Contributed by Stephan Essex
Looking to broaden your culinary skills in 2017? Then look no further than…the rest of the world! From Asia to the Middle East to Latin America, there are plenty of delicious meals ready to travel from across the globe right into your kitchen. So buckle up, because we’re about to go international and get a taste of the world without having to even pack a luggage bag.
Middle Eastern Food
The Middle East is a deeply traditional region, and you can bet that any dishes from that part of the world have a history that goes back many centuries. As this region is predominantly Muslim, you’ll find that most meals are prepared in accordance with halal ingredients (‘halal’ translates as ‘permissible’. The opposite of halal is ‘haram’, which means ‘forbidden’). That means there’ll be no pork on the menu: you’ll want to find halal lamb and halal beef suppliers in preparation for your night in the kitchen.
For a true (well, trueish) Middle Eastern street food experience, have a go at a beef gyro. Easy to make, you’ll be throwing together your meat, tomato, onion, any other salad ingredients you like, and tzatziki sauce all in a pita bread. Delicious!
Latin America food is awash with intense flavours, bright colors, and plenty of spices. It’s casual and there are no real set rules; once you’ve got the basic ingredients all together you’re more or less free to do whatever you want with them. Here’s what we recommend: grab a maize dish (tacos or tortillas), get your salsa, your guacamole, your pico de gallo, your tomato. Grab your chicken, or your black or refried beans if you’re a vegetarian.
Complicated, hey? Here’s where it gets tricky…throw everything together. Presto! You have a Latin American dish. OK, so it’s not always this simple (but trust us, what you’ve just made will be delicious!). We personally like foods that incorporate an element of the sea and a coconut sauce, as is commonly found in Brazil.
There’s a long list of terrific Asian food, so where do you start? Chinese food has been pretty well covered over the past few decades, so how about South Korean food, which is growing in popularity? There’s nothing overly complex about staples grains, rice, vegetables, and meat, but they do provide a lot of diversity when it comes to preparing a meal. You’ll also have a number of side dishes to complement your main meal. Taste sensation!
Before you even think of making your main, get your side dish down. Kimchi is little more than cabbage and chili flakes, but it’s so delicious and is worthy of being a meal on its own. For your main, try your hand at bulgogi; this is meat (can be beef or chicken) that is marinated in soy sauce with garlic and sesame oil before being grilled on the barbecue. Between the kimchi and your bulgogi, you’ll have had a taste of South Korea and also be phenomenally well fed.
[Images via Pixabay.com]
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.