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10 Must-try street foods from around the world

BY Allison Lee

18th May 2023 Food Heroes

10 Must-try street foods from around the world

Street food is found all over the globe in different shapes and flavours—the perfect cure for a grumbling stomach. Here are ten street foods from different countries to try on your next trip

Food goes beyond nutrition that keeps us up and moving; it is something that can unite people, an element that countries take pride in, and a symbol of tradition for many cultures. What is fascinating about gastronomy is that you could hand different chefs from around the world the same ingredients and watch them create completely different dishes.

"You could hand different chefs from around the world the same ingredients and watch them create different dishes"

Savouring the diverse flavours different corners of the world has to offer can be a tantalising experience, but you don’t have to book five-star restaurants to dip your tongue into delicacies. There is something uniquely vibrant yet simple about street foods tucked away in quaint corners, displayed out on bustling streets. Here are ten street foods that will have your taste buds dancing to a symphony of flavours.

1. Malaysian satay

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Satay from MalaysiaCredit: bonchan

Malaysia is a country that prides itself on food, and rightfully so. This is home to the mouth-watering delight known as satay—skewered grilled meats accompanied by a delectable peanut sauce. One bite is enough to have you wanting more. Before you know it, you are indulging in a harmonious blend of spice and sweetness.

2. Jamaican jerk chicken

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Jamaican jerk chickenCredit: bhofack2

Do you claim to be a daredevil when it comes to food? Put your spice tolerance to the test with Jamaican jerk chicken! The chicken is marinated in a spicy paste of garlic, allspice, pepper, five-spice powder, and thyme before being grilled. There is certainly no dish more representative of the hot Jamaican cuisine.

3. South African bunny chow

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - South African Bunny chowCredit: Paul_Brighton

Looking to tone the spiciness down a notch? South Africa’s bunny chow is made from a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with zesty curry, much like a culinary volcano. The simultaneous softness and crunchiness of the bread hit all the right spots—especially after you dip it in the curry!

"The simultaneous softness and crunchiness of the bread hit all the right spots"

4. Polish pierogi

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Polish PierogiCredit: zi3000

Pierogi is here to demolish the notion that dumplings can only be found in Asia. This Polish delicacy is stuffed with cheese, meat, and potatoes and served with a side of sour cream. One try of this and you will be introduced to a brand new comfort food that will warm you right up with vibrant tastes.

5. Canadian poutine

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Canadian poutineCredit: mikeinlondon

Who hasn’t heard of the Canadian poutine? Of course this iconic street food had to make the list! French fries lovers rise up because that is what constitutes this dish, smothered in a thick layer of gravy and topped with cheese curds. If you’re ever on a cheat day, you can’t go wrong with this savoury treat.

6. Chinese xiao long bao

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Chinese xiao long baoCredit: Wirestock

Now, this is “dumpling” to talk “a bao”. The Chinese xiao long bao has come a long way and is beloved by foodies all over the globe. The steamed soup dumplings are filled with a burst of rich broth and tender meat, often enjoyed with a dipping sauce to create the perfect mix of textures and flavours. Just be careful when you take your first bite!

"The Chinese xiao long bao has come a long way and is beloved by foodies all over the globe"

7. Italian arancini

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Italian arancini Credit: Marcus Z-pics

What do you get when you deep-fry rice balls that are filled with gooey cheese and to-die-for ragù? Enter Italy’s arancini, the epitome of balance what with its combination of crispy exterior and creamy interior. Some days, we just need a crunch to satisfy our stomachs and arancini definitely does the trick.

8. Mexican tacos al pastor

Do not be mistaken, for this is not your ordinary taco. The Mexican tacos al pastor is filled with spit-roasted pork, pineapple, cilantro and onions and will have you feeling like that Ratatouille scene with bursting colours and flavours. This dish truly represents the soul of Mexican cuisine.

9. South Korean tteokbokki

Aside from knowing how to produce captivating drama shows, South Korea has also nailed down their street food. Tteokbokki are chewy spicy rice cakes that will become your next addiction. Cooked in a spicy gochujang sauce, this delightful and hearty creation will keep you coming back.

10. Egyptian koshari

10 Must-try street foods from around the world - Egyptian koshariCredit: Tamer Soliman

Ah, yes, the Egyptian national dish. Koshari, though a vegetarian street food, reigns supreme in the country. The dish features a medley of lentils, rice, pasta and tangy tomato sauce that embodies the vibrancy of Egyptian cuisine. Oh, have we mentioned the best part? It is topped with crispy fried onions. It really doesn’t get better than this.

Banner credit: Brostock

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