Green Line Cuisines
Dishes often have an understated use of spice, contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures within the overall meal rather than a single dish, plenty of herbs, leaves, pickles, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments. Rice is served with almost every meal. A variety of meats, fish, vegetables and noodle dishes are common.
Common Ingredients: Black Pepper, prahok, which adds a salty tang to many dishes, kroeung paste consisting of cardamom, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric, as well as lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves.
Chinese restaurants are plenty and visitors can find some jewels scattered along the Green Line, but many call Little Mekong their home.
Cantonese is a milder Chinese cuisine. Dishes incorporate a variety of meats, vegetables, tofu, rice and noodles. Spices are used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients.
Common Ingredients: Besides pork, beef and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, however, lamb and goat are rarely eaten. Additional flavors are added through sauces, such as oyster, plum and black bean sauces, as well as spring onion, sugar, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, vinegar and garlic. Ginger, chili peppers, five-spice powder, powdered black pepper, star anise and a few other spices are used sparingly.
Dishes incorporate bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chilli peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan pepper. Peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking. Beef is somewhat more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines.
Common Ingredients: In addition to a variety of meats, tofu, noodles and vegetables, the bold flavor is created with Sichuan pepper, garlic, chilli peppers, broad bean chili paste, ginger, star anise and other spicy herbs, and spices.
Along the Green Line visitors can find East African dishes traditionally made in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. One will find spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread made out of fermented teff flour.
Common Ingredients: Meat such as beef, chicken, fish and lamb. Legumes such as split peas or lentils or vegetables such as potato carrots and chard. Additional flavors are added in a variety of combinations with onion, garlic, ginger, berbere, cardamom, tumeric, cumin and jalapeños.
Food Fact: Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. Traditionally, utensils are rarely used with Ethiopian cuisine.
One of the less spicy of Asian cuisines, Japanese dishes are based on combining steamed white rice with one or several main dishes and side dishes. This may be
accompanied by a clear or miso soup and some
Common Ingredients: Rice, noodles, seafood and a sparing use of meat. Japanese flavors come from a combination of dashi, soy sauce, sake and mirin, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Few herbs and spices are used as an accent and include ginger and red pepper. Some spices and herbs are added as garnish to the finished dish, such as minced ginger. Wasabi, Japanese mustard or grated daikon are sometimes provided as a condiment.
Korean cuisine is based on rice, vegetables, and meats. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal.
Common Ingredients: Sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Spices include red pepper, black pepper, Chinese pepper, cordifolia, mustard, chinensis, garlic, onion, ginger, leek, and scallion.
Dishes often include staples such as corn and beans. Corn is used to make masa, a dough for tamales, tortillas, gorditas. The use of chili peppers gives mexican food its spicy kick. A variety of meats and beans are used in Mexican dishes and are often accompanied by rice.
Common Ingredients: Herbs and spices in Mexican cuisine are chili powder, oregano, cilantro, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa. Chipotle, a smoke-dried jalapeño chilli, is also common in Mexican cuisine. Many dishes also contain garlic and onions. Meats include beef, pork, chicken and fish. Cheese such as Oaxaca and panela, are made all over Mexico.
Dishes often include wheat or rice. Most regions in the Middle East use spices, though the cuisine is not generally spicy. Some popular dishes include kibbeh, shawarma and falafel. Middle Eastern restaurants often serve hummus and pita bread.
Common Ingredients: Olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, fava beans, mint and parsley. In addition, a stew will include a small amount of cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and coriander. Black pepper is common, and chili peppers are used occasionally,
Food Fact: According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of a Mediterranean diet include a reduced risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Russian meals include soups and stews such as borscht. Many dishes include meat such as the pirozhki, which are small stuffed buns (pies) made of either yeast dough or short pastry and filled with meat and onions or mashed potatoes and green onions. Other dishes include beef stroganoff, cabbage and meat roll and pel’meni.
Common Ingredients: Cabbage, potatoes, root vegetables, boiled meat, fish, rice, onions, celery, dill, gravies and sauces.
The spiciness of Thai cuisine is well known. Thai food is known for its balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, creamy, and salty.
Common Ingredients: A variety of meats, tofu, seafood and vegetables, sauces and condiments including phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (consisting of fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, or a spicy chili sauce or paste called nam phrik. Rice, sticky rice, or rice noodles are often served to counteract the spiciness.
Food Fact: In traditional households, diners eat Thai food with the right hand while seated on mats or carpets on the floor.
Vietnamese cooking uses fresh ingredients, minimal oil, and herbs and vegetables. Often thought of as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
Common Ingredients: Ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, as well as lemongrass, and mint. Many dishes are made with fish, chicken, pork, beef, seafood and tofu.