submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

When I was traveling the world I always learned about new food, then when back home I'd try to recreate it and invite friends and family who have no possibility to travel to taste it.

Now I haven't had the possibility to travel to new places for the last couple of years, but I wonder if you guys have some tips what I could try to make. Something not too complicated but to some extend exotic.

My tip would be the the Sabich which I tried in Jerusalem in 2019. A flatbread with eggplant, egg, other vegetables and sauces. Sweet and savory.

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[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Macarons are easy to make if you have access to almonds or almond flour.


[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Thai basil chicken is stupid easy.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 1 month ago

Dutch Stamppot.

Patato mashed together with fried onions and bacon and any vegetable you like. Raw spinach, raw endive, raw cornsalad, kale is cooked with the patato, sauerkraut (maybe kimchi?), or carrot+onions.Mash it all up with a bit of cream or milk, serve with brown or butter gravy and smoked sausage (rookworst), or pork belly, or pork chop. We Dutch mostly eat it in wintertime. It's quickly made and filling.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Unlike the other commenter, I've never seen it and it looks good and easy enough! Thank you for sharing.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Not if you are Dutch or from that region, for a person from Korea it might.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago

Sauerkraut, just cabbage, salt, and time.

If you like the middle Eastern food, delicious ful mudamas is so easy to make with canned favas.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Quiche, especially without the pie crust, is as simple as whisking up some eggs, cheese, milk or cream, and whatever veggies/herbs you have lying around in a pan and baking it. Very good for breakfast and relatively easy to put together.

[-] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago

Exotic is in the eye of the beholder. When I was a kid (around 1970?) my dad brought home a couple of Russian Cosmonauts who were visiting JPL. My mom made fried chicken or something, but what fascinated them was her pecan pie. One was saying he would see if his wife could try making it, and we wondered afterwards how it would taste, considering they'd probably have to substitute walnuts.... And did they have molasses or corn syrup?

[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago

This is a pretty neat story. How surreal was it to have Russians at your house in the 70s?

Also here is an article from the 70s that said the USSR was the largest producer of sugar beets in the world. So it's safe to say they had molasses. Not sure about what nuts they had.


[-] [email protected] 6 points 1 month ago

Molasses were not very popular though. Sugar was mostly used directly. Tons and tons of fucking walnuts. Never heard of pecans until iron curtain fell.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Really, interesting I wonder where the molasses went? It is just a by-product of sugar production. I would have figured it would have been all over the place as a cheap sugar source. Do you mind saying what part of the USSR you were in? I wonder if it was regional? I will have to do some reading

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

I'm from Ukraine, but I've been to a bunch of countries that used to be Soviet republics and I can't say molasses were popular anywhere. It may have been used for animal feed, but not really popular in any human recepies.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Pecan pie as delicious as it is weird. As an American I consider it an exotic delicacy, even if most of our aunties can make it.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 1 month ago

Of you like meat and can get the correct chiles, you should make birria, specifically tacos. You can use mozzarella if you can't find any Mexican cheese.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Every now and then I watch a Mexican cooking vid on Youtube and mournfully turn it off when they get to the chiles. In my country you can buy any chile you want, as long as it's cayenne. For anything else, go to a speciality store and pay by the gram.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

You could try growing your own. They're really easy to grow.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

My wife's a keen gardener and she puts a chile plant in for me every year. Right now I have a tiny crop of jalapenos I'm hoarding.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

The wife and I make crab rangoons in the air frier that are fairly easy to make.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Okay... I don't consider this exotic (unlike pumpkin pies), but you probably do so here's how to prepare candied squash/pumpkin.


