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12 of the Most Comforting Comfort Foods Around the World

No matter where you’re from, sometimes the only thing that can make you feel better is a nice, warm bowl of whatever your momma makes you when you’re feeling down. Predictably, this manifests itself in different ways across the world. Here are 12 examples of delicious comfort food around the globe that’ll make you want to plan a worldwide tour ASAP.

1. Poutine // Canada

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Poutine is one of the most addictive dishes in existence. Composed of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds, the dish originates in the Canadian province of Quebec. Many people call poutine “heart attack in a bowl,” which, based on its components, is a pretty accurate statement. Luckily, the poutine craze has extended to the United States, so there are plenty of places to get your fix.

2. Pão de Queijo // Brazil

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Pão de Queijo involves two of our favorite food groups, cheese and bread, so we’re hooked already. Essentially, pão de queijo is a starchy bread made with tapioca, eggs, milk, and cheese, that is oftentimes stuffed with more cheese or meat. The rolls are known for being a little crispy on the outside, and very chewy and soft on the inside, so you could say they’re everything we ever dreamed of and more.

3. Cha Siu Bao // China

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If you’ve ever went out to get some dim sum, chances are you have experienced the deliciousness that is cha siu bao. Also known as barbecue pork buns, these babies are made with a soft dough filled with pork tenderloin and are usually steamed to order and served with a number of different sauces like hoisin, oyster sauce, sesame or soy. These steamed buns are one of the many highlights of Cantonese cuisine.

4. Chilaquiles // Mexico

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Chilaquiles are usually served for breakfast, but the dish is so comforting we’d eat it for any meal. The best part about chilaquiles is that they’re pretty simple, so you could easily make them at home. The main component is fried corn tortillas cooked with some sort of salsa or mole. Then, the tortillas are topped with a variety of yummy goodies, like pulled chicken or carnitas, queso fresco, refried beans, crema, and eggs. In other words, pretty much everything we love in life.

5. Khichdi // India

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Khichdi is a dish that utilizes three main staples in Indian cuisine: rice, lentils, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and curry. In addition to being delicious, khichdi is a great comfort food because it’s fairly easy to digest, making it a meal of choice when your tum tum isn’t feeling its best. Plus, you only need one pot and a stove to create it, making it one of the easier dishes on this list to concoct in your own home.

6. Pierogies // Poland

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Pierogies are a type of dumpling from Poland that are stuffed with basically anything you could ever want in a meal, like meat, cheese, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and onions. Some people love pierogies so much they’ve created sweet renditions, too. First step in making these babies is the dough, of course. Then once the dough is stuffed, each pierogi is pan-fried to a golden brown on the stove. We’re in love.

7. Moussaka // Greece

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The easiest way to describe moussaka is like a Greek version of lasagna, except instead of pasta sheets, the dish is made with thinly sliced layers of eggplant. Each piece of eggplant is sauteed separately, and then placed into a casserole dish in one layer on the bottom of the pan. It’s then topped with lamb, garlic, spices, onion, and sometimes chopped potatoes. To continue the assembly, add another layer of eggplant and alternate with the toppings until all pieces have been used. Then comes time for the best part: you get to cover the eggplant in all of its glory with bechamel sauce before placing it in the oven to cook. It’s as good as it sounds.

9. Spaghetti alla Carbonara // Italy

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It’s pretty impossible to go wrong when pasta and pancetta or guanciale are involved. Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a pasta from Italy that is native to Roman cuisine. Once cooked, the pasta is tossed with the sauteed pork and parmesan cheese. Contrary to popular belief, this dish actually does not require heavy cream – if you go to a restaurant that includes cream in their carbonara, it’s probably not legit. After the pasta is fully incorporated with the pancetta and cheese mixture, it’s placed on a plate and topped with an egg yolk, which you then pop and mix throughout the dish for creaminess. This last step depends on who’s making the dish – some cooks will combine the parmesan and egg together before tossing with the pasta rather than serving the yolk as a garnish, but to each their own.

10. Shepherd’s Pie // Ireland

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Shepherd’s Pie is probably the most genius way to get children to eat vegetables. Cooked in a casserole dish, the base of Shepherd’s Pie contains ground beef or lamb and vegetables like carrots, peas, and corn that have been precooked in a skillet. This mixture is then topped with creamy mashed potatoes and thrown in the oven to bake until the taters reach a nice golden brown. Leave it to the Irish to know how to master meat and potatoes.

11. Beef Bourguignon // France


The French may be the champions of comfort food, and beef bourguignon is here to prove it. This is a hefty stew that includes bacon, red wine, and flavorful herbs like thyme, bay leaf, and parsley. We’re not gonna lie, this dish takes a pretty long time to make – over an hour of cook time in the oven alone – but your beef will be so tender and rich you’ll forget about all the hours you slaved over it in the kitchen. Just don’t forget to serve it with even more red wine.

