Header image courtesy of Sofiia Popovych (via Shutterstock)
One of the best things about travelling abroad—besides the change in scenery and exciting sights—is the food. After all, what is a visit to Taipei without a snack (or three) at the bustling night markets, or a tour of the Amalfi Coast without a glass of wine and fresh frutti di mare? While it looks like we won’t be able to visit these places in person anytime soon, we can still let our palates do a little travelling for us by indulging in some delicious international cuisine.
And with all of us spending more time at home nowadays, what better time is there to learn how to recreate some of the world’s best flavours from the comfort of your own home? Here are five mouth-watering international dishes that any home cook can make with just a little time, enthusiasm, and some easy-to-source ingredients! Bon appétit!
Well-loved by all, the paneer butter masala is a dish that is the perfect blend of spiciness tempered by creaminess. It is also vegetarian and near irresistible when paired with garlic naan.
• 250 grams of paneer, defrosted and diced into one-inch cubes
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1.5 teaspoons of chopped ginger
• 3 to 4 cloves of garlic
• 6 to 8 cashew nuts, soaked in water for 15 minutes
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 green chillies, diced
• 3 medium tomatoes
• 2 teaspoons of Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
• Half teaspoon of garam masala powder
• 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
• 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
• 2 tablespoons of cream
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 2 tablespoons of oil
• Salt to taste
This rice noodle dish has become a delicacy thanks to its well-balanced flavours and diverse mix of textures. Luckily for us, it’s also not difficult to prepare. Tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy, a good pad thai is hearty and will leave you wanting more.
• 200 grams of rice noodles
• 350 grams of chicken breast, shrimp, or tofu
• 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
• 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (for a more traditional taste, use palm sugar if available)
• 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon of lime juice
• 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
• 2 cups of bean sprouts
• 1 cup of thinly sliced carrots
• 2 spring onions, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 bell pepper
• 2 eggs
• One-third cup of peanuts
• 1 lime
A Mexican feast is a sure-fire crowd pleaser, so try your hand at these vegetarian fajitas with savoury halloumi cheese, offset by sweet bell peppers and crunchy red onions—it’s easy to prepare, which makes it the perfect weeknight meal.
• 250 grams of halloumi cheese
• 4 soft tortillas
• 2 handfuls of baby spinach
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 red onion, sliced
• 1 red pepper, sliced
• Half teaspoon of chilli powder
• Half teaspoon of garlic salt
• Half teaspoon of ground cumin
• A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
• Guacamole, to serve
What can be more broadly representative of Italian cuisine than pasta? We particularly like the ravioli—essentially little parcels of cheesy goodness which come with a variety of fillings. This recipe couldn’t be easier to whip up, and should only take roughly 20 minutes.
• 750 grams of ravioli
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 150 grams of shredded mozzarella cheese
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 800 grams of diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
• 75 millilitres of heavy whipping cream
• 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
• Half teaspoon of salt
• Half teaspoon of black pepper
Of course, we’d have to round things off with dessert. This delicious sweet is made of multiple layers of crispy golden phyllo, filled with chopped nuts and honey syrup. We’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t like these crispy nuggets of indulgent goodness!
• 25 to 30 sheets of phyllo (filo) dough
• 500 grams of walnuts, chopped (or a mix of different nuts; almonds, pistachios)
• 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
• 2 teaspoons of ground clove
• 300 grams of butter, melted
• 600 grams of sugar
• 400 millilitres of water
• 80 grams of honey
• Zest from one lemon or orange
• 1 stick of cinnamon
You might be itching to run straight to the kitchen to try these recipes out, only to find you don’t have the ingredients you need. Don’t fret if this is the case, because we know just the place that will stock everything you need.
Mint City is an independent grocery store featuring a generous array of flavours from Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and further across the globe. Working closely with exceptional vendors all around the world, they are here to bring Hongkongers food products of the finest quality, without the hefty price tag. If you’re in the market for international food and beverage labels at affordable prices, Mint City is your one-stop-shop!
Throughout the month of November, Mint City is offering Localiiz readers five percent off on all online orders over $250, with free delivery to your doorstep. Simply use the code AUTUMNTREAT at checkout, and get your kitchen ready. You can also visit their expansive, 5,000-square-foot retail space in Hung Hom to pick and choose your favourite products. Which of these fantastic global dishes will you be attempting first?