Ethnic Exchange

National Dishes of Countries around the World

Every country generally has a culinary dish that is popular with its residents and strongly often associated with its culture or prevalence of a particular ingredient.


Barbados - Coo-Coo and Flying Fish

Coo-coo, aka coucou, is a mix of cornmeal and okra that is served with flying fish. The fish is either steamed with lime juice, spices, and vegetables or fried. The coo-coo and flying fish is served with a spicy sauce. Flying Fish is mainly found in and around Barbados. Recipe...

Brazil - Feijoada

Feijoada, the national dish of Brazil, is a flavorful stew of black beans, salted beef and smoked pork. In Brazil, Saturdays are known as the day of feijoada in many homes across the country, that's how entrenched it is in the culture. The more traditional feijoada also includes "cheaper" cuts such as pig's tails. The stew is served with steamed white rice. Recipe...

England - Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, and now Tikka Masala

This dish is a popular Sunday lunch in pubs and homes around England. Named from the county of Yorkshire, Yourkshire pudding is a baked batter made from eggs, flour, and milk or water. It was originally served as fillers before the main course for those who could afford little beef. Today, the two are usually eaten together alongside gravy-soaked roast potatoes, vegetables, and horseradish sauce.

When Britain declared a new national dish in 2001, it chose Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy curry dish thought to have originated in the country's Indian restaurants.

Hungary - Goulash

Goulash is a stew of beef, vegetables, red onions, and spices. It gets its flavor from the use of slow-cooked beef shin, or similar richly flavored cuts, and paprika. The name comes from the Hungarian Gulyas (pronounced with the L silent), meaning herdsman, the meat dishes prepared by the herdsmen. It developed into traditional goulash and became a national dish in the late 1800s, when Hungarians sought symbols of national identity to distinguish themselves from their partners in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Recipe...

Korea - Bulgogi

Bulgogi - bul ("fire") and gogi ("meat") - is one of the most popular dishes in Korea. Pronounced "buul-GOH-ghee", it is a dish of thinly sliced, prime cuts of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, sugar, and wine and then grilled. It is often eaten wrapped in lettuce or spinach leaves and accompanied by kimchi (fermented vegetable pickle). The meat is often grilled by diners in Korean restaurants on miniature barbecue embedded in the table. Recipe...

Ireland - Irish Stew

Irish stew is a staple of Irish pubs worldwide. Originally a thick broth of slow-boiled mutton with onions and potatoes, it has today, evolved to include additional vegetables such as carrots and other types of meats and root vegetables found in Ireland.

Jamaica - Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee is nutritious fruit resembling scrambled egg when boiled with a with a buttery texture and flavor. Ackee trees are abundant in Jamaica, with origins as slave food. Today it as part of their national dish. The ackee is boiled then sautéed with saltfish (salt-cured cod or haddock), onions, and tomatoes. Recipe...

Norway - Farikal (Lamb and Cabbage Stew)

In 1927, Farikal was named Norway's national dish in 1927, and recently in 2014, a vote was take to take to name a new national dish. Farikal won out and retains its position as Norway's most beloved dish. Making Farikal is simple process, layers of cabbage and lamb are decorated with whole, black peppercorns. Tradition has it that the peppercorns help digestion and should be eaten with the dish, but many today discard them. Recipe...

Peru - Ceviche

Peru is known for several dishes that are national culinary icons such as Lomo Saltado a beef dish and Ceviche made from raw seafood cooked in citrus juice. Both Peru and Ecuador, neighboring countries on the pacific, consider Ceviche a national dish. This is not surprising considering the icy Humboldt Current that flows through the Pacific Ocean just off Peru's coast supports one of the world's most bountiful sources of seafood. Recipe...

USA - Hamburgers

The United states is such a melting of cultures and nationalities who left their homeland to find a better, that is difficult to pinpoint any one dish that bears the national designation. There is however, no argument that the hamburger is nationally popular dish. It uses a ground beef patty which was known as a Hamburg Style Steak.

Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World