10 of the best must-try national dishes from around the world

One of the very best things about travelling the world is the amazing dishes you discover along the way. But there some that you simply can’t afford to miss. Our round-up of the world’s top ten national dishes is a guide to some of our planet’s finest recipes. Time to get tasting.

Poutine, Canada

It’s definitely not the healthiest dish on the list, but poutine, the Canadian national dish originating from Québec, is certainly up there when it comes to flavour.

The recipe is pretty simple, just crispy French fries, cheese curds and gravy, but it’s one of those recipes you just won’t find anywhere else. There are also lots of variations of this Canadian classic with some including added bacon, onions, and even a fried egg topper. Yum.

Ceviche, Peru

Ceviche has been adopted by lots of Latin American nations, in particular, Mexico, but this healthy, light dish is wholeheartedly Peruvian, and the country has more variations of the dish than anywhere else.

Essentially ceviche is raw fish cured using salt and lime juice. But the story doesn’t stop there, this delicious mixture is combined with chilli, coriander, raw onion and served with sweet potato and corn. Many different fish species are used but firm white fish seems to work best.

Feijoada, Brazil

Although popular in Portugal, and many of the nation’s former colonies too, this rich stew really comes into its own in Brazil where it holds the title as the country’s national dish.

The dish is based around pork, beef, and beans and served with white rice. Most recipes combine pork shoulder, pork ribs, smoked sausages, chorizo, black beans, garlic and lots of herbs and spices to create a very moreish and hearty stew.

Pot-au-feu, France

With French cuisine famous for leading the way in high-end gastronomy, you’d expect the country’s national dish to be rather fancy, but you’d be wrong. France’s national dish actually has very humble beginnings.

This delicious beefy broth combines tasty cuts of beef with bone marrow – in the bone, hearty vegetables, parsley, thyme, other aromatics and a choice of meats from garlic sausage to veal breast. This savoury feast is meant to be eaten in stages, starting with bone marrow on toast!

Bulgogi, South Korea

A feast for carnivores, Korean Bulgogi is a celebration of steak. The beef, the star of the show, after being marinated, is grilled to bring out the most amazing flavour.

Along with the beef are a number of tasty extras including crisp vegetables, tasty herbs like mint, and Korean favourite perilla, as well as a range of sauces. All of the ingredients are wrapped in a fresh lettuce leaf and, as with tradition, consumed in one bite.

Ful Medames, Egypt

This ancient, traditional Egyptian dish is thought to be as old as the Pharaohs. Made using fava beans, the dish is eaten all over Egypt at all times of day and usually just referred to as fūl.

This sumptuous dish is a mixture of cooked fava beans, vegetable oil, aromatic cumin, chopped parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice, chilies and other herbs and spices. It tends to be served with an accompaniment of hard boiled eggs.

Bobotie, South Africa

A bit like a combination of a British shepherd’s pie and a Greek moussaka, this intensely flavoured dish combines succulent minced lamb with a creamy, eggy topping.

The lamb is combined with curry spices, dried fruit and lots of herbs and spices before being topped with a mixture of beaten eggs and cream and baked in the oven. This rich meaty recipe is the perfect partner to a nice glass of South African Shiraz.

Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica

Jamaica’s national dish utilises a strange fruit you're not likely to have laid eyes on before. Originating from Ghana, ackee grows on a large tree and can be highly toxic if not picked at exactly the right time.

The yellow flesh, which looks a little like scrambled eggs, is combined with another Jamaican favourite, saltfish. This dried white fish is rehydrated overnight and combined with the ackee, chopped onions, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, sweet peppers and other spices to create a dish bursting with sunshine.

Kibbeh, Lebanon

Lebanon’s national dish a celebration of minced meat, and local staple bulgur wheat. Served with yoghurt, lemon juice, and warm pitta bread, these crispy dumplings are utterly delicious.

The dough, made from minced meat, usually lamb, beef or goat, chopped mint, cumin and bulgur wheat, is filled with more meat, lots of chopped parsley, pine nuts, spices, and onions before being deep fried to perfection.

Kothu Roti, Sri Lanka

Kothu Roti is an unusual street food dish you’ve probably never heard of. A hugely popular meal in Sri Lanka, the dish utilises roti flat bread chopped to resemble something more like pasta or risotto.

Along with the rotis, the mixture usually contains a chicken or vegetable curry sauce, fried onions, eggs, chilli, ginger and a wide range of other spices. It made sound slightly off the wall, but this interesting dish is packed full of flavour.

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