Most regular Listverse readers will know that I’m a food fanatic. It started as a kid watching my family members cook on the weekends and eventually led to me trying to teach myself French cooking. Recently I got a kick out of Korean food, and I can get enough. Because so many people on my Facebook profile have seen photos of my eating feats, some have suggested another list of foods. So here is the result. Here I have tried to select one dish which is really the main course of each country and in some cases when there is more than one I have tried to select one but some may not to agree. Please use the comments to mention your other favorite dishes from each nation (or those not mentioned) here. Where possible, I have included recipes.
Borscht is a soup of Ukrainian origin, popular in many countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In most of these countries, it is made with beets as the main ingredient, which gives it a dark reddish-purple color. The soup began its existence from vegetable trimmings in the cellar, eaten throughout the winter months. Most families had a container, usually a kettle or pot, kept outside to store these toppings. Around the first spring thaw, this pot was placed on the fire and cooked into a soup-like meal. One of the main vegetables of the Slavic diet consumed during the winter months was beets. Therefore, the recipe turned into that the it is traditionally called a beetroot soup.
Most unusual dish: roast mutton eyes
Kabsa is an extremely flavorful rice and meat dish from Saudi Arabia. There are many types of kabsa, and each type has a unique character. The spices used in kabsa are largely responsible for its taste and are usually black pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, lime, bay leaf and nutmeg. The main ingredient that accompanies spices is meat, such as chicken, goat, lamb, camel or sometimes beef, fish and shrimp. In chicken machbūs, a whole chicken is used. Spices, rice and meat can be enhanced with almonds, pine nuts, onions and raisins. A popular way of preparing meat is called mandi. This is an ancient technique, whereby the meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground, which is covered while the meat cooks. [Recipe]
Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based filling. Early recipes incorporated ginger, marjoram and lemon zest. The introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat, but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for adding chopped onions to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruits like raisins or raisins, but the sweetness they impart is not to everyone’s taste. It is often topped with nuts, chutney and bananas. Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavors which can add complexity. For instance, the dried fruits (usually apricots and sultanas/sultanas) contrast very well with the aroma of the curry. The texture of the dish is also complex, with the mixture of baked eggs complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish. [Recipe]
With roots in Malay culture, &ldquonasi lemak&rdquo is a Malay word that literally means &lsquofatty rice&rsquo. The name is derived from the cooking process whereby rice is dipped in coconut cream and then the mixture is steamed. Sometimes knotted screw pine (pandan) leaves are thrown into the rice during steaming to give it more flavor. Spices such as ginger and, occasionally, herbs such as lemongrass can be added for extra flavor. Traditionally, this comes in the form of a platter of food wrapped in a banana leaf, with sliced cucumber, small dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, a hard-boiled egg and a spicy hot sauce (sambal) at its heart . As a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also be served with a variety of other sides such as chicken, cuttlefish, cockle, sautéed water convolvulus, pickled vegetables, beef rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk and spices) or appeared (beef lungs) . [Recipe]
Ceviche is relatively well known around the world. It is raw fish marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, citric acid causes the proteins in (in fact, partially cooked) seafood to denature. The traditional style ceviche was marinated for approximately 3 hours. Modern-style ceviche, created by Peruvian chef Dario Matsufuji in the 1970s, typically has a very short marinating period. With the right fish, he can marinate while he mixes the ingredients, serves and brings the ceviche to the table. The classic Peruvian ceviche is made with pieces of raw fish, marinated in freshly squeezed lime or bitter orange juice (naranja agria), with sliced onions, chilli, salt and pepper. Corvina or Cebo (sea bass) was the fish traditionally used. It’s such an important dish in Peru that they have a national holiday for it. [Recipe]
Everyone loves lasagna, but if you haven’t tried moussaka, you’re really missing out on something quite amazing. Moussaka is the Greek equivalent of lasagna, but it differs in many ways. Typically, it’s made with veal or lamb (as opposed to beef), and instead of lasagna sheets, it uses slices of aubergine (eggplant) or potato (in the Turkish version). The meat is flavored with cinnamon and chilli (allspice) and mixed with white wine. Like lasagna, it is covered in a ric white sauce and is truly the most delicious Greek food. [Recipe]
Other important dishes: Pad Thai (Thai noodles)
Tom Yum soup is a hot, spicy, and sour soup that typically includes shrimp or chicken and mushrooms, cilantro (cilantro), lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai basil. It is a very fragrant soup (as is typical of most Thai dishes) and is very healthy and is very low in fat and carbohydrates. There are other varieties of tom yum, such as tom yum nam khon which includes coconut milk, but for the real delicious taste of Thailand, you have to try tom yum. Luckily for most of us westerners, it is possible to buy pre-made tom yum paste, which saves the many hours of grinding all the herbs together first. Of all the entries in this list (as well as the one above), tom yum soup is the one most readers will have tried, but if you haven’t, do it. Oh &ndash and if you live in Wellington, New Zealand, the best Tom Yum soup in town can be had here (as you can tell from the rave reviews).