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Jun 24, 2011 07:03 PM

Popular dishes worldwide

thanks to godslamb I thought it would be cool to get recipes from around the world. maybe someone has already done this but if we could all talk about what we grew up on, recipe wise, it would be really pretty cool. so shareif you will the recipes of your family passed down through the generations.

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  1. For me, it would have to be fried chicken, a much-loved dish in my family, in many parts of the U.S., and adapted by many culinary cultures worldwide.

    2 Replies
      1. re: ROCKLES

        California, originally, now live in Indiana. However, my mom learned to fry chicken when we lived in South Carolina, so I shallow-fry it in her cast iron skillet. Deep-frying is the norm around these parts.

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      1. My wife is part Armenian. At family get togethers her family serves rice pilaf, stuffed grape leaves - sarma (both meat and veggie type with rice and olive oil), steak tartare and shish kebab - lamb, beef and chicken, phyllo spinach triangles - Spinach Beoreg , Baklava - Sweet Walnut Pastry with Filo. Tabouleh and of course cracker bread.

        This site link below has Armenian recipes pretty much as my wife and her family prepares them. I've learnd to cook many of them, also.

        My family came from Britain in the 1600's to Massachusetts, then migrated to New York, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah and finally California. Mom rasied us using the Betty Crocker Cookbook, so nothing too exciting there. ;-).

        5 Replies
        1. re: Antilope

          Nice link: I've bookmarked and now have an Armenian cookbook!! Tnx

            1. re: Antilope

              Antilope thank-you so much for sharing that link. Years ago I attended an engagement party where Sini Kufta was served. I wasn't able to remember the name of the dish so I was delighted to see it photographed at that site and even happier to know I can now make it myself!!

              This is a wonderful resource, thank-you!!

              1. re: Antilope

                Thanks Antilope! I live a block away from the advertiser on the cookbook page, Eastern Lamejun, amidst a large Armenian-American community. Lots of Armenian ingredients available within walking distance. Now I know what to do with them!

                1. re: Brock Lee Robb

                  I wish we lived closer to one. We have to drive about 150 miles (to Fresno, CA) and go to Nina's Bakery or Hye Quality Bakery.

              2. We didn't have recipes in our family.

                We just followed what my mom, or grandmother (rip), did and repeated what they did until we could do it by intuition and feel.

                14 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yeah. No recipe writing going on in my family either. :)

                  But we grew up with pho, kimchi jjigae, kahlbi, fish jjigae, kimchi fried rice, Vietnamese braised caramel catfish. Lots more. Still make them by feel but am making a point to write recipes for all of them by year's end.

                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    Still make them by feel but am making a point to write recipes for all of them by year's end.

                    Really? May I ask why?

                    Part of the reason why I treasure my family "recipes" is no so much the food that is produced from those "recipes" but the special bond I formed with my mom (and my grandmother) as I learned how to make those dishes.

                    It's why now, when I make those family "recipes", they are so special. It's not just that I made a great batch of hand-pulled noodles or dumplings or Zongzi (粽子), it's those memories that they bring back -- memories that not only make me smile, but make me feel just a little tiny bit special inside.

                    I think I would lose that certain je ne sais quoi, if those recipes were simply written down and handed down to the next generation.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Good question, ipse. Couple of reasons:

                      - I used to teach cooking classes and will go back to doing so once I get settled in my new home. In the past, I used a lot of other people's recipes and taught technique and process more than anything else. But I always liked using my own recipes better because it gave me even more ownership of the outcome.

                      - I'm also writing a cookbook and so for the past several months have gotten into the habit of writing down process and measurements, whenever I cook, solely for the purpose of writing recipes. An unexpected byproduct of this endeavor, I think, is that I've become a better cook and teacher because it forces me to think about what a teaspoonful of something really looks and tastes like and how a certain technique affects a certain outcome. As a result, now when people ask me how to make something, I find that the information that comes from the top of my head is much more precise and accurate.

                      - Having those accurate measurements in my head has also made me more efficient and consistent when I repeat a certain dish.

                      I cook with my kids all the time, and it doesn't seem that having a recipe in front of them keeps them from asking questions and interacting with me.

                      And now that you've made me think about it more, while I totally get what you're saying, and have valued and experienced the same in my family, as someone who teaches cooking, maintaining that je ne sais quois is kind of at odds with what I do. :)

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        If we had family recipes, I'd write them down, You don't have to choose between hands on only, with nothing written and being completely hands off, with it written. You never know what the future holds and what if it failed to get passed down? People move, families change. I'm envious of my husband's sister's in laws family because they do the family dumplings where everyone gets together and makes them for the whole day. But, the last generation has lived farther away and see it only on occasion. They're not as interested right now in it. If their grandparents passed away, I think it would get lost. And, one day, I think they'll appreciate it.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Totally agree, I've been recording recipes for much-loved dishes of family and friends for some time now. I don't know how many stories I've heard of folks who wished they'd asked for or documented a recipe of a dish that brings back cherished memories. Folks develop an interest in cooking at different stages in their lives and unfortunately, their friends and loved ones may not be there to help them when they do want to make the dish or, have someone make it for them.

