*This post was previously live on my other site TheWingedFork.com
What’s for dinner? A question as important as asking about breakfast or dessert. What’s for dinner tonight? Is there any dinner? What’s easy to cook for dinner tonight? What can we make for dinner? Supper? Wat eten we vanavond? Vad blir det till middag? You cooking up a feast there? Beth sydd i swper? Kin Khao? Kas Vakarienei?
We couldn’t fit everything in here, but we’ve got some international dinner ideas to tempt your palate. From quick meals and simple dinners to delicious and yummy fares, here are the best dinners in different cultures and countries across the globe.
A Dîner? – Canada
By Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic
The food culture of the Maritimes in Canada is much different from the rest of the country. The East Coast historically has been one full of fishermen and people without a lot of money. And so making use of scraps is very important as our grandparents knew you couldn’t waste anything. And that’s where chowder came from, it used the scraps of seafood and mixed it with inexpensive potato.
Today, visitors often ask where to eat the best lobster (it’s so expensive we only eat it at home), but we do eat chowder when out dining. Most cafes and restaurants will have chowder on the menu for dinner, and at lunch they usually offer half a sandwich with a cup of chowder.
Chowder recipes will vary from province to province. In the tiny province of Prince Edward Island, mussel chowder is a classic recipe.
Makan malamnya apa? – Indonesia
By Halef and Michael from The Round The World Guys
One of the best full Indonesian meals is Nasi Padang – a mixture of several different side dishes that includes the world-famous Rendang dish and lots of delicious sambal, or chili sauce. Before you go to Indonesia, learn a few basic things about Indonesian food – where rice isn’t a side dish – it’s the main dish.
While Nasi Padang originated in the Minangkabau culture of West Sumatra, it is wholeheartedly accepted to be the unofficial Indonesian cuisine by the rest of the country. You can find Padang Restaurants everywhere in Indonesia.
What’s for tea? – England
In England dinner is referred to as tea, which is all kind of confusing!
Fish & Chips
By Lizzie & Dave from Wanderlust & Life
A quintessential English dish has to be Fish and Chips. No matter where we have travelled no one in the world does Fish and Chips quite like the English. Usually purchased at the local “chippy” the dish consists of fried battered fish (usually Cod or Haddock) and fried thick cut potatoes. But that is not where it ends.
Traditionally you should sprinkle a bit of salt and vinegar over the dish to give it a bit of an extra kick. Next you have to decide on what accompaniment you will be having with the dish. Gravy, mushy peas, and curry sauce are all perfectly acceptable to have with your meal, and the popularity of each really tends to be based on which part of the country you are from. It is usually served in a box or polystyrene container (it used to even be served wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper).
The best thing about the dish is that it is a great source of comfort food and is especially good after a few beers on a night out.”
우리는 저녁을 위해 무엇을 먹을 것인가? – South Korea
By Marie from Be Marie Korea
Koreans love eating soups for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the most popular and famous soup is Samgyetang ( 삼계탕 ). Which dates back to the era of the Three Kingdoms in Korea (4 BC).
The soup is made by boiling a whole 40 – 50 days old chicken on a low period for a couple of hours. Before boiling the chicken, it gets stuffed with special rice, ginseng, dates and chestnuts.
Most restaurants serve the chicken alongside with a ginseng shot which can be put in the soup for a more intense ginseng flavour. It’s an especially popular fall food in Korea.
Ki tin pa come – Aruba
Keshi Yena (Stuffed Cheese)
By Michele from A Taste for Travel
If you’re headed to Aruba or Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean, don’t miss trying Keshi Yena, a unique and delicious local dish.
It originated as a way to use the leftover rind of a round of Edam cheese but has evolved to become a casserole of spiced meat and melted cheese that’s popular for a hearty lunch, family dinners and parties with friends.
Its spicy sweetness has its roots in Aruba’s diverse culinary heritage drawn from South America, Africa, the Netherlands and the Caribbean. Served piping hot, it features raisins, cloves, hot peppers, pitted olives and other ingredients mixed with beef or chicken and cheese and then baked to gooey perfection.
