You ate what?

Besides experiencing a new culture or language, one of the most exciting things you will discover while studying abroad is the vast diversity of food found all across the globe. Whether you are devouring three scoops of Gelato in Rome, or attempting to digest Vegemite in Australia for the first time, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to try weird, wacky, fulfilling, or delicious new foods.

So if you are a returnee who is longing for some abroad cuisine or a prospective study abroad student about to embark on the (culinary) experience of a lifetime, here are some international recipes bound to get your mouth watering…

England: Shepherd’s Pie

Often referred to as Cottage Pie, Shepherd’s pie is a meat pie made with beef mince and a crust of mashed potatoes. Comfort food galore anyone?


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese 



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. To Make Meat Filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble in ground beef and saute 1 minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to saute until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, combine beef broth and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. Spoon mixture into a 9 inch pie plate.
  4. To Make Potato Topping: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  5. Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter or margarine, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.


Italy: Spaghetti Carbonara

An Italian Classic!


  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves



In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons. Add the garlic. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute. Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble. Add the cheese and re-season with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.


South Africa: Chicken Curry Potjie

This South African original is meant to simmer over the fire while relaxing with your friends- but a crock pot can easily be substituted


  • 2kg skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 3 large grated onions
  • 5 skinless tomatoes
  • 1 large tin tomato paste
  • 4 heaped teaspoons masala
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dessert spoons crushed garlic
  • 1 table spoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 2 large sticks cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 litre red wine
  • 6 Large potatoes cut in half


Sauté your onions and garlic until soft, then add the spices and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste together with some red wine – simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken pieces and potatoes with a little more wine. Place the lid on your potjie, simmer on a low heat for about 45 minutes, checking the liquid level regularly, adding more red wine when needed. About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat add sugar to taste.

Serve with rice. 


Chile: Caldo de Mariscos (seafood stew)

Seafood is an extremely important part of this coastal country’s cuisine!


  • 3 poblano chiles 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons aniseed 
  • 1 ½ cumin seeds 
  • 2 tablespoons veg. oil 
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 8 ounces clam juice 
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, un-drained
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2  (6 ounce) tilapia fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed
  • ¾ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 8 lime slices



Preheat broiler.

Cut chiles in half; discard seeds and membranes. Place halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 5 minutes or until blackened. Place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; discard skins. Finely chop chiles.

Cook aniseed and cumin seeds in a saucepan over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Place in a spice or coffee grinder, and process until finely ground.

Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic; cook 15 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring occasionally. Add the toasted ground spices; cook 1 minute. Add sugar, salt, clam juice, chopped jalapeño peppers, and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped poblano chiles, lime juice, tilapia, shrimp, and mussels; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done and mussels open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in minced fresh cilantro, and serve with lime slices.

For more worldly recipes visit!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s