Authentic International Dishes and Their Easy Shortcuts

Discover the delicious world of global cuisine without ever leaving your kitchen.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Around the World in 5 Dishes

We love to visit our favorite restaurants, food trucks and street carts for a taste of global cuisine, but can those authentic flavors be achieved at home? The cooks from Food Network Kitchen challenged themselves to create authentic recipes for the home cook for five ubiquitous international dishes. To make life easier, they also came up with an ingenious shortcut version for each one. 

Authentic Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Beef and Pork Noodle Soup)

Perhaps lesser known that its cousin pho, this fragrant Vietnamese noodle soup relies on a rich, slow-simmered broth made with both beef and pork bones, lemongrass and shrimp paste. Look for the special bun boe hue rice noodles at Asian markets.

Get the Recipe: Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Beef and Pork Noodle Soup)

Shortcut Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Beef and Pork Noodle Soup)

The shortcut version of the brothy Vietnamese dish hits all the right notes while remaining relatively easy to pull off. We've shaved off considerable time and consolidated ingredients so that you can enjoy this fragrant lemongrass soup in under an hour.

Get the Recipe: Shortcut Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Beef and Pork Noodle Soup)

Authentic Chicken Shawarma

Real shawarma is cooked in a cone shape that rotates past a heating element. Recreating that cooking process is almost impossible for the home cook, but we've brought you the most authentic version we could with this chicken shawarma that includes all the right spices and even has homemade turnip pickles and tahini sauce to serve on the side!

Get the Recipe: Chicken Shawarma

Shortcut Chicken Shawarma

There's no rotating spit required for this ersatz version of shawarma. We cleverly used the combination of curry powder and pumpkin pie spice to approximate the spices normally used in the marinade. A blend of mayonnaise and hummus nicely replaces tahini sauce.

Get the Recipe: Shortcut Chicken Shawarma

Authentic Palak Paneer

We went all the way with our genuine recipe for this famous Indian Punjabi dish and even made the paneer - a variety of fresh Indian cheese - from scratch. (It's actually quite easy.) Using fresh spinach is also essential for authentic flavor and to achieve that vibrant emerald green color.

Get the Recipe: Palak Paneer

Shortcut Palak Paneer

Frozen chopped spinach and pre-made paneer make creating our mock version of the original Indian recipe a breeze. Everything cooks in one pan for a remarkably fast and satisfying vegetarian meal.

Get the Recipe: Shortcut Palak Paneer

Authentic Chicken Massaman Curry

This balanced sweet, spicy and slightly sour curry has a long list of exotic ingredients that includes dried chilies, spices, lemongrass, galangal, tamarind and coconut milk. The resulting dish is rich and complex, and no one flavor dominates. Don't be afraid of the deep red slick of spiced oil that settles on top - that means you did it right!

Get the Recipe: Chicken Massaman Curry

Shortcut Chicken Massaman Curry

Our approximation of authentic Massaman Curry has been simplified greatly by the use of a premade curry paste (instead of requiring you to make your own from scratch.) Using quick-cooking chicken breasts saves time as well.

Get the Recipe: Shortcut Chicken Massaman Curry

Authentic Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Injera is a sourdough-risen and spongy flatbread that is a staple in Ethiopia. It relies on flour made from an ancient grain, teff, and is nutrient-dense and gluten-free. Injera is usually served with stews; a torn-off piece of the flatbread is used in place of a fork or spoon.

Get the Recipe: Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Shortcut Injera (Ethiopian Flatbread)

Our faster version of the ubiquitous Ethiopian flatbread relies on baking powder and club soda for leavening instead of the classic sourdough starter. Rye flour replaces the more-authentic, but hard-to-find teff.

Get the Recipe: Quick Injera