Are you interested in trying foods from around the globe? There are so many great dishes to choose from! I was lucky enough to be brought up enjoying international recipes, and as I have traveled, I have picked up many more. Then others are more exploring from my kitchen. And the best part about that one is you can go anywhere!
As you might have figured out by now, a big part of this blog is sharing some favorite international recipes. We have some favorite cuisines/regions, like most people, in part influenced by our travels. I have lots of recipes from some regions, others not so much. But I love discovering new dishes, new cuisines, and trying them out too. Some are very much authentic, others slightly adapted, but if the latter it’s almost always discussed in the post so you know what I have changed. Take a look around, and enjoy!
Middle Eastern Region Recipes
Recipes from the Americas
Spanish Recipes (including Catalan)
Spain may be a relatively small country by global standards, but it has a wide variety of food. Coastal regions use more seafood while inland is more meat-based. There are stews like Catalan fish stew and fabada Asturiana, roasts and larger dishes like paella and fideua to enjoy with others as a main.
Then there are tapas dishes that are perfect for bar-hopping, or put a few together to make a meal. I’d suggest starting with what are tapas and add some simple ideas like pan con tomate and Spanish garlic shrimp. Having lived in Spain a couple times, it will always be a favorite and that’s reflected in the number of dishes you’ll find here. Included within this are some Catalan regional dishes.
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British Recipes (including Scottish)
I’m sure the whole British v Scottish thing is a bit confusing for most people, but as a Scot there is a difference. Scotland is a country/region within the UK (the country within a country is in itself confusing, but we won’t go there).
Despite the fact that the UK is small, and Scotland even smaller, there is a good range of distinct foods. And not just shepherd’s pie and Yorkshire pudding (although my apple cheddar Yorkshire pudding are a favorite).
While there are some things that overlap, others are quite regionally distinct like Eccles cakes. As a Scot, I naturally had to share some of the foods I grew up with like Scotch broth, haggis and oatcakes.
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German Recipes (including Austrian)
The German-speaking region is probably the one I have spent the most time in outside the UK and US, as I grew up going there almost every year in the summer to go hiking and generally exploring the mountains in Austria and Southern Germany. Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle were definite childhood favorites.
I then studied in Eastern Germany and did tours in the region for a short while, so I definitely have a soft spot for what some people might write off as being a bit of an uninteresting cuisine. Yes, some dishes are a bit heavier, but there are some wonderfully comforting dishes to enjoy.
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I’ll be honest, I am not someone who is passionately in love with all things French, as I know some people are. But I have loved the wonderful bread, cheese and wine, in particular, on our various trips there. And there are still a few French dishes that I love and that we enjoy making at home. We’ve become particular fans of madeleines recently.
My favorites are not generally your fancy restaurant dishes, but more your rustic, easier and yet truly delicious things real French people would enjoy.
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I think there are few families with young kids who don’t have Italian food fairly regularly. Pasta with arugula pesto or other sauces and various pizzas are regulars in our house, as I’m sure is common for others.
But there is a lot more to Italian food than spaghetti and margherita pizzas. I’ve managed to enjoy a few regional specialties, and hunted down a few more, like Sicilian stuffed squid and pumpkin ravioli. I’d definitely recommend giving these a try along with more familiar favorites.
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There is one dish that is really at the middle of our love for Greek food – moussaka. My mum used to make it when I was young, and we had both that and a number of other dishes on trips to Greece and Cyprus both as I was growing up and more recently as an adult.
As with Middle Eastern food, while there are always the odd things the kids don’t like, on the whole they love Greek food, as do we, so it regularly features on our menu whether comforting dishes like youvetsi or more summery chicken gyros.
Get more inspiration on Greek recipes.
I’m sure if you are from this area, the whole Scandinavian v Nordic has a similar confusion or importance as Scottish v British/English to us Scots. I won’t go into the whole definition, but let’s just say the region has some delicious food!
There’s a strong seafood slant, as you might expect, but it’s more than just salmon gravlax and smørrebrød (although they are favorites!). We’ve enjoyed many tasty treats from our various travels there over the years.
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Israeli and Middle Eastern Recipes
I have been lucky enough to travel to this region a number of times and every time we have had some absolutely delicious meals. The cuisine of the Levant region, as it’s formally known, is so intermingled it can be difficult to pin down what is Israeli v Lebanese v Palestinian etc. And some are claimed, or slightly adapted, by more than one place.
