As much as you may like to, it isn’t always feasible to travel to Paris for its renowned croissants or India for its curry. Most foodies have to explore local restaurants to discover dishes and tastes from around the world. With so many people from other cultures around you, it isn’t hard to find home cooking that takes you to another world.
1. China: Jiaozi
Everyone loves dumplings, and this Chinese variation does not disappoint. Jiaozi are filled with mincemeat and veggies and wrapped up in a yanbao (silver ingot) shape before being deep-fried. These delicious packages of goodness are dipped in spicy sesame oil and are often eaten for breakfast in China.
2. Costa Rica: Gallo Pinto
This traditional Costa Rican breakfast item may be the easiest to re-create at home. It consists of rice, black beans (seen in photo), eggs, and tortilla. Often this dish is paired with fried banana or ripe avocado, which tames the salty rice and provides a pop of color to the dish. Make extra rice and beans for next-day leftovers.
3. Czech Republic: Goulash and Bread Dumplings
This Czech staple is as hearty as it sounds with bread dumplings and thick, meaty gravy. The dumplings are made with flour, milk, eggs, and stale bread crumbs and have a light, fluffy texture. The goulash is like a thick stew or gravy and stars beef (and sometimes the famous Czech beer) as this dish’s most defining ingredient. The dumplings can be difficult to master, so it may be easier to save this must-eat for a night out.
4. Vietnam: Pho
This delicious broth-based soup is full of rice noodles, herbs, fresh veggies, and spices. Traditional pho includes thinly sliced beef that is thrown in the soup at the last minute to flash cook. Pho Ga uses chicken rather than beef, and there are options for tofu as well. Regardless of your protein of choice, you will have no trouble slurping up this spicy noodle soup. With so many pho restaurants popping up, this dish is easy and inexpensive to get out, or you can try making the soup yourself.
5. Germany: Jägerbraten mit Spätzle
This dish hails from the south of Germany and is the ultimate German comfort food. The thick stew is packed with protein from lentils, bacon, and vegetables, and is served over Spätzle (seen in photo). Often this dish is paired with Saitenwurst, or German sausages. You can make this recipe at home, or take the easy route and search out a traditional German restaurant.
6. Hong Kong: Dim Sum
Dim sum is Cantonese fare that was traditionally served alongside teas for weary travelers or rural workers. Today, dim sum is a weekend morning meal usually eaten by Hong Kong families. Dim sum consists of what seems like hundreds of small dishes including dumplings, buns, noodle rolled dishes, meat based dishes, and of course, sweets like tarts, puddings, and custard filled buns. This meal should be eaten out unless you have the time and desire to re-create your favorite dim sum options.
7. India: Masala Dosa
This southern Indian dish is full of fragrant smells and unique flavors that will leave you wanting more. The dosa is a very thin crepe that is made from rice, which is then stuffed full with spiced potatoes, veggies, and onions. This dish is often topped with coconut chutney or a variety of chutney options including chili, mint, and coriander based chutneys. Indian street stalls and vendors traditionally serve this dish, but your local Indian food restaurant may serve up a similar rendition.