisine. With that in mind, here are 7 international dishes that will make your mouth water.
Bahn xeo, literally translating to “sizzling pancake”, is a savoury dish. The crepes are made out of rice flour, their yellow appearance when served being due to the turmeric added to the batter. Typically found within the crepe are pork belly, shrimp, and bean sprouts. The crepes are very big and jam-packed inside, plus there’s a salad on the outside comprised of salad, basil, and mint among other greens. It’s accompanied by a sauce called nuoc cham.
This dish deserves to be shoulder-to-shoulder with Pho soup among the pantheon of great international dishes.
A Swiss dish involving the cheese of the same name. The cheese is placed onto a tabletop grill and once it’s melted you scrape it on to the potatoes on your plate. Ham and salami are also usually present, which can also be grilled. Like Fondue, it’s a kind of communal dish, not typically enjoyed alone. The grill is situated on the table where everyone is eating, and each person places their own piece of cheese into small pans called coupelles. Other meats and vegetables can be also be grilled.
One of our international dishes hails from El Salvador: Pupusas. These hand-held flatbreads are made out of thick cornmeal with the usual contents being cheese and refried beans. So while they may seem light on ingredients, a handful of these things will fill you right up. They can, of course, have other ingredients such as pork, zucchini, or spinach.
Popular all over Latin America, Papas Rellenas are fried stuffed potatoes. Said stuffing tends to consist of a savoury ground beef mixture. In Cuba, it’s called picadillo, in Chile, it would be referred to as pino. Small stuffed potatoes can be used as snacks or appetizers, and large ones make a good side dish or meal onto themselves.
Malaysian Curry Laksa
In the big wide world of international dishes, curries and laksas are well-liked to loved. The Malays give us both in one dish. There are of course several types of curry laksas, so we’re going to look at one called laksa lemak. The traditional ingredients include rice noodles, prawns, chicken, tofu puffs and fish balls. You’ll get bang for your buck, make no mistake. It’s delicious and comforting.
The distinctive and delicious taste of the broth comes from the chilli paste and the rich coconut milk used. The latter ingredient lends it’s creaminess to the dish. It really runs the gamut in terms of flavours. It’s sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. It’s also diverse in terms of its textures. There’s the gritty ground dried shrimp and the fragrance from a cooked rempah.
A Spanish seafood rice dish, paella is to the Spanish what pizza and pasta are to the Italians. Another communal dish, it is mean to be enjoyed by many. Good thing paella pans are so big. This beast of a dish has prawns, chicken, chorizo (Spanish sausage), squid, mussels, clams, peas, onion, and capsicum. That list is not exhaustive.
The heart of the paella is a mix of caramelised onions, garlic, and tomatoes called sofrito. The crisp, golden layer at the bottom of the pan is called soccarrada and is a prized delicacy in Spain. The quality of the soccarrada says a lot about the paella. The flavours from the garlic and paprika, in particular, are absorbed here.
Italy has given us many treasured international dishes. The whole list could be made up of them it’s enormous. I’ve settled on a decadent delight; fried pizza. Deep fried, specifically. It originates in Naples and can be found everywhere there. Just imagine a pizza, but instead of topping, it has contents. Yep, the cheese, tomato sauce, salami and whatever else is on the inside of a deep-fried casing. Oh, and it’s about the size of a normal pizza too. This ain’t no snack.
You can sit down to eat one in a restaurant, or you can have it on the go. It makes for great street food. The pizza is simply folded and given to you in paper wrapping. Biting into one of these can be a juicy surprise, so be careful not to make a mess. Or just make a mess. Enjoy it. It’d deep fried and traditional so you can say you’re indulging in the culture.