If you haven’t had these dishes at least once in your life, then we hate to break it to you… you’re not a foodie yet. But this Australia Day, it could all change. It’s the perfect time to try some of the best dishes in the world, while also celebrating the delicious diversity our country is home to.
Rendang – Indonesia
Traditionally served at ceremonies, rendang is often described as being similar to curry. Though one should never call it a curry. This dish is tender and tasty with simmering beef and coconut milk, with a myriad of spices including turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chillies and galangal. This is then stewed for a few hours before serving with rice.
Ramen – Japan
You may or may not have tried ramen, but you would have heard of it before. This popular dish is a bowl of wheat noodles in a broth, accompanied by a variety of toppings like sliced pork, bamboo shoots and egg. It can be hot or cold, with many flavours to choose from.
Pad Kra Pao Moo – Thailand
Pad Kra Pao Moo translates to “holy basil stir fry”, so it makes sense for this dish to include holy basil. Popular in the Thai street food scene, it’s a simple but extremely tasty dish with minced pork that’s stir fried with ginger, garlic, lime and chilli pepper. You can also add a fried egg.
Banh Xeo – Vietnam
Banh xeo is a crispy, stuffed rice pancake that’s a popular street snack in Vietnam. Made of rice flour, water and turmeric powder, its filling can include shrimp, pork belly and bean sprouts. A versatile dish that has vegetarian options – something for everyone!
Congee – China
Congee is a type of rice porridge, usually eaten for breakfast. It can be eaten plain or include ingredients like meat, fish, seasonings and flavourings. So it can be savoury or sweet, depending on what you like. Also best served with a side dish called youtiao, a Chinese fried dough.
Paella – Spain
Originally from Valencia, paella is a well-known rice dish with a name nobody knows how to pronounce. The Spanish pronounce it “pah-EL-yah” or “puh-EL-yah”. It contains a combination of meat, seafood and vegetables, cooked in a round, shallow and wide pan. The rice in a paella is seasoned with saffron, which is why the rice looks golden.
Goulash – Hungary
Looking for warm and comforting? Goulash is a meat stew with paprika seasoned broth and is also a proud symbol of Hungary. You’ll find pieces of beef, pork, veal or lamb in a rich broth with onion, carrot, celery, potatoes and other vegetables. It’s one that’ll get you sleeping well at night.
Kimchi – Korea
This Korean staple is extremely versatile – find it as a condiment, an ingredient, a dip or as a side dish. It’s made from a pickled and fermented mix of vegetables, garlic, ginger and fish sauce. You’ll find that it’s a combination of sour, spicy and sweet, depending on how its made.
Dosa – India
Looks like a crepe, but it’s not. Dosa is a type of pancake made from fermented rice and lentils batter, and can be filled with vegetables. Make sure you have them with the chutneys and sambar it usually comes with. You won’t regret it.
Poutine – Canada
Raise your hand if you love hot chips. We do too. Try not to salivate looking at this Canadian dish, which consists of hot chips and cheese curds topped with chicken gravy. The whole package, right?
Papoutsakia – Greece
Papoutsakia are Greek stuffed eggplants. But the name translates to “little shoes”, which speaks to the half eggplants carrying its stuffings. See the resemblance? However they definitely don’t taste like shoes. Instead, a delicious mixture of minced beef, capsicum, spring onions, tomatoes, lemon and olive oil. Topped with a cheese like kefalotyri or kasseri.
Frangipane tart – France
Got a sweet tooth? Here’s one for you. Frangipane tart is a decadent French pastry that consists of an almond filling. It’s a mixture of butter, eggs, ground almonds, sugar and a small amount of flour. You can top it with stone fruits like apricots, plums and cherries, which are classic choices.
Caldo verde – Portugal
Here’s something hearty to warm you up in winter. This famous Portuguese soup is traditionally made with a particular dark green cabbage, but can also be made with collard greens or kale. So it’s no surprise its colour is green. Enjoy spoonfuls of a delicious combination of potato puree, slices of chorizo and olive oil.
Want to taste more this Australia Day?