Hungry for some international cuisine? Don't have the time or resources to make your way around the world on a culinary adventure? Bring the food to your own kitchen and mix up your weekly meal planning with notable food from around the world that you can make for your family.
Your international tour of tasty cuisines and signature dishes doesn't have to be complicated. (We know it can be a struggle to get your kids to eat the tacos you make every Tuesday night.) Whether you have an adventurous palette or prefer comfort foods, these international food recipes from around the world can stand alone or as side dishes to become the new family favorites.
Chinese Fried Rice
If you refrigerate unused portions of white rice immediately and use within a day, you can whip up some masterful fried rice with the telltale chewy texture of Chinese fried rice.
Essentially a stir-fry, there is no one way to make fried rice. The most essential prep is to uniformly cut, chop, or slice each of your ingredients. Ginger and soy sauce are musts in this dish and red pepper flakes add a little kick, but your veggies can vary as you please. Carrots, corn kernels, peas, and scallions do just fine, and don't forget a chopped-up egg pancake for the finishing touch.
You can probably get your kids to eat some sort of beef, like meatballs or a burger. They may not go for cabbage, but if you lovingly make a meal of Polish (or Russian, or Ukrainian) halupki – also known as stuffed cabbage rolls – you'll have added one of the most reliable food ideas from around the world to your repertoire.
Wrap soft-boiled cabbage leaves around a mixture of rice and minced beef (or pork) and bake them in your oven or instant pot. Top it with sweet tomato sauce – or let your kids drown it all in ketchup – and you'll have a deeply comforting and filling dish.
Israeli Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Do not be daunted by the title “whole roasted." Placing a whole head of cauliflower on your dinner table may shock your family, but the delivery of this international food recipe will make such a statement even the veggie-averse members of your crew will be tempted to dig into this shareable side.
Small-to medium-sized white cauliflowers are sweeter, and they're a good place to start. Cook, drain, rub with olive oil (use your hands for the best result), sprinkle with a little salt, and pop it in the oven 'til the top turns golden brown. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, eaters will relish the act of tearing the florets apart.
Italian Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti alla Carbonara may sound like too elevated a dish to attempt in your kitchen, but you can simplify your fixings to create one of the most flavorful (and indulgent) nic food recipes with hard-to-resist favorites: pasta, bacon, eggs, and parmesan.
The tricks to this Italian dish are timing and mastering the addition of beaten eggs (mixed with parmesan) to the pasta. You must be quick about combining ingredients so the pasta is hot enough to “cook" the egg into a sauce without being too hot to make it curdle. A lumpy, scrambled-egg-with-pasta dish is a possibility on the first try or two. Butacticed hand makes for a rewarding and satisfying one-dish meal that will transport you to a picturesque Italian cafe. And it has bacon in it. Enough said.
Irish Shepherd's Pie
Casseroles make for classic comfort dishes, and the Emerald Isle's shepherd's pie is no different. This meat-and-potatoes meal is a great start-of-the-week dish that you can enjoy for several days, or a hearty end-of-week offering that allows you to use a hodgepodge of remaining ingredients from the week.
If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you only need to make a savory filling to create this lasagna-like shepherd's pie. The potatoes serve as a blanket for a combo of beef, lamb, onions, carrots, and sweet peas (or whatever veggies you prefer) cooked in tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
Shepherd's pie is pretty much foolproof, and who doesn't love international food recipes that allow you to experiment with your favorite ingredients?
French Boeuf Bourguignon
It may sound super-fancy and completely inaccessible, but classic French boeuf bourguignon is simply a stew. And once you discover it, you'll wonder where it's been all your life.
Boeuf bourguignon can be a two-day dish – one for prep and one for cooking. Don't let this commitment daunt you. The bulk of the work is in the prep, and once everything is ready, you can call on your slow cooker to do the rest (and fill your house with a mouthwatering aroma).
The word “stew" isn't fancy, especially when you're talking about French food, but the rich and complex flavors of a well-done boeuf bourguignon served with noodles or crusty bread say otherwise. If you have only one recipe in your arsenal of food from around the world, this is it.
Czech Fruit Dumplings
If you dream of taste-testing deliciousness from Prague, Czech fruit dumplings will satisfy your appetite on the domestic front. Use your favorite round fruit in season – plums, apricots, peaches, even cherries – and make a hearty dough to wrap evenly around the whole fruit (pre-pitted, of course). Seal each dumpling snugly, drop in boiling water, and cook for about 8 minutes. Melted butter and sugar to taste, and you have one of the most satisfying ethnic food recipes for your dessert menu (or sweet breakfast).
Use your favorite round fruit in season – plums, apricots, peaches, even cherries – and make a hearty dough to wrap evenly around the whole fruit (pre-pitted, of course). Seal each dumpling snugly, drop in boiling water, and cook for about 8 minutes. Melted butter and sugar to taste, and you have one of the most satisfying ethnic food recipes for your dessert menu (or sweet breakfast).