Wish you could afford to travel more often?
There’s no getting away from the fact that going away on holiday can drain your bank account but, thankfully, there is a much cheaper way to experience different cultures and countries. And you’ll be happy to hear that it doesn’t even involve leaving the house. All you need to do is cook up some international food in your kitchen.
Even though it might not sound that exciting, trying some new international dishes in your own home can actually be really great fun. And that is especially the case if you invite some of your friends over for a menu that is inspired from countries around the world. Ready to taste a few different delicacies from the four corners of the globe? Here are some fab ideas for you to cook up.
Pad Thai From Thailand
If you would rather cook some healthy dishes, then the best country for you to visit in your kitchen has to be Thailand. Thailand cuisine features lots of various curries and spicy salads that aren’t too calorific if you cook them from scratch and know exactly what you are putting in them. One of the classic dishes from Thailand has to be Pad Thai. It’s a noodle curry that can be made with meat or tofu. Here’s a basic recipe to get you going.
- A packet of rice noodles
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
- 200 gram diced chicken or diced tofu
- 4 spring onions
- 150 gram bean sprouts
- Handful of peanuts
- Put the noodles in a bowl and pour just-boiled water over them. Leave them for five minutes to soften.
- Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and cayenne pepper together.
- Fry the chicken until cooked or lightly fry the tofu. Chop the spring onions and add them to the pan followed by the bean sprouts. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the peanuts.
- Add the sauce mixture and mix to coat everything. Drain the noodles and toss into the pan. Mix everything together well before serving.
Paella From Spain
Paella is the national dish of Spain. It’s a rice dish that is often cooked with lots of fresh seafood. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live by the coast; you can always try Citarella for all of your fresh seafood needs. Here’s what you need for your paella. Don’t worry – you can make it without a special paella pan!
- ½ pound shrimp
- 12 ounces diced chicken (can swap for some seafood if you prefer)
- 1.5 cups long-grain rice
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 liter of chicken stock
- Cup of fresh or frozen peas
- Chopped onion
- Cook the seafood until just cooked and put to one side on a plate.
- In the same pan, cook the chicken until browned.
- Add the onion and slowly cook for five minutes. Once it has softened, add the rice and stir for two minutes.
- Stir in the spices, chopped tomatoes, and stock.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat so it can simmer slowly. Leave to simmer for twenty-five minutes and then, just before you serve it, stir in the peas.
Jerk Chicken From The Caribbean
Fancy a trip to the Caribbean? Don’t worry if you can’t quite afford an all-inclusive resort on a tranquil island – jerk chicken will make you feel like you are in the Caribbean sun even if you are just in your own kitchen! Here’s how you make this zingy dish.
- 12 Chicken thighs – you can leave the bone in if you wish
- 1 lime
- A whole bunch of spring onions
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 3 chillies
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp allspice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 200 gram long-grain rice
- Can of coconut milk
- 2 cans of kidney beans
- Add the spring onions, ginger, onion, garlic, chillies, herbs, oil, soy sauce and sugar to a food processor. Whizz it all together until it is well mixed. If it doesn’t seem to be blending too well, you might need to stop the processor and give it a mix by hand before trying again. Don’t add any water even if you think it may be too thick – you need it to be as thick as possible.
- Use a knife to slash the chicken thighs. This will help the marinade soak into the meat. Pour the marinade from the processor over the thighs and make sure that you rub it well in. Get it all into the slashes that you made! Place them in a large dish, cover it, and then place it in the fridge for the night.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, you should transfer it to a baking tray and roast it in the oven. Cook it at a medium heat for around forty-five minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking in the oven, you can sort the rice out. Boil the rice in a saucepan above a medium heat. Add the coconut milk to the pan as well, and this will ensure that the rice comes out silky smooth and extra tasty. The rice should be cooked before all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. Once cooked, mix in the can of kidney beans. Put the lid back on the pan and leave to stand for five minutes off the heat. All of the remaining liquid should be absorbed during this time.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and serve with the rice. Squeeze the juice of a lime over the whole dish and voila, it’s all done!
These are just three simple suggestions that you might like to try to cook for yourself at home. But when you are a bit more confident with your cooking, you could always try traveling to some different countries. How about trying korma from India or burritos from Mexico?