12. Pho // Vietnam

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Pho has magical powers. Seriously, it feels like it cures hangovers, the common cold, and rainy day blues. This stuff has been our saving grace on more than one occasion. We’re not sure whether it’s the unctuous beef broth or the meat or the rice noodles, bean sprouts, and other accoutrements, but this Vietnamese dish is one of the most soothing additions to our diet and we can’t imagine what our lives would be like without it.

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How To Make A Red Curry Pork Belly Corn Dog

The corn dog can be a tricky dish to master. Sometimes, you get lucky and find yourself holding the crispiest, most delicious piece of deep fried heaven on Earth. And other times, you’ll wind up with soggy, 99-cent mystery-meat on a stick from a lackluster carnival. There’s no in-between.

Case in point: Keith Prante’s mouth-watering recipe for Red Curry Pork Belly Corn Dog. Dipped and deep fried in a bomb all-natural Red Curry Sauce from World Foods (you can find their sauces near you here), it is superb to say the least and is definitely going to be setting a new standard for breaded meats everywhere.

With that cured-and-curried pork belly on the inside and sweet, golden-brown breading on the outside, this bad boy will take your tastebuds on a carnival ride of their own. Trust us—the proof is in the pork.

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Photo by Pete Pham

INGREDIENTS

6 oz Pork Belly

1 jar of World Foods Red Curry Sauce (available at Sprouts and Whole Foods)

8 oz Coconut milk

2 oz chopped cilantro

1 cup pancake mix

½ cup cornmeal

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 qts frying oil

1 corn dog stick

Pinch of salt

Pinch of baking soda

Curing Recipe

2 1⁄2 tbsp kosher salt

1 1⁄2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp caraway seed

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1) Cut pork belly into a 1”x4”x1” wiener and cure overnight (see above recipe).

2) Fry cured pork belly in hot oil (375F) until very crispy. Place “Corn Dog” stick into pork belly length-wise, and dip into Red Curry sauce. Let pork fully cool.

3) Once cooled, dip the curried pork belly into thick batter and fry. When frying, hold the corn dog in oil briefly to avoid batter sticking to bottom of fryer. Cook until golden brown.

4) Remove from oil and let cool. CAUTION: food will be very hot.

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How To Turn Green Curry Carnitas Tamales Into A Pie

If you’re familiar with tamales—and we sincerely hope you are—you know that traditionally, they’re usually prepared around the holidays or for celebrating a special occasion (though we’ll gladly accept a tamale anytime, any place). What you may not be familiar with is the tamale pie.

A tamale pie has the flavorful power of a thousand regular tamales, give or take. And when you’ve got the power of a Green Curry Carnitas Tamale Pie in your hands—you’re basically a god. We’re giving you the gift of almost-immortality with this heavenly recipe for Green Curry Carnitas Tamale Pie, devised by Chef Keith Prante.

The key ingredient that really makes the dish out-of-this-world is a rich, all-natural Thai Green Curry cooking sauce from World Foods (you can find this and/or more of their sauces here).

Be careful who you share it with, though. You don’t want this kind of power getting into the wrong hands—aka, any hands other than your own!

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Photo by Pete Pham

INGREDIENTS

3 lbs Pork Butt

2 qts Dr. Pepper soda

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp curry powder

2 cups cotija cheese

2 bottles of World Foods Thai Green Curry Cooking Sauce (available at Sprouts and Whole Foods)

Banana leaves

Salt and pepper

Basic Masa Dough (yield: 7 cups)

4½ cups masa harina, such as Maseca

3¾ cups cold water

1½ cups cold lard or vegetable shortening

1 tbsp kosher salt

SUPPLIES

Saran wrap

Aluminum foil

Roasting pan

Deep dish baking pan (9”x13”)

Shallow cooking sheet

Part I – Prepping the Carnitas

1) Sear well-seasoned Pork Butt in hot sauté pan until golden brown on all sides. Add in deep roasting pan with soda, veggies, and spices.

2) Place saran wrap and foil over pan and cook at 275F for 8 hours. After it is cooked remove from liquid and shred either with 2 forks or in a large table mixer with paddle attachment.

3) When fully shredded add curry sauce and stir until fully incorporated. Set in fridge until cooled.

Part II – Prepping the Masa

1) Combine masa harina and water in a large bowl and mix with your hands until ingredients are evenly incorporated and dough is moist throughout; set aside.

2) Combine lard or shortening and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed until shiny and white in color, about 2 minutes.

3) Reduce speed to medium high and add dough in handfuls, letting it mix in before adding more, until all the dough has been added, about 2 minutes. Continue beating until ingredients are well combined and a smooth, soft dough has formed, about 1 minute more. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before using.

Part III – Cooking the Pie

1) Preheat oven to 315F. Cover the bottom of the baking pan with banana leaves and add half the masa putting it on the walls of the pan.

2) Add cooled pork and spread evenly across the pan. Use the rest of the masa to cover the pork then cover the masa with remaining banana leaves.

3) Place 9”x13” pan on baking sheet and place water in baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap and foil for 20 minutes.

4) Remove leaves cover in cheese and let rest for 5 minutes and serve.