  • 1kg of squash. Any sweeter variety works*. Only the flesh; no seeds or skin. Cut it into large-ish cubes (~4 cm should be good)
  • enough water to cover the above.
  • 10g of food grade quicklime, or roughly a tablespoon.**
  • 500g of sugar.
  • 500ml of water. (yup, again)
  • whole cloves and cinnamon sticks to taste. 3~4 cloves and 2~3 cinnamon sticks should be enough.
  1. Put the squash cubes into a bowl, cover them with water, and add the quicklime. Mix it a bit, and let it rest for 3h.
  2. Drain the water and rinse the cubes. Then use a fork to pierce a side of each cube (so the syrup penetrates it.). Reserve.
  3. Boil the 500ml of water. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves. Let the sugar dissolve.
  4. Add the squash cubes, and cook them in the syrup, over low fire. It needs to be low fire, otherwise you won't be able to cook them evenly.
  5. Keep cooking them for 1h or so, mixing it occasionally. Be gentle, as you don't want to break the cubes. The syrup should reduce quite a bit, and the cubes should be soft on the inside; some leathery skin is expected (and desirable), but if they're still tough and the syrup reduced too much it's fine to add a tiny bit of water to compensate the loss.
  6. Let it cool and enjoy. They should turn out like this:


* traditionally this sweet is made with this sort of squash, known in Portuguese as "abóbora menina":

You can use pretty much any sweeter variety of squash though. Kabocha, pumpkin, buttercup etc.

** using quicklime on food might sound weird, but it's fairly common across the world. For example they use it in North America to nixtamalise maize, and in China for century eggs. I don't think that you'll have a hard time finding it in Korea.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

What does the quicklime do? Does it change the texture of the squash?

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

It creates an outer "skin" that keeps the candied cubes firm and whole, and has a rather interesting texture, that contrasts with the creamier inside. Without the quicklime you end with a spreadable jam instead.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

That's really interesting! I wonder if there are any savory applications.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago

Bavarian soft pretzels. It is what gives the dark color and firmness to the exterior.

It gelatinizes the surface starch, and by raising the pH level it lowers the temperture at which Maillard reactions occur.

Bagels are similar but generally use baking soda instead for the bath. It is less alkaline.

Someone else mentioned nixtamalizing corn. But that actually serves quite a few purposes. Still savory though.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

None that I'm aware of, but I guess that the same process could be theoretically used for vegs before roasting or deep-frying them? For example, potato fries.

Speaking on fries, deep-fried yucca is delicious and probably exotic for the OP. Easy, but a bit laborious, as you need to boil them before deep-frying. "Recipe":

  1. Peel and chop the yucca roots into 2cm thick sticks.
  2. Boil the sticks in plain water, until they're firm but tender. (Don't skip this step.)
  3. Let them cool, then deep-fry them in some veg oil. Season to taste (I like using salt, pepper, and bits of bacon.)
[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

An American colleague brought a homemade pumpkin pie in to the office once. I legit thought it was a cheesecake until she said otherwise.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago

How? They taste nothing alike and have completely different consistency.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

If someone offers you free cheesecake, you don't go telling them they made it wrong.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 1 month ago

Exotic is relative, that's the point.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 1 month ago

What's exotic to you? It rather matters where you are from.

So, unless you happen to be Dutch, you've probably never had tiny Dutch pancakes: https://www.wandercooks.com/poffertjes-dutch-mini-pancakes/

You don't actually need to special pan, but it sure helps a lot.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

He mentioned elsewhere he lives in Korea, so probably your suggestion was on the mark

[-] [email protected] 28 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Curries are pretty hard to screw up, yet are extremely satisfying. Thai, Indian, Japanese, they're all good.

Pretty much just thickened stews, so you can add or remove things to your taste or make it seasonal. Can have any meat or can be vegan or anywhere in between. Serve up with rice or bread. Extremely versatile all around.

Somewhat related, African Peanut Chicken Soup. Hearty yam and carrot, in a spicy peanut broth. It's all familiar ingredients, but in a combo your taste buds may not be familiar with, so comforting and exotic at the same time.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

In addition to my specific recommendations, I recommend checking out Beryl Shereshewsky for inspiration.

She cooks user recommended home cooking from around the world. She's usually able to recreate them pretty accurately, but discusses substitutions if there's something hard to get, which isn't often.

Her videos are by topic, so if you want a breakfast or dessert, or even as simple as an egg dish or toast, it's there.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

That's not exotic (lives in France).

With garlic parsley butter mmmm...

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

How exotic is exotic then?

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Guess it depends on where you live!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Guess it depends on where you live!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Guess it depends on where you live!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

Whatever can be found.

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this post was submitted on 24 Feb 2024
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