                          I know mr bc has such fond recollections of his Grandmother's pies and dinners however he never thought to ask for recipes since he had no interest in or aptitude for, making them. Of course I'd love to make them for him . . . sadly the recipes went with her.

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            That is sad about the pies. Stories like that are what convinced me that writing them down can be important.

                            It reminds me of my friend who's grandmother lived far away and she remembered her irish soda bread, on the rare occasions she'd visit. Her mother never learned it. On one visit, she measured everything (her grandmother was a pinch of this type person) accurately. Her grandmother passed away shortly and how she can recreate it.

                            1. re: chowser

                              That's a lovely story chowser, so glad she has that recipe.

                          2. re: chowser

                            chowser and THewat,

                            Part of what makes a family recipe special and unique is not so much the list of ingredients and measurements but how those ingredients and measurements are passed down from generation to generation. It is the very act of one generation teaching (nurturing?) another generation how to do something that makes it *so* special.

                            Let me give an example.

                            Dumpling skins.

                            Making the dough for dumpling skins is pretty basic. Water and flour. 1:3 ratio (give or take).

                            About as hard and complicated as boiling water. But that's not what makes a family recipe unique.

                            The quiddity of a "family recipe" lies in the family part.

                            So going back to my dumpling skin example, it's the act of, in my case, my mother telling me how much water to add, when to add it, how much flour to add, when to start rolling, how long to rest and in what (a plastic or steel bowl, etc.), and how to pinch just the right size ball to roll out, and how to use your rolling pin in one hand and twirl the dough in the other hand to make the perfect dough disk with a nice little "hump" in the middle.

                            And then when done, having mom tell you that all of your dumpling skins look like something a dog stepped on ... and then having her make you do the whole batch over!

                            And don't even get me started on how I could never make the perfect size and shape dumplings to satisfy my mom's standards. [sigh]

                            You can't put that stuff on paper, esp. the salty language my mom would use ...

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Love this, ipse. Sounds like something from an Amy Tan novel. :)

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Undoubtedly, the best way to learn is as you describe, with all its ups & downs. Sadly, many of us have no noodle makers who will give us the time your mother gave to you & you give to others in your family. We often rely on written descriptions, no matter how pale in comparison.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Yes, in an ideal world, we'd all learn from grandmothers, or someone who grew up learning that from a loving source. OTOH, can you say that people who don't grandparents, or access to someone who can show them hands on how to do things, shouldn't learn from recipes? I've always said I wish I had an Italian grandmother who could teach me hands on how to make pasta. But, I could stick with that sentiment, or do the next best thing which is read Lidia's books and learn what I can. I learned to make bagels from Peter Reinhart. My own grandmother lived Taiwan and had servants so never cooked. The other dysfunctional and didn't cook. They were half a world away. My own mother made do and learned on her own in the US, coming up w/ what she could w/ American ingredients. So, you were lucky enough to learn in an ideal situation. But, don't take away the opportunity for those of us who couldn't and need to learn the stuff on paper.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Hi ipsedixit. I'm jumping in to this conversation (uninvited) with a story that illustrates why I'm grateful to the many good cooks that choose to write their recipes. I have a close friend from a family of Rumanian Jews. She has a clear memory of watching her grandmother stretch a tennis-ball-sized piece of dough across the entire dining room table to make strudel. That recipe did not survive in my friend's (non-baking) family, but much to my delight, turned up as "Splendid Strudel" in Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook. The look on my friend's mother's face when she realized we had recreated, to the best of our ability, this loved food was precious, and I'm indebted to whoever wrote it down.

                              3. re: inaplasticcup

                                I would love the recipe for the caramel catfish

                                1. re: ROCKLES

                                  Gladly, Rockles. I'll make sure to come back here and post next time I take measurements. :)

                            2. Hong Siu Yuk (Braised meat with soy sauce) is one of a fairly popular Chinese dish with dozens of variations . Here is the easiest and simplest one I've adapted over time and i like it so much.

                              500g pork belly, boiled in boiling water for 3 minutes to remove the dirt and set aside
                              1 short cinnamon stick (long as a thumb)
                              1 tablespoon sugar
                              4 tablespoon light soy sauce ( Sang Chao) + 1 tablespoon soy sauce (Lo Chao)
                              1 large cup chicken broth or just water

                              Prepare a large pot, put in everything and bring to a boil. Turn to the low heat and let it simmer for 3 - 5 hours. I often do it in a rice cooker and a slow cooker should work fine too.

                              After the meat is done, place a wok over low heat and stir fry a few tablespoons of sugar on it, keep stirring it until lighting brown. Then transfer the meat and its sauce from the rice cooker to the wok. Lightly stir it and cook until the sauce becomes sticky.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: goute

                                This is so delicious with some steamed rice and braised or stir fried greens.