It’s easy to find international cuisine anywhere in the U.S. but there is no better way to experience these dishes than to travel to their country of origin. One of the best parts of international travel is experiencing food like you never have before. Each country has its own unique way of cooking and spicing things up! Experiencing the food is just an introduction to completely immersing yourself in a culture.
Meaning “little Frenchie”, this Portuguese sandwich is stuffed with ham, liguica and steak, smothered in melted cheese and topped with a beer and tomato gravy. Traditionally it is served with gravy soaked French fries.
Martabak Manis Terang Bulan, Indonesia
In Indonesian, Martabak Manis translates to Indonesian Sweet Thick Pancake (loosely) and Terang Bulan, which is how it is referred by the locals, translates to bright moon. This sweet and delicious treat similar to a pancake is traditionally stuffed with chocolate, cheese and crushed peanuts although some variations have sprinkles or coconut in them.
Chimichurri Steak, Argentina
Argentina is known for having world class steak and wine so be sure to get your fill while you’re there. Chimichurri Salsa style steak truly captures the traditional flavors of Argentina with garlic, oregano, onion, parsley, chili pepper flakes and lemon. It is used as either a marinade or a topping for your steak.
Xiao Long Bao, China
Translating to “little basket dumplings”, these buns are steamed in bamboo baskets and filled with broth, a variation of meat lamb, beef or pork or vegetables with in an outer layer bun made from flour. They are served with a vinegar dipping sauce that you can spice up to your liking.
This savory stew is considered the national dish of Brazil. It is made with kidney beans, beef and pork. Typically it is served with rice and a variety of vegetables. Other variations of the dish will include vegetables in the stew such as carrots, cabbage, potatoes and kale.
Rendang is a traditional Indonesian recipe that is now served in most of the South Pacific. Rendang beef is slowly simmered in spices and coconut milk for hours until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Pabellon criollo, Venezuela
Pabellon criollo is slow cooked, pulled flank steak, traditionally served with rice and black beans. The dish is lined with fried plantains and all plated to look like the Venezuelan flag. It can also be ordered with an egg on top if you ask for it “on horseback” or “a caballo.”
Pasta Carbonara, Italy
Carbonara originated in Rome and it is much different from the American version. The Italians subtract the cream and use the egg to make the sauce creamy. They also use guanciale (which is also a cured meat) instead of bacon or pancetta. After you leave Italy, that is if you leave, you’ll surely be craving this one.
Seafood paella, Spain
This medley of seafood is most popular on the Mediterranean coast. Paella is a delicious and beautiful array of shellfish flavored with traditional Spanish spices over rice.
Chilli crab, Singapore
This savory dish consists of shelled crab sautéed in a chili tomato sauce, spiced with classic Southeast Asian spices. Make sure you have plenty of napkins, this delicious dish can get messy!
Katsudon is a heartier dish than most other traditional Japanese dishes and it is considered to be comfort food to natives. Fried pork or Tonkatsu and fried egg are served over rice and topped with a salty, sweet broth made of soy sauce, sugar and sake.
Originating in Ukraine and popular in other countries of Eastern Europe, Borscht is arguably done best in Russia. Generous portions of beef, carrots and beets fill the bowl in a reddish beet broth. This soup is best enjoyed on a cold, Russian winter day.
Ddukbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes), South Korea
Ddukbokki is popularly sold as a street food in South Korea and out of all the street food in South Korea this one is our favorite. The rice cakes are cooked and become soft and chewy like the texture of noodles and they are topped with a sweet and spicy sauce.
Jamón Ibérico, Spain
Meaning Iberian ham, is much like prosciutto only immensely better because the pigs that the ham comes from are raised very particularly and fed an all-natural diet and cured for 12-48 months making for a deliciously salty, tender slice of meat.
Shawarma is a style of roasting lamb, chicken, turkey or beef or all of them together on a vertical spit for hours leaving the meat tender and delicious. It is often served in a wrap with pita bread accompanied by various vegetables such as onion, tomato, cucumber, or even pickles and tossed in classic Middle Eastern sauces.
Tandoori Chicken, India
Traditionally prepared in a clay oven called a tandoor, this sweet and smoky chicken is first marinated in Indian spices such as turmeric, paprika and sweet red pepper powder to give it both its bright red color and sweet flavor. The smoky flavor comes from the charcoal that the tandoor is placed over to cook.
This noodle soup is seasoned with herbs and beef or chicken and full of flavor and rice noodles. It is perfect to have for lunch but in Southern Vietnam don’t be surprised if it is served for breakfast too!
Mexico, Tacos al Pastor
These tacos are a bit different from the traditional tacos in the US – they are both sweet and spicy with a hint of freshness. The tacos are made with pork spiced with coriander, onions and salsa with chunks of pineapple to balance out the spice.
Fish Chermoula, Morocco
Fish Chermoula is a delicate dish but there is definitely an added kick with the fish marinated in cumin, garlic, cilantro, paprika, cayenne pepper and saffron. Chermoula marinade can also be used on a variety of dishes such as vegetables or other meats. It is usually served with classic side dishes such as couscous.
We hope you get to experience these foods around the world for yourself!