Che c’è per cena? – Rome, Italy
Pizza & pasta
By Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
To the vast majority of the world, Italian food is basically just pizza and pasta. As an Italian, I would have to dissent with this opinion, though I admit that we do love our pizza, and that is the ultimate dinner food.
The best pizza is the one made in the very traditional way: a slow raised dough made with unrefined flour; good quality local ingredients; mozzarella – best if baked in a wood oven. What makes pizza special is that it can be a very low cost meal; and if done right it is not unhealthy: Italians keep ingredients nice and simple, never overloading the pizza with toppings.
One thing to notice is that in Italy it is common practice to each get a personal pizza, and that pizza rarely comes to the table already sliced.
Wat Eet Ons Vanaand? – South Africa
By The Soz from The Winged Fork
You can’t be South African if you don’t love meat. And after the Sunday braai, the meaty Oxtail Potjiekos may just be one of our favorite dishes for Sunday meals and family gatherings.
Yummy and saucy, the oxtail stew needs a few hours to cook; and is often cooked in a round cast iron 3-legged pot called a potjie.
Named the potjiekos, the potjie is descended from the Dutch oven. No wonder whatever is cooked in it is called a potjiekos. Anyways, try my family recipe for oxtail potjiekos. You may just love it!
Kas Vakarienei? – Lithuania
By Mary from A Mary Road
Also known as Cepelinai is a Lithuanian dish. Made of grated and rice potatoes and stuffed with meat, while other people would put some cheese or vegetable as well.
The name was originated from the Zeppelin airship because of its size. Typically, the size of Zeppelin is about 10-20cm long. After boiling, it is served with sour cream with bacon or pork rinds.
It was recommended to me by the receptionist in one the hostels in Vilnius that I stayed. I love the taste of this dish and it’s pretty heavy as well, great meal for a long journey ahead.
What’s for dinner? – Eastern India
Hilsa Fish Curry
By Somnath from Travel Crusade
Ilish Bhape and paturi are special types of dishes which is famous in Eastern India and are a treat to enjoy especially at dinner with family and friends. Ilish or hilsa is a special type of river water fish available in the big rivers across Eastern India and they are even transported to other parts of the country at higher prices.
Both these dishes are served with rice and green chillies and prepared by deep frying the fish in oil and then boiled over for some time with curd and other spices like turmeric, salt and special powder made of garlic and ginger and applied during the time of boiling.
The dish is prepared in some time and served red hot that really entices food lovers across the country. Hilsa is actually a very oily fish that does not require any extra oil to be used while cooking as it sprays lot of oil while deep frying it.
It is normally sold at 500 cents per kg and acts as the biggest fish exporter in the country during the monsoon season.
Que hay para cenar? – Mexico
By Faith from XYU and BEYOND
Marquesitas are a Mexican street food that you find made all over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In Merida they have raised it to an art form and they can be found everywhere from grocery stores where you will spot small kiosks at the exits to the main square of Merida by the cathedral were there are many vendors selling this Yucatecan favourite.
A marquesita is a french style crepe that is rolled around a variety of fillings. The locals favour Nutella and queso which is a soft fresh white cheese similar to mozzarella. You can also choose from queso and caramel sauce or a jam from mango to strawberry.
Marquesitas were invented in Merida in 1938 by a street vendor and they became the favourite snack of the Marquis’ daughters who lived in the city at the time. They were so popular with the girls that the snack was named after them and they became Marquesitas.
What’s for dins? – England
English Roast Dinner
By Bernie from A Packed Life
It’s the stuff of childhood memories, family trips and attempts to recreate home comforts with friends. Welcome to the English Roast Dinner. This is comfort eating at its best, easily adaptable to feed an unexpected crowd, and flexible enough to meet all tastes.
Start with something roasted, whether that’s meat or a vegan feast of nuts or beans. Add a cornucopia of veggies: crisp sprouts, red cabbage and parsnips for the winter, cauliflower cheese, newly shelled peas and a symphony of greens for the summer. Add roast potatoes, crisp on the outside and fluffy within, and the sauces or condiments of your choice from mustards and horseradish to cranberry or bread sauce and gravy.
There might be some stuffing on the side, and a big puffy Yorkshire pudding steaming from the oven. A roast dinner is exactly how you choose to make it, and that’s the charm.
