Food is a common language that appeals to all of our senses and unites individuals. The variety of cuisine around the globe is truly astounding, and it is one of the few things that we all share. I’ll be sharing my top ten foods in this blog article, which never fail to tempt my taste buds.
Each of these ten foods, which range from savory dishes to sweet treats, has a unique spot in my heart, and I’m thrilled to share them with you. While some of these meals are well-known and well-liked, others might be less well-known and I am excited to share some Lebanese meals that I grew up with. It is hard to rate these different dishes as my taste always depends on what I am craving for each meal. However, each of them is delicious in its own special way.
Therefore, whether you’re a cuisine enthusiast seeking out new culinary experiences or simply someone who likes to indulge in delicious food. Get ready for your mouths to water and let’s get started!
Overview of Dishes:
- Surf and Turf
- Mac & Cheese
- Mexican Bowl
- Truffle Pasta
- Shish Barak
- Acai Bowl
- Grape Leaves
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Bubble Tea
1. Surf and Turf
Two of the most delectable and indulgent foods—seafood and steak—are combined in the classic dish known as “surf and turf.” As the name implies, it’s a dish that combines the best of the land and the sea. For someone who is indecisive like me, this dish is easy to call my number one as it holds the best of both worlds!
Surf and turf is typically comprised of a juicy, tender sirloin and fresh seafood, like lobster, shrimp or scallops. I personally prefer a butter-glazed lobster tail for the “surf” portion of the dish. The seafood is often boiled or grilled and presented with melted butter, while the steak is typically cooked to perfection on the barbecue or in a pan. I always request my steak to be cooked medium.
Surf and turf is a unique dish because of the contrast of flavors and textures. It’s impossible to resist the mouthwatering combination of the delicate sweetness of the seafood and the rich, savory flavor of the steak. This dish will most certainly satisfy the hunger you have and potentially put you in a food coma, but its most definitely worth the flavor you get to savor!
2. Mac & Cheese
A traditional comfort meal loved by people of all ages is macaroni and cheese. It is a straightforward, but delicious meal made of macaroni pasta and a rich, creamy cheese sauce.
Usually, after being boiled until tender, the spaghetti is combined with a cheese sauce made of butter, milk, and shredded cheese. The cheese sauce can be customized by adding extra ingredients like breadcrumbs, jalapenos, or lobster if you’re feeling luxe. You can choose from a range of cheeses, including cheddar, Gouda, or Parmesan; the more the better.
Even though mac and cheese is frequently associated as an easy ready meal for children or many college students, it’s also a popular menu item at many gourmet restaurants and food trucks. However, I do believe this is a dish best enjoyed homemade. Here’s a great recipe to try out for yourself : Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
Whether you prefer your mac and cheese simple and classic or with extra ingredients, it’s a dish that’s sure to please your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
3. Mexican Bowl
A Mexican bowl is a vibrant and delicious dish that combines the bold and spicy flavors of Mexican cuisine with healthy and wholesome ingredients. This is my go to meal in between studying or for night in as it’s a customizable dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients, but usually includes rice, beans, vegetables, and protein.
The bowl consists of a variety of the following:
Base: white, brown rice, or lettuce
Protein: Grilled chicken, beef or shrimp; vegetarian or vegan options: tofu, black or pinto beans
Toppings: fresh vegetables such as peppers, onions, tomatoes and avocado, fajita roasted vegetables, corn, extra cheese, lettuce, cilantro
Sauces: pico de gallo, red or green salsa, hot sauce of any choice, sour cream, guacamole, or queso
The result is a healthy, tasty and delicious bowl that is both satisfying and nutritious. The combination of spicy and salty flavors with fresh and healthy ingredients makes the Mexican bowl a popular dish for anyone to enjoy.
4. Truffle Pasta
Once I see truffle in front of a menu item at a restaurant, I am immediately hooked. Paired with pasta, this dish is truly a match made in heaven. This dish is a favorite among pasta lovers(myself), and it’s easy to see why. Truffle pasta is made by cooking the pasta until soft and then tossing it with a rich, creamy sauce made from cream, parmesan cheese, garlic and white truffle oil. Truffle oil adds a typical and earthy taste of truffles to the pasta, making this dish a real pleasure. The dish is topped off with black truffle shavings which is my favorite part, personally. One of the best things about truffle pasta is the simplicity of the dish. With just a few quality ingredients, you can create a restaurant-grade meal that’s sure to impress. The creamy sauce and earthy flavor of the truffles create a decadent and satisfying dish perfect for a special occasion or a cozy evening.
