3 delicious foods from across the world that you can cook at home today

Alright folks, lets not beat around the bush here. Many of us right now are stuck at home. Closed borders, cancelled holidays, you name it. Summer is rolling in, and many of you probably miss going to restaurants, or are bemoaning an axed holiday trip.

We here at Travelsforfoods can´t change that, sadly, but we want to try and help at least alleviate this weird situation a bit. And what cheers one up faster than some delicious food? (well, friends or family, i guess, but those are probably not allowed to visit, so food it is)

For todays blog, I started searching for some nice recipes from all over the world that are tasty, fun and easy to make. This way, we will try and recreate a bit of that traveling feeling that so many of us miss right now.

I found 3 recipes that I would like to share with you today, and i really hope you will like them as much as I do!

1. Yaki Onigiri (Japanese grilled rice balls)

two Yaki Onigiri, japanese grilled rice balls, arranged on a plate
Yaki Onigiri, ready to be snacked on

Yaki Onigiri are grilled rice balls. Proving that Germans aren’t the only people who favor literal naming conventions; Yaki means “grilled”, and Onigiri means “rice ball”. With introductions out of the way, this is how you make them:

First off, you need Japanese sticky rice, about 65 grams per onigiri, a few tablespoons of soy sauce, and sesame seeds if you like. Optionally, fillings like small vegetable chunks or cooked fish can be added if you so choose. You will also need some kind of oven-safe container. To form the rice, you can use a specialized Onigiri rice mould, but that’s optional.

Next, prepare the sticky rice as you normally would (or follow this handy recipe) and preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Mould your rice into a ball or pyramid shape, using your hands or some spoons (don´t burn yourself, please!), compacting it as much as possible so that it does not fall apart like most of our holiday plans did.

Tip: Make your hands wet before forming the Onigiri to keep the rice from sticking to your hands overmuch.

At this point you can add the filling if you´d like to have any. To do that, simply make a small dent in the middle of the rice, stuff the filling in, and cover it with rice. Be careful not to put in too much, or the Onigiri will come apart.

Now, grease an oven pan or other heat-resistant container with a bit of cooking oil, add the onigiri and chuck it in the oven for a total of 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, carefully turn your Onigiri so both sides are cooked evenly.

Now, keep the oven on, but take the Onigiri out for a short moment, and cover them evenly in soy sauce with a cooking brush. Once that is done, they go back into the oven for around 3 minutes. For the best results, turn them after 1 ½ minutes.

And there you have it. Now all you need to do is take them out, sprinkle on some sesame seeds if you like those, and enjoy!

2. Frango a Passarinho (Brazilian fried chicken bites)

Frango a Passarinho, Brazilian fried chicken bites
Frango a Passarinho (probably looks kinda like that)

This mouth-watering appetizer/side dish from Brazil, whose name translates literally to “little birdie chicken”, is ideal for snacking on while watching movies or playing games. Netflix and chicken, if you want to say so. Bad puns aside, I think it sounds real damn tasty, and I can´t wait to share this recipe with you!

What you need is:

  • Lime juice from 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder
  • 2.5 kg of chicken meat (whatever parts you prefer), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 120 grams of flour
  • 8 large garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • Enough vegetable oil to fry all the chicken in
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Fresh herbs like parsley (or whichever ones you enjoy most :P)
  • 2 large Ziploc bags, or other containers in which you can mix stuff

Note: This whole thing will take around and hour to 1 ½ hours to make; with 30 to 60 minutes of that being inactive time in which the chicken pieces sit around in the marinade; the actual “working” time is around 20 or 30 minutes.

So, first off you need to mix the lime juice, mustard, salt and pepper to make a marinade. Do this inside the Ziploc bag or a bowl you have a lid for. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, and mix it thoroughly (cut into the chicken bits just a tad with a knife beforehand to make sure the marinade soaks into them well). Put a lid on it/zip the bag shut and let it rest at room temperature for half an hour to an hour.

After that time is up, mix – in a second bag or bowl – the flour, paprika powder and one teaspoon of salt and pepper each. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade, and throw ´em into the flour mixture. Mix thoroughly until all the chicken pieces are well covered in what will become the crust.

Now, heat the vegetable oil to 180 degrees and – wait, how are you supposed to know that? I don’t have a cooking thermometer at home, do you? Okay nevermind, you just go and get the oil hot like you normally would when frying stuff, like, just nice and hot. Throw in the chicken pieces (after shaking the excess flour mixture off) and fry them nicely. Unless you have a massive pan, this will not be possible at once, so do it in batches to make sure the pan isn’t overfilled. It will take around 8 to 12 minutes per batch for the chicken to be well done, depending on which pieces you use (thinner pieces take less time, thicker pieces take more. Duh)

While the chicken does its thing, heat some olive oil in a smaller pan on medium heat, add the minced garlic and just lightly brown it. Watch it carefully, this stuff can easily end up burned! Once it is brown, take it off the heat. When the chicken is done, throw it into a bowl and heap the browned garlic on top.

Note: I strongly caution against using your fingers to eat this. Seriously. This stuff is tasty, but its guaranteed to give you oily fingers.

3. Ghraybeh (Syrian sugar cookies) 

Okay, so I wanted to post a picture here. But good luck trying to find a free stock photo of a specific Syrian dessert. So, you know what? I guess I’ll have to bake them myself and take a picture of that. I wanted to try them out soon anyway, so win-win, I guess. In the meantime I have no picture though, sorry!

Are you in for some really simple, really tasty, decadently sweet cookies? Then Ghraybeh is just what you need! Seemingly designed to make most of the more health-focused food bloggers suffer by their presence alone, these things need only 3 ingredients:

  • 500 grams of flour
  • 300 grams of butter (at room temperature)
  • 250 grams of powdered sugar
  • Halved pistachio nuts or almonds for decoration

Oh yes, you have read it right, this dish is over 50% pure fat and sugar. Is it healthy? No. Do I care? Not in the slightest! 😀

To make this amazingly irresponsible dish, first preheat your oven to 160 degrees.

Beat your butter for two minutes (basically you just mix and mulch it with a mixer or a fork to make it more creamy). Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat it until its creamy.

Add the flour and continue beating it until it becomes a nice, even and well-mixed dough. Next, put the dough into the refrigerator for half an hour.

After the time is up, get the dough back out of the fridge and shape it into small balls which you then flatten. If you wish to add a nut or an almond, now´s the time. To do so, you simply press a piece of nut or almond into the middle of the proto-cookie.

Now, refrigerate them again for 20 minutes or so, to make sure they don’t fall apart when baking, then bake them in your oven for 8 to 15 minutes.

Be careful when taking them out, they can have a somewhat sandy consistency especially when hot. Ideally just leave em on the tray you cooked them on until it has cooled and use something like a fork or such to lift them up.

These things are usually served next to coffee or tea, I can only presume as the baked alternative to putting any sugar into the coffee or tea itself.

And there you have it, a small round of “Taste the world”, but from home. I really hope you enjoyed reading and hope that you felt like trying a recipe or two yourself! Feel free to tell us how that went, or what you think of this article in the comments below, or share it with whomever you think would also enjoy it. 🙂