Eater’s Digest: Ethnic Essentials

"Taste of Home" helps you bring other cultures to your dinner table.

By Diane Werner | RD from Reader's Digest | May 2009
Curry Powder Your supermarket stocks everything you need to bring new flavor to the
dinner table.

Fried, sautéed, or in cocktail sauce, shrimp is all-American (it’s the country’s top-selling seafood). But add a little ginger and chili sauce, and tried-and-true becomes Thai — and new. You can’t get more down-home than grilled steak — yet topping it with a simple chimichurri sauce will transport you to Argentina. These days, most neighborhood groceries stock all you need to bring other cultures to your dinner table. If you want exotic yet easy, unfamiliar yet family-friendly, grab these recipes from Taste of Home, America’s top food magazine, and head to the store.

Ethnic Essentials

  • Thai chili sauce is a spicy condiment that will add a kick to stir-fries, marinades, and sauces. (Go easy — it’s three-alarm hot.)
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce give a smoky taste to stews, chilies, and soups. They’re dried jalapeños, so they’ll add some heat too.
  • Sesame oil has a light, nutty flavor, perfect for salad dressings.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense, sweet tomato taste that works well in pasta dishes and sauces.
  • Coconut milk is a slightly sweet base that adds richness to curry dishes and seafood entrées.
  • Curry powder is a blend of up to 20 spices. It brings heat and a complex mix of flavors to sauces, and punches up potatoes and rice.

Recipes to Try