Truffle pasta is also a modifiable dish that can be adjusted to suit your taste. You can use any pasta you like, from spaghetti to fettuccine, and adjust the amount of truffle oil or shavings to your taste. You can also add other ingredients like mushrooms to make the upgrade the taste.
Some places famous for their truffle pasta in New York include Mamo and Cecconi’s. This is a dish that is sure to impress and delight and is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re a pasta lover or a truffle fanatic, this dish is a must-try and you won’t regret it.
5. Shish Barak
Shish Barak is a traditional Middle Eastern dish consisting of small dough pockets filled with seasoned minced meat, usually lamb or beef. The dumplings are then cooked in a rich, creamy yogurt sauce and garnished with fresh herbs and spices. Shish barak dough is made by kneading a mixture of flour, water and salt until a smooth, elastic dough is formed. The dough is then rolled out and cut into small rounds, which are filled with a mixture of minced meat, onions and spices. The dumplings are then folded into a crescent, dumpling shape and cooked in a yogurt sauce flavored with garlic, mint and lemon juice.
The result is a delicious, aromatic dish that is full of flavor. The dumplings are cooked in the yogurt sauce, creating a warm, satisfying dish perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. Shish Barak is a popular dish in many Lebanese households like my own. You can’t find this dish everywhere, as I have never had it anywhere but homemade from my mother or grandma. This is my favorite dish to come home to on a cold winter day as you can drink the soupy-like yogurt sauce along with enjoying the texture of the warm dumplings. Shish barak is definitely a family favorite dish and takes me back to my childhood roots where we would help my mother lay out the dough and prepare the dumplings. If you are ever in the vicinity of a middle eastern family or restaurant, it is most certainly a dish worth trying out!
Sushi and sashimi are two of my favorite foods for many reasons. They are both perfect refreshing meals that are most enjoyable in warmer weathers. Each piece of sushi or sashimi is carefully prepared with the highest quality ingredients, resulting in a visually stunning and delicious culinary experience. Sushi usually consists of rice topped with various ingredients such as raw fish, vegetables, and avocado, and is often wrapped in seaweed. Sashimi, on the other hand, is simply sliced raw fish served without rice or other accompaniments. One of the reasons I love sushi and sashimi is that they offer a unique combination of flavors and textures. The soft, buttery texture of the raw fish goes perfectly with the chewy, slightly sweet rice and salty seaweed. Adding other ingredients like wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger adds flavor and complexity. I personally enjoy eating ginger between different sushi rolls to refresh my palette.
Another reason I love sushi and sashimi is that they are both healthy choices. Raw fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other essential nutrients, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Something about raw fish brings me so much gratification. Whether you’re enjoying a fine sushi dinner at a top restaurant or a quick lunch at a local sushi bar, picking up each piece with chopsticks and dipping it in soy sauce is both rewarding and enjoyable.
Some of my favorite sushi spots are Sakana in New Brunswick, NJ and a more upscale restaurant in London, available in other locations called Sushi Samba. In all, sushi and sashimi are delicious, healthy and enjoyable culinary experiences that I always look forward to.
7. Acai Bowls
Acai bowls have become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy and delicious breakfast or snack. These colorful bowls are made from frozen acai berries mixed with other fruits like banana, strawberries or blueberries to create a thick smoothie-like base. Acai berry is a small purple fruit from Brazil known for its high content of antioxidants and other nutrients. It’s also low in sugar and calories, making it a great option for anyone who wants to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Once the acai base is made, it is topped with many other nutritious ingredients such as granola, sliced fruit, shredded coconut and honey. I find that a drizzle peanut butter, nutella, or honey complete the flavors in the bowl. Toppings not only add flavor and texture, but also provide additional nutrients such as fiber and protein.
One of the reasons I love acai bowls is that they are so versatile. You can adjust the base and fillings to suit your taste preferences or nutritional needs, whether you want a sweeter or a saltier bowl. They are a great way to start the day or give me a boost of energy after a workout. The combination of fruit, granola and other toppings provides a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats that will keep you full and energized for hours. The sweet, fruity base and crunchy toppings create the perfect balance of flavors and textures that are both satisfying and enjoyable.