Có gì cho bữa tối? – Hoi An, Vietnam
By Michelle from Intentional Travelers
In Vietnam, the cuisine varies widely from one region to the next. But common ingredients include rice (rice noodles, rice flour), seafood, and fresh herbs. This is no exception with bánh xèo, a savory pancake typically served with herbs, rice paper wrapper, and dipping sauce.
In Hoi An, the crispy, fried pancake is made with rice flour and turmeric and may be stuffed with bean sprouts, green onion, pork, or shrimp.
As with most Vietnamese dinners, it’s served family-style. Each person gathers ingredients from the table to make a hand-held wrap, which is then dipped in the sweet-spicy sauce. We love the interaction of multiple flavors and textures in this traditional dish!
Que ia per sopar? – Mallorquin – Majorca, Spain
By Sarah from The Winged Fork
In Majorca, paella takes on a different flavor. Although I’ve eaten paella before, One Sunday during our stay in Spain, we were invited to lunch by our hosts and had the chance to eat the Paella Mixtas made by our host Antonia, in traditional Majorcan style.
A melange of flavors dazzle your senses in this dish – from simple parsley to the rich saffron. As opposed to a regular paella, the Paella Mixtas uses rabbit meat, pork ribs, chicken, gambas or king prawns, and mussels. A little of everything for everyone.
Click here to see step-by-step pics of how Antonia made her Paella.
Kin Khao? – Thailand
By Allan from Live Less Ordinary
Moo Krata is like a communal get-together meal in Thailand, which I eat almost every other evening in rural Thailand, and often join with local villagers and families for feasts and rural banter. Around the skillet grill we all take turns to grill meats, and prepare soups, and although I am almost always left with the responsibility of merely pouring the drinks.
Anyway, these charcoal flamed skillets are often prepared set on the ground, on likely someone’s porch or balcony, as grill marinated meats are grilled on the top barbecue of the grill (skillet) while veg, and vermicelli noodles are added to a soup stock on the side.
Both the grilled meats and soup are then eaten with a spicy ‘Nam Jim’ chilli sauce on the side. Which would probably be best described as phenomenal.
Wat eet ons vanaand? – South Africa
By Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads
Bobotie is a traditional South African dish usually served for dinner. The origin of the dish is not clear some say its name comes from the Malayan word “boemboe” which means curry or from Indonesian dish “bobotok”.
The first mentioning of bobotie in Europe was in the beginning of 17th century in a Dutch cookbook. From Holland bobotie came to South Africa where it was adopted first by the Malay community and then spread all over the country.
The main ingredient of bobotie is spiced minced meat usually beef or lamb topped with eggs and milk. Some extra ingredients like almonds, dried fruit, chutney are usually added to bobotie which brings its unique flavour.
当晚餐 or Dàng wǎncān? – Taiwan
Braised Pork Rice
By Kaila from Nom List
Growing up, one of my favorite Taiwanese dinners has always been braised pork rice [Lu Rou Fan]. It’s not going to win any awards for the most gorgeous looking food but for me, it’s definitely one of the ultimate comfort foods.
What for dinner in Mandarin Chinese is 当晚餐 or Dàng wǎncān. Although most native Taiwanese to the island speak Taiwanese, my mother is Taiwanese and my dad, although born in Taiwan was born to parents who immigrated from the mainland, so I was never taught Taiwanese. Everyone in Taiwan speaks Mandarin Chinese.
Braised pork rice is made with fatty pork (the fattier the better), braised in soy sauce and Shaoxing wine until it is meltingly soft. The Taiwanese absolutely love fatty pork in any form, but braised pork rice’s rich flavors pair especially great with a steaming hot bowl of rice. You have to try it!
Què Menjar Per Sopar? – Costa Brava, Catalonia
Arròs or Arroz
By Amber from Only in Costa Brava
In Catalonia, one of the most typical dishes is rice, arròs in Catalan or arroz in Spanish. South of Barcelona, in Valencia, the rice is called paella, known the world over as a Spanish dish.
But, in the Northeast Corner of Catalonia, in the Costa Brava, the dish is more regularly known as more simply arros. Made with garlic and vegetables, like onion and tomatoes, the base of the rice is cooked in fish stock.
