Gallery: Oh, the Places We Went! Favorite Foods from Around the World in 2012

  • Incredible Seafood Lunch in Vietnam

    Incredible Seafood Lunch in Vietnam

    Grilled tiger prawns, stir-fried crab with tamarind sauce, steamed squid with cilantro (salty vinegar and mayo on the side for dipping) in Nha Trang. Read more here >>

    Shoyu Ramen in Tokyo

    Shoyu Ramen from Nagi Ramen has been featured on Serious Eats before, and for good reason. Nagi is located in the Golden Gai district of Tokyo in a cramped space up a narrow set of stairs. When Brian was visiting, he ordered the house spacial: ramen in a shoyu (soy) broth with niboshi (dried baby sardines) that gives a decidedly fish flavor. The ramen also comes with two types of noodles: a very thick, chewy noodle and another wide noodle that's a little akin to drunken noodles. Ramen lovers: get yourself here. Read more here >>

    Pupusas in El Salvador

    When Jess and Garret were visiting El Salvador, they couldn't leave without the quintessential Salvadoran snack: the pupusa. What begins as a ball of masa de maíz dough becomes filled with beans, queso, or chicharrón, and then flattened. This one was topped with curtido, the ubiquitous pickled cabbage relish that gives the disk a bite. Read more here >>

    Chilaquiles in Mexico City

    Josh made an early chilaquiles pit stop at one of the many food vendors that surround the perimeter of La Merced in Mexico City. These tortillas stewed in a tart and tangy tomatillo sauce and topped with poached chicken, onion, sour cream, and cheese, provided fuel for the immense market shopping that came after. Read more here >>

    Mapo Tofu in China

    Mapo tofu at Chengdu's famous Chen Mapo Bean Curd Restaurant. Read more here >>

    Coconut-Sticky Rice Pancakes in Bangkok

    Fields of Kimchi in South Korea

    You've probably seen a variety of kimchi or kimchi-pickled veggies in the U.S., but maybe never like this. Mounds and mounds of fermented vegetables and seafood give this sidewalk in Busan an explosion of reds. Read more here >>

    Fried Haloumi in Jaffa

    Fried cheese can be really good or really bad. This fried haloumi that Erin ate in Jaffa, just outside Tel Aviv, was transcendentally good. The kind of good where you have to close your eyes, shut out any outside noise, and just concentrate on the flavors in your mouth. This was fried cheese bliss. The golden-brown fried shell was still crackly-crisp, darker around the edges, and the salty haloumi center wasn't squeaky or too chewy, but more like medium-firm tofu. Read more here >>

    Banh Cuon with Pork-Cinnamon Sausage in Hanoi

    The classic Hanoi preparation: a soft, delicately chewy steamed roll filled with minced pork and mushrooms, topped with crunchy fried shallots, and served with springy, slightly sweet slabs of cinnamon-y pork sausage. One of our best bites in Vietnam. Read more here >>

    Skyr in Iceland

    Skyr has a wonderfully creamy, spoonable texture and tastes somewhere between tart Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, and soft-serve. Icelanders eat skyr everyday, anytime: for breakfast, as a snack, for dessert with berries. Erin ate skyrious amounts of skyr when in Iceland. Read more here >>

    Lotus Cakes in China

    This was Clarissa's favorite dish of the bunch in Xiamen, a southern port city in the Fujian province of China. The lotus cake is simple. It's lotus seed paste embedded in a pastry crust, shaped into little cubes. Vendors sometimes use green bean as a substitute because lotus paste is much more expensive. Read more here >>

    Chorillana in Chile

    As Abby found out, the Chorillana is everything you could ever want in a bar food, and more. A pile of French fries covered with beef and onions and topped with some form of egg and cheese. It will make you incredibly happy right before you feel like you never want to eat again. Read more here >>

    Kaya Toast in Singapore

    The national breakfast of Singapore, served at every kopitiam. Kaya is a custard jam made from egg, coconut, and the vanilla-like herb pandan. The best kaya is homemade, and depending on the cook, can be veer towards very eggy, coconutty, or herbal. It's usually pretty sweet, but Max's favorite kaya compounds that sweetness with the smoky, butterscotch complexity of the excellent raw sugar of the region. The kaya is spread on toasted or charcoal-grilled bread, usually a spongy brown or white loaf, and topped with a square of salty butter or margarine. Read more here >>

    Pan-Fried Soup Dumplings (Shengjianbao) in Shanghai

    The thicker-skinned, crispy-fried sibling to xiaolongbao, these dumplings were browned in a slick cast-iron skillet and are bursting with porky broth. Read more here >>

    Pintxos in San Sebastian

    What does San Sebastian taste like in one perfect bite? For Liz, it was this: crisp toast, tangy-sweet sun-dried tomato, creamy brie-like cheese, and a slice of rich, salty Iberico jam on. Read more here >>

    Peanut Soup in Singapore

    The best bite of our vegetarian writer Howard's entire trip through Singapore? It may have been from Ah Balling, a tiny stall where the peanut soup is made up of nothing more than peanuts boiled until soft with water and a bit of coconut milk. You can get up to five little, mochi-like dumplings in the bowl, each filled with a different paste: yam, red bean, green tea, sesame, and peanut. Read more here >>

    Knafeh in Israel

    Carey fell in love with knafe, an Arabic dessert, when in Israel. It's a nest of fine, fine pastry threads shaped into a flat sort of web, topped with soft cheese, then piled with more pastry. After baking it's drizzled (or, often, drenched) in rosewater or orange blossom syrup. Crushed pistachios often ride on top to garnish. Read more here >>

    Chiang Mai Sausages

    These long coils of aromatic pork sausage (called sai ua) could be found grilling over charcoal fires all over Chiang Mai. Good for heavy snacking. Read more here >>

    Caciocavallo Cheese in Italy

    Carey visited a cheese factory in the Molise region of Italy where ricotta, mozzarella, and other cheeses like this caciocavallo are made. This younger one tastes essentially like a good provolone, while older ones take on the nuttier, aged character you'd associate with Parmesan or Gouda. Read more here >>

    Koleno in Prague

    Koleno, short for pečené vepřové koleno, is roast pork knee (or knuckle), a dish that's also common in German cuisine. It is a rustic, comically oversized piece of meat - it's nearly impossible not to attract some amused attention when this cutting-board platter is set before you at a restaurant--but despite its caveman appearances, Laura found it absolutely delicious: a mix of fall-off-the-bone tender pork, crispy skin, and fat underneath it. The meat is usually marinated in dark beer and herbs, roasted, and then served bone-in with a serrated knife and a number of accompaniments. This one came with a pile of pickles and pickled vegetables, dark Czech bread, and a side of mustard, horseradish, and sour cherries for dipping. Read more here >>