If I do not make them myself, some of my favorite places I have ordered acai bowls are the infamous Playa Bowls, Frutta Bowls, and Pura Vida. When in doubt, an acai bowl never fails to provide me with a refreshing, nutritious meal that I always look forward to. Whether you enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or a snack, it’s a great way to nourish your body and satisfy your cravings.
8. Grape Leaves
In Arabic, “wara2 3anab”
Lebanese grape leaves are a popular Middle Eastern dish made from grape leaves stuffed with rice, a mixture of herbs and spices. The filling also consists of contain minced meat, usually either lamb or beef. Grape leaves are prepared by first laying out the leaves on the counter top. Then, you place a finger size amount of the rice and meat mixture in the middle of each leaf. The next step is to fold in the sides of the leaf and to tightly roll them up to your satisfaction. The stuffed grape leaves are then boiled in a pot with some water and lemon juice. Lemon juice adds a tangy flavor to the dish. In the pot, there are also larger pieces of lamb added. When ready to serve, someone with more strength must add a serving tray on top of the pot in order to flip the dish over with perfection.
Lebanese grape leaves are usually served as a hot main meal or as part of a mezze plate, which is a selection of small dishes as an appetizer or main course. This dish is considered a delicacy in Middle Eastern cultures as the preparation is time consuming and each piece is truly made with love. Lebanese people usually eat grape leaves with a piece of pita bread to savor each bite.
Growing up, this dish was prepared on special occasions or holidays as it holds a special place in our hearts. Plus, stuffing and rolling grape leaves can bring together a family as I had always helped my mother and grandma with the process. All in all, Lebanese grape leaves are a remarkable, delicious dish that has become a beloved favorite of many people around the world.
9. Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken fried rice is a popular dish that combines the flavors of fried rice and seasoned chicken. This delicious dish belongs to Chinese cuisine and is served all around the world. For this recipe, shredded chicken is cooked in a wok with oil and spices such as garlic and ginger. Then vegetables like sliced onions, carrots, peas and green onions are added and fried until soft. The cooked rice is then added to the wok and mixed with the chicken and vegetables. In the center of this combination of ingredients you can cook two to three eggs and fold them into the whole pan. You can add soy sauce, sesame oil and other spices to taste.
One of the best things about chicken fried rice is its versatility. You can add any vegetables like broccoli or peppers and adjust the spices to your taste. It’s also a great way to use up leftover rice and cooked chicken, making it the perfect weeknight meal. I always find myself resorting to make this dish as it is easy to curate from household ingredients and satisfies my craving for something new and different. It provides protein from chicken, complex carbohydrates from rice, and various vitamins and minerals from vegetables. This is a great option for anyone looking for a satisfying, filling meal that won’t break the bank.Whether you order it at a restaurant or make it at home, this classic dish is sure to satisfy your craving for something delicious and comforting.
Be on the look out for my step-by-step video tutorial blog post on how to make this dish!
10. Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a popular drink that originated in Taiwan. It’s a refreshing blend of tea, milk (or a milk-free alternative) and chewy tapioca pearls or other toppings. This drink has quickly become a global phenomenon, with countless flavors and varieties available.
To make bubble tea, tea is boiled and mixed (if desired) with milk and sweetener. The drink is then poured over ice and chewy tapioca pearls or other toppings such as fruit jelly, popping boba or herb jelly are added. The drink is served with a wide straw so you can enjoy tapioca pearls or other toppings with the tea.
One of the best things about bubble tea is the endless variety of flavors and toppings available. You’ll find traditional tea flavors like thai, green and oolong tea, as well as fruit flavors like strawberry, mango and lychee. You can also choose from a variety of milks, including dairy-free options like almond or soy milk. Another great thing about bubble tea is the texture. Chewy tapioca pearls bring a fun, playful element to the drink that you can’t find in any other drink. The combination of pearls and tea is both refreshing and satisfying, making it the perfect drink for any occasion. Bubble tea is always a top choice of mine when I am craving a sweet beverage on-the-go. It’s a fun and refreshing drink that can be customized to your taste. Whether you’re a tea lover or just looking for something new to try, bubble tea is definitely a drink you won’t regret trying.