One of the most exciting things about traveling around the world is that you get to experience different cultures and the cuisines that they have to offer. There is no better way to make yourself familiar with a country’s culture than to start with trying out the local cuisine. It does not matter if you will opt to visit a street vendor or a fancy restaurant – you can rest assured that you will not taste a better version of the food than the ones that the locals can prepare. Of course, there are thousands of dishes worth traveling for, but trying out all of them can be a long and exhausting quest – this is why we have created a small list with our recommended 15 foods to taste for travelers.
Khao Soi from Thailand
Khao Soi might just be one of the tastiest noodles dishes you can experience worldwide. Unlike ordinary noodles made mostly out of flour, the Khao Soi uses ‘egg noodles’ – they still have a lot of four, but a major part of them is made out of eggs. The noodles are served with a curry broth and covered in deep-fried egg noodles. Usually, portions include a garnish consisting of pickled greens. Last but not least, the curry broth used for Khao Soi may be prepared with various meats – beef, chicken, and more.
Nasi Lemak, Malaysia
Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak is definitely one of the must-try rice dishes. Of course, it includes much more than just plain rice – the recipe involves cooking the rice in fresh coconut milk mixed with chili anchovies. The meal is supplemented by a hard-boiled egg, deep-fried chicken, and a side of cucumbers and peanuts. The meal is usually served wrapped in a banana leaf or placed on one – this small detail gives the dish a magnificent aroma that will impress even the pickiest of eaters.
Hamsi, known in English as ‘anchovies,’ is certainly one of the simpler fish meals you can think of. However, this does not apply to the Turkish Hamsi, an incredible delicacy offered by both street vendors and renowned restaurants. If you ever find yourself in Turkey, then make sure to give them a try – the deep-fried anchovies mixed with onion, rocket leaves, and crunchy bread is an amazing and affordable treat.
Indian dishes are usually known for their spicy and rich flavor, but the Jalebi is one of India’s most renowned sweets. The recipe for it is rather simple, but the outcome is simply astonishing – the base is made of flour dough that is rolled in hot ghee before being deep-fried to give them the crunchy texture. Finally, the dish is sweetened by covering it with a hot sugary syrup known as chashni among the locals. Usually, Jalebi is served alongside milk during breakfast, but it can also be used as a snack or a dessert for any meal.
Mexico is usually not known for its seafood, but the Aguachido is certainly one of the signature dishes in Mexican cuisine. The primary part of the meal is shrimp that has been marinated in lemon juice. The dish is served with clamato and raw vegetables, and you will be glad to hear that it is very affordable.
Eggplant Satsivi, Georgia
A simple but amazing dish from Georgia is the Eggplant Satsivi. It is made by blending together eggplant, walnuts, and various seasoning. The result is a very soft puree that is best consumed chilled.
Pastel de Nata, Portugal
The Pastel De Nata is one of Portugal’s most famous dishes, but many people are not aware that there is also a best place to try out this great pastry. While Pastel de Nata is served in many places, the best ones are found at the Belem Bakery, where the dish is known as Pasteis de Belem. It is made by using a 200-year old recipe known only by the nuns of the Jeronimos Monastery. If you want to try out this creamy egg custard tarts, then the Belem Bakery is certainly the best place to do this.
The Khinkali may look like regular dumplings at first, but they are made in a special Georgian way that gives them a unique taste and texture. The dumplings are filled by various minced meat, combined with herbs and spices that give the meal a one-of-a-kind taste. The dumplings have a little knob at one end that serves an important purpose – you are supposed to grab each one by the knot, bite into the other end, and suck out the broth. Once you do this, you can eat everything else but the knob.
Fugu Sashimi, Japan
Fugu Sashimi is made by using pufferfish, a type of fish that contains dangerous toxins that are 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide. Of course, the fish is carefully prepared to make it safe to eat, and it can then be added to various meals, like Fugu Sashimi. Thin pufferfish slices are dipped in soy sauce and vinegar or lemon juice. Finally, they are seasoned by dipping them in a momijioroshi, a mixture of red chili peppers and daikon.
Sichuan Hot Pot, China
If you are up for something very spicy, then the Sichuan Hot Pot served in China should be on your list. It contains thin slices of meat, fresh vegetables, and two pots that contain boiling water and oil. The best part? You get to cook your own meal with the resources given. Once you do this, you can start consuming, but do keep in mind that this meal includes Huajiao pepper, a very spicy veggie that you should be careful with.
Madagascar Vanilla Millefeuille, France
An exquisite piece of pastry that can be found in the Chateau Richeux situated in Brittany, France. Prepared by the world-famous chef Oliver Roellinger, this dessert is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Nghêu Hấp Xả, Vietnam
If you cannot remember the name that the locals use, then you can describe this meal as steamed clams with lemongrass. The dish is offered all over Vietnam, and it is usually combined with sweet chili sauce to give it the perfect taste.
Dolsot Bibimbap, South Korea
A rice dish that is prepared on a stone pot that contains rice, vegetables, red pepper paste, and a raw egg. The stone pot is heated to high temperatures to make sure that the raw egg will be prepared nicely, while the rice at the bottom of the bowl becomes crispy and brown.
Truffle Extravaganza, Italy
Truffles are a great treat, but, unfortunately, they are one of the pricier meals on this list. The Truffle Extravaganza dish can be found in many countries, but Italy is certainly the region to visit if you want to get the best experience. Despite the name, the primary part of the Truffle Extravaganza dish is small pasta balls known as gnocchi, covered with truffle shavings.
Panang Curry with Chicken, Thailand
Curry meals are always a delight, especially if you try them out in different parts of the world. One curry dish to add to your bucket list is the Thai Panang Curry with Chicken – it includes cream-based Thai curry whose flavor has been enhanced with hot red peppers, spice, and peanuts. If chicken is not something you enjoy, then you will be glad to hear that it can be replaced with vegetables, tofu, or beef.