When traveling, the best food isn’t always found in fancy restaurants, but in the carts and stalls on the busy streets and back alleys.
Some people have a hard time wrapping their heads around buying street food. In the hotter or more humid countries, it can seem rather unappetizing, but trust me, some of the best food is found on the cart. It’s a great way to taste the true essence of the place you’re visiting.
To those of you who already know this traveling secret, I’m singing to the culinary choir. For those of you who only see food as sustenance, I urge you to look at it as an adventure and seek out street food. Not only will the experience fill your bowl, but finding new tastes will feed your soul.
Below are a few of my favorite street-food dishes from different parts of the world. It’s a mix of deep-fried goodness and healthy choices for a variety of palates. Bon appetite!
When you think of street food in Germany, most mention doner kebab, but there is another delicacy of the streets of Berlin that is a close second in tasty goodness: currywurst. What is that exactly? Chopped-up pork sausage doused in a ketchup-curry sauce with curry powder sprinkled on top. Add fries with mayonnaise on the side and everything will be wunderbar! This is the perfect snack or meal after a long day of drinking at Oktoberfest.
Want to make it at home? Try the recipe at allrecipes.com.
Fried milk? I know, it sounds weird, but hear me out. This sweet Taiwanese dessert – three sweetened condensed milk cubes on a skewer that are dipped in batter and fried – is an ingenious creation. What you get is a crispy exterior with a melty, sweet center. Some people add other flavors like coconut to the mix and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Feel free to experiment.
Here is a recipe courtesy of taiwanduck.com that you can use to cook your own at home.
Olive all’Ascolana is a breaded olive stuffed with spicy ground meat. These come from the Ascoli region and you will find booths selling the delicacy all over Italy. They make a superb finger food and work great as an appetizer or on a platter of mixed fried foods.
Can’t make it out to Italy? No worries, they are pretty easy to make. The key is to use olives of the Ascolana strain, which are large, green, and mild. Here is a delizioso recipe courtesy of italianfood.com to bring a little Italian to your table at home.
This glorious treat is found all over the Philipines and is considered their most popular summer dessert. It’s essentially shaved ice and evaporated milk, paired with fruits and other sweet ingredients such as corn, coconut, sweet beans, and more. There are many ways to make this sweet Filipino concoction; the video below offers a simple and popular method.
This is a fish noodle soup that is extremely popular in Vietnam. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something healthy or when you have a cold or flu. The combination of garlic, tomatoes, onion, and ginger roots makes this a flavorful soup that’s good when you’re sick in bed or want a comfort food that feels nice and hot in the stomach. It contains cooked tomatoes, along with other spices and herbs like cilantro and pepper, and winds up tasting a bit sour.
Not all street food needs to be deep fried or BBQ’ed. In some parts of the world – like Brazil – you can find super-healthy treats that taste amazing. The acai bowl is one such offering: it combines the super-food with granola and/or honey for a sweet yet nourishing snack. If you’re making it at home, there are lots of things you can add, so be creative. (See the video below for some ideas.) As long as you include the essential elements, it will be high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids.
Even if you’re averse to meat, you can still have tacos on the mean streets of Manhattan. The city’s beet and goat cheese tacos are perfect for my vegetarian friends. These unassuming tacos are surprisingly filling and nutritious, to boot. Add super foods like avocados to the mix and you have yourself some power tacos chalk full of fiber, iron, folic acid, and many other vitamins. These are so good that I’ll give you the recipe from girlinthelittleredkitchen.com right here and now …
This is a classic chicken meal that you can find throughout the southern parts of India. It’s a spicy, deep-fried chicken dish that is normally served with minty raita. Who knows what the number 65 means; after looking for an authentic recipe, I think it might mean the number of different ways of preparing this street food. Okay not really, but there are a lot of ways to serve this chicken. Below is one of the most authentic ways of putting it altogether, fresh off the Madurai streets yo. Recipe courtesy of IndianHealthyRecipes.com.
Ingredients (serves 2):
Seasoning for dry version:
Seasoning for gravy:
Instructions for dry seasoning:
Instructions for gravy:
Feature Photo: BrokenSphere, CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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