Experiences dapanji2

Published on January 23rd, 2014 | by Daniel

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The 9 Best Foods I Experienced Abroad

On all my travels abroad I have encountered a lot of interesting and exotic cuisines. Although these days you can eat almost anything anywhere – the world is getting smaller – eating the local dishes still reigns supreme. In this article I discuss the 9 best food dishes I have experienced abroad. The list is in not particular order. As taste sensations differ wildly for dish to dish, it is almost impossible to rank them.

Panang Curry

I really like all the curries, from green to red, from yellow to massaman, but Panang Curry is my favorite. This curry is Malaysian in origin, however it is also served all across Thailand. The paste is made from chili pepper, garlic, peanuts – while determined by zingy herbs as coriander, lemongrass, galangal and cumin. The whole curry is then cooked with coconut milk and some fish sauce. Panang curry is served with chicken most of the time, but is also very suitable for beef or tofu.

Ceviche

This Peruvian dish (from Lima, to be precise), is a blend of South-American and Asian cuisine. Ceviche is basically fresh fish that is marinated overnight in lemon juice. Due to the acids from the lemon juice, the fish is “cooked” in a way that makes it meat tender and perfectly fit to eat. It taste great with onion and sweet Peruvian potato. I really like it as it is so different from other South American dishes in general, with its tangy twist.

Kao Soi

This a very good lunch dish from Northern Thailand and Myanmar. I remember it well that we ate it a lot when we were in Chiang Mai, me ordering 2 bowls as the portion were quite small. What makes Kao Soi so good is its tasty versatility. It is an egg noodle soup which can be combined with almost any kind of meat, fish or vegetarian supplement. The deep spices will make you regain your strength in no-time, and ready for another hike or just a good working streak.

Argentinian Steak

I admit, I am a bit of a carnivore. So, I really like steak with fries. The key is that the steak should be of high quality. In Argentina steak quality can vary wildly, so you should not go for the cheapest or tourist option. But, when you get a high quality piece, it will be the best steak in the world. So if you do not skimp on price you will have your pick in the big cities as Buenos Aires or Cordoba. The portions usually come in big size, as 500 grams is not uncommon.

Kobe Beef

It is generally believed that this beef is the one of the best in world. The Wagyu cattle from which it is made is famous very being treated extremely well. The Kobe kind of variety can only be called that way if the beef is from around Kobe province. Wagyu cattle are not allowed to be exported to other countries. Hence, it is very rare and expensive to eat their beef. I ate it while in Kyoto, it the experience is unlike other steaks I have eaten. It has a wonderful, very delicate flavor, much softer than other beef. I can recommend everyone to try it at least once in their lives, but bring your wallet. I paid around 50$ for 100 grams.

Ajiaco

This filling chicken soup is great for cold days, of which there are many in Bogota. Due to its elevated position in the mountains, Bogota has a surprisingly cold climate for being the capital of a (generally) tropical country. The Ajiaco soup is a great response to this. It contains chicken, potato and a wide array of vegetables and herbs. Generally it is served with aji, a paste of chili peppers, tomato, cilantro and vinegar. The soup is big meal and makes a great dinner alternative. It is said that it has many beneficial medical application as well.

Goulash with Nokedli

In my Eastern European travels I encountered sturdy dishes, most of them very tasty. One of my favorites is (the quite famous) goulash. It is a Hungarian dish and very popular all over the country. You will be able to find it in most restaurants. However, quality varies wildly, so make sure you get the good ones – ask the locals for this. The best goulash is made with beef or veal shank, and has a strong base of paprika, garlic, carrot with herbs as thyme, caraway seed and bay leaf. Goulash combines wonderfully with nokedli, which are kind of small elliptical egg noodles. They are also known as “spätzle” or “knöpfle” and are German in origin. I advice everyone to try this combination at least once.

Cumin Lamb / Xinjiang Lamb

Northern Chinese food is vastly different from Southern Chinese (or Cantonese) food. The latter is well known in the Western world, while the former is actually still quite undiscovered. One of my favorite Chinese dishes is from a northwestern region of China called Xinjiang. Due to its proximity to middle Asia, Mongolia and the “Stan” countries, the herbs and spices used in the dish are a bit reminiscent of Middle Eastern cuisine. The dish is called “cumin lamb” and basically is… lamb with a lot of cumin. Green bell pepper, garlic, onion and cilantro are also part of this wonderful dish. It combines very well with noodles.

Dapanji

Dapanji is another Nothern Chinese dish I am really fond of. Perhaps also because my girl makes the best Dapanji there is. The dish is basically stewed chicken combined with bell peppers, potato, chili peppers, garlic and lots of herbs and spices. Sometimes beer for the stew is added as well. It is generally eaten with long noodles or with flatbread. What makes the dish so great is that it has a very rich, diverse flavor while being very filling at the same time.

Did you encounter a wonderful dish on your travels? Let us know in the comments!

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