Because Costa Brava is located between the sea and the mountains, the arros dish usually includes a bit of both, including sausages and perhaps rabbit, along with mussels, clams, and the local Palamos prawns.
Even better is when the dish includes local, Emporda rice, from the town of Pals. A completely local and Catalan dish that is perfect for the big meal of the day. Many restaurants in the Costa Brava offer a rice dish on their Thursday menu because it’s the traditional day to eat rice in Catalonia
Mangan Tana! (Let’s eat!) – Philippines
By Ruben from Gamin Traveler
The Philippines is a diverse country with many islands, dialects, cuisine and cultures. One of the many dishes that represent the country and the province of Pampanga very well is the sisig, a dish traditionally made from grilled and chopped pork ears, jowls and liver.
Other key ingredients are soy sauce, calamansi, onion and chili. The dish is cooked in a sizzling plate and is often topped off with raw egg that is mixed with the pork while the plate is still hot.
Sisig is the perfect beer match. It is found in all Filipino restaurants because everyone in the country just loves this dish. It originated from Pampanga, our hometown, so we have the best ones you’ll ever taste!
The uniqueness of the ingredients and the innovativeness behind sisig’s creation reflect just how special and ingenious Kapampangans and Filipinos are.
Beth sydd i swper? – Wales
Welsh lamb cawl
By Kacie from The Rare Welsh Bit
Commonly regarded as the national dish of Wales, Welsh cawl is a hearty, one-pot dish, similar to a stew. Traditionally, the ingredients used would depend on what was available in the kitchen at the time, with goat and bacon often used as cheaper substitutes to lamb.
Nowadays, however, a Welsh cawl is normally brimming with root veg like carrot and swede, potatoes, leeks and onions.Cawl is served with hunks of fresh, crusty bread spread with Welsh salted butter for dunking, and a little Caerphilly cheese on the side for extra flavour.
Check out this wonderful Welsh lamb cawl recipe to learn how to recreate the dish yourself at home.
शियारला काय हाय (East Indian Culture, India)
Special East Indian Chicken Tope
By Sarah from TheWingedFork
An easy to make all in one meal that is gluten free too, the chicken tope is a traditional East Indian dish made with chicken and beaten rice.
It’s one of those dishes that just fit in one pot and make you feel full and satisfied at the same time. Spicy and easy to prepare, it’s a complete family meal. Here’s my sister’s recipe for the chicken tope dish.
Mahlzeit? – Austria
By Linda from Travel Tyrol
This is the word you can expect to be greeted with in Austria when meeting anyone between 11:30 and 12:00. The Austrians take their noontime dinner very seriously. And while “Mahlzeit” literally means “mealtime” it’s interpreted as “bon appetit” when used in the form of a greeting.
One of the most popular dishes on an Austrian dinner menu? Wiener Schnitzel, of course! While the original Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal, the most common version in Austria today is Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein or Wiener Schnitzel from pork.
Since it’s a protected geographical indication, only the veal version may simply be called Wiener Schnitzel. The thin meat cut is tossed in flour, dipped in egg, and covered with bread crumbs before being fried to golden perfection in clarified butter.
Served with lemon, lingonberry jam, and either potatoe salad or French fries, the Wiener Schnitzel from pork is devoured by hungry kids or husbands coming home for dinner. Other variations on the original Wiener Schnitzel include chicken and turkey schnitzels.
You cooking up a feast there? – Australia
By Sally from Our 3 kids v the world
Any Melbourne pub with a decent menu will have the much loved ‘chicken parma’ on the menu. Chicken parma is short for chicken parmigiana, a flat piece of chicken breast, crumbed and fried and then topped with tomato paste/sauce, a slice of ham and cheese which is them melted under the grill until the cheese melts, scrumdiddlyumptious!
Pubs are often known for having a great parma and there are even Facebook pages focused on rating chicken parma’s at different pubs and where to get the biggest or best parma in Melbourne.
Australian families will often making them at home. In pubs you’ll generally get a choice of sides usually chips and salad or veggies. When feeding the kids at home we have mash potato and 3 veggies and the kids hoover it down like a great big chicken nugget! So next time you’re in Melbourne, drop into your local pub for a chicken parma, it’s as Victorian as having a pie at the footy!
