Here’s What Comfort Food Looks Like Around the World
The taste of home, in 10 countries
Every culture has its comfort foods--the dishes that do more than just fill your stomach. They play on your senses and remind you of your home and your traditions. So let's take a little culinary journey, shall we? Here’s what comfort food looks like around the world.
Spain: Tortilla Española
Not quite an omelet per se, tortilla Española consists of sautéed potato and onion baked into eggs. The classic dish is served warm or at room temperature, often tapas-style any time of day.
Oden is a Japanese winter dish that typically consists of boiled eggs, radish, konjac, fish cakes and broth. Different households and regions make their own variations by adding fish, beef vegetables or tofu to the hearty hot-pot meal.
Brazil: Pão de Queijo
Pão de Queijo (aka Brazilian cheese bread) are small, baked rolls, served as snacks and breakfast foods. Very starchy dough baked with milk, eggs and cheese gives the bread its unique texture--crispy on the outside and tender and chewy on the inside.
China: Cha Siu Bao
Barbecue pork buns are a common dish served in Cantonese dim sum. The dense yet soft dough is filled with slow-roasted pork tenderloin and marinated in a mixture of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Chilaquiles are lightly fried corn tortillas that are quartered, cooked with salsa or mole and topped with pulled chicken, Mexican crema, queso fresco, eggs and refried beans. Spicy, crunchy and creamy all in one bite, it’s a comforting dish that’s as satisfying as it is versatile.
This dish--flatbread topped with olive oil and za’atar (Middle Eastern herbs), and filled with tomatoes and mint--combines all the traditional Lebanese spices and flavors. The dough, once baked, has a crisp exterior with a chewy, gooey center, and it’s often eaten with lamb, chickpeas and olives.
Khichdi, a risotto-like dish made from a base of rice and lentils, is light, filling and nutritious. A staple in most Indian kitchens, the one-pot, stovetop meal is often flavored with vegetables and spices like curry, turmeric and cumin.
Pierogis are the Polish version of the dumpling. The dough is stuffed with onions, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, ground meat, aged cheese or sometimes even fruit, then oiled and pan-fried. It's simplicity at its best.
This Mediterranean favorite is commonly prepared with eggplant or potato and served casserole-style. Layers of eggplant are sautéed, cooked separately and topped with minced lamb, chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices. Topped in creamy béchamel sauce, Moussaka is served piping hot from the oven.