One thing’s for sure, though, is there are lots of delicious dishes. Plus, there are a number of dishes that are so easy to make at home, like Israeli salad, roasted eggplant with tahini and lamb kofte. Some are definite favorites, and as a result, we enjoy many at home regularly.
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Persian food is starting to see a huge gain in popularity, and I can absolutely understand why. It has some wonderful flavors, and while there are some similarities to Middle Eastern cuisine, there are also some unique dishes too like Persian herb rice with fish (sabzi polw mahi) and Persian walnut cookies (nan e-gerdui).
Unfortunately, it’s a region I haven’t visited but I have loved all of my exploring from my kitchen so far and I know there will be more.
Get more inspiration on Persian recipes.
Turkish cuisine shares many flavors and ingredients with it’s neighbors, but there are also some distinctly Turkish dishes that are worth getting to know!
Get more inspiration on Turkish recipes.
North African Recipes
I’ve only been to the North African region a few times, but it’s an area that is a feast for the senses. Food is definitely a big part of that, with lots of wonderful flavors such as those in chermoula sauce to tagines.
I know some people struggle with the spices in Southeast Asian and Indian food, but North African is predominantly about aromatic rather than heat-filled spice. There are so many delicious dishes to enjoy, too.
Get more inspiration on North African recipes.
Southeast Asian Recipes
Southeast Asia is a region I have only been to a couple of times, but I have loved so much about those trips and the many wonderful dishes we had there. Pretty much every meal was an experience, I think it’s fair to say, whether that’s a Thai massaman curry or Cambodian green mango salad.
We continue to enjoy many of the dishes from those trips at home – some that I learned at lessons in Laos like chicken larp (larb gai) and Luang Prabang salad (Laos salad). The flavors are truly special.
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China is such a huge country and I think in the West we are only starting to appreciate the regional differences in the food. So much of what we might consider “Chinese” has been in effect created by immigrants and would hardly be recognized within the country. That goes for many other places, mind you, too, but I think particularly with Chinese food.
That said, there are some fantastic dishes to enjoy, both in culturally accurate ones and more immigrant creations. While I know there are some political aspects to this, I have included Taiwanese food here which I was lucky enough to experience on a trip there a few years ago, like Taiwanese oyster omelette and Taiwanese pumpkin rice noodles.
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Much as I’d love it to be the case, and one day I hope it will, my experience of Indian food is not (yet) from India, but primarily from the very strong culture of enjoying Indian food in the UK.
Authenticity can vary, and some dishes, in fact, are these days considered British favorites (since they have been adapted/created within the country). But there are enough people keeping the authentic dishes alive, too. There are a mix here of authentic and adapted.
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Korean food is one of the few that I have limited experience of, having neither been there or grown up with it, but what I have tried I have loved which is why I have started making some myself, like vegetarian bibimbap and beef bulgogi. I have tried to keep things fairly authentic, since the flavors are so good.
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Japanese cuisine might be best known for sushi, but there’s so much more to it than that. Yes, there’s plenty seafood, but you’ll also find some wonderful umami flavors and so much more.
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Pretty much everyone loves Mexican food, I think, whether it’s what most people experience that’s more Tex-Mex, or more authentic regional Mexican dishes.
While Mexican food wasn’t common in the UK as I was growing up, I have been lucky enough to travel there a few times, including volunteering in a center there, and so experienced it first hand. And these days, pork carnitas tacos and Mexican street corn salad in particular are a regular on our menu.
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South American Recipes
I’m not sure how long I have had a fascination about South America, but my couple of visits there have only made me want to explore more. So many amazing cultures, history, sights and of course food. I have only scraped the surface so far, like chimichurri and palta rellena de atun (tuna stuffed avocado) but I hope to experience, and share, more.
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Regional American recipes
It would be wrong to go all around the world and not also share a few favorites from my current home of the US. We’ve come across some delicious dishes, some you may recognize, others may be new, but all, like everything else, worth trying. Everything from the local to me New England stuffed clams to Louisiana favorites like Creole jambalaya and crawfish etouffee.
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I hope you’ll join us in cooking up some international recipes from the various countries and regions we have been exploring. We have so many favorites from the different cuisines and are always adding more too. As well as the above, you’ll find the odd other recipe in the broader international flavors category where there aren’t quite enough to make a sub-group, as ever, yet.