Vad blir det till middag? – Sweden
By Liliane from My Toronto My World
Every culture has that one dish that is so quintessentially its own. For the Swedish culture that food is without argument the meatball. It’s served at all the holidays like Christmas, Easter and Midsummer but it’s also a regular weekday meal.
It’s pretty much part of your definition as a Swede if you are one. Now you may argue that you’ve had Italian meatballs before you had Swedish meatballs and that’s fine but let me tell you that they are different dishes!
Italians eat theirs with pasta and spaghetti sauce while us Swedes eat ours with potatoes (sometimes mashed), gravy and an unique jam called lingonberry sauce. Our meatballs are smaller and don’t tend to fall apart as easily as the Italian ones.”
Wat eten we vanavond? – Belgium
Beer beef stew with freis (Stoofvlees met frietjes)
By Sharon from Travel Eat Enjoy Repeat
Like the name suggests it is a beef stew made with (Belgian) beer. Everybody in Belgium has its own recipe. The most important ingredients are beef, onions, slices of bread with mustard and ofcourse beer.
The best beer to use is a dark beer like Kasteelbier donker, Leffe Brun, Gouden Carolus Classicor Rochefort 10. I also add some sweeter beer like Rodenbach. It takes a few hours to make and it is even tastier the day after. The fries is necessary to make sure you eat all the sauce of the stew.
खाऊ साठी काय आहे आज जेवणात काय आहे (Aaj Jevnaat Kayy ahe) – Konkanastha Brahmins in Mumbai, India
By Chef Neel from Nilesh Limaye
We are Konkanastha Brahmins from Maharashtra, India; specifically from Mumbai. We eat in a plate called a Thali. Most meals are Vegetarian. All the food is served together and it helps in buliding our appetite. We eat in small
proportions but the tastes are different so it helps satiate all taste buds.
We start with steamed rice which is short grain medium thick, served with dal – yellow lentils tempered with garlic, green chilly, curry leaves, mustard seeds, asafoetida, jeera and turmeric.
Other dishes include seasonal vegetables, chapatis, garlic and peanut chutney, coconut and youghurt chutney, mango pickle and poppadum. And last but not the least, shrikhand or amrakhand which is hung yoghurt flavoured with cardamom and saffron or with mango.
что на обед? – Odessa, Ukraine
By Alex from Citizen Set
It’s an acquired taste, I warn my French-American friend, as he prepares to dig into a traditional Ukrainian-Yiddish dish known as forschmak. This piece of Yiddish-Ukrainian-Odessan culinary history takes me back to a small courtyard in Moldovanka – a working-class neighborhood that used to be home to dock workers.
My grandmother is cleaning fish on the porch and throwing the leftovers to the stray cats. She makes forschmak from cheap, fresh fish and uses filler ingredients like apples, milk, and sometimes nuts.
My family is from Odessa, a city that has a unique cuisine influenced by the Black Sea and the cultures that have lived here. There’s no official record on who created forschmak, but according oral tradition, it was Jewish immigrants who moved to the Black Sea region.
Ukraine is a country with many different nationalities and this paste spread across rye bread, (my favorite is the Russian Borodinski), is the embodiment of a multicultural history. It is filled with umami and brine – a punch of freshness and the Black Sea. Get yours at Bodega2Karla Restaurant and enjoy their traditional Odessa courtyard.
शियारला काय हाय (East Indian Culture, India)
East Indian Sorpotel or Sarapatel
By Uncle Jude from TheWingedFork
Sorpotel or Sarpatel or Sarapatel, is and East Indian dish that makes mouths water anywhere it’s served, no matter how you spell it.
Derived from an age old traditional Portuguese recipe, it is a mix of pork meat, fat and spices that will leave you drooling. Served at weddings or parties, or for almost every event, this traditional dish is not to be missed. It will go well with chitaps, pav or even plain ‘ol rice.
Sumptuous, aren’t they all? If you would like to add something that’s missing, please ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2 thoughts on “What’s for dinner in different cultures (countries)?”
It’s dinner time in my area of the world
All the beautiful pictures of scrumptious food
I would love to try all the different cuisines
Hi Margaret! We loved all these scrumptious dishes from across the planet too. Have a great dinner!