It’s late afternoon and the question is ringing around the world: “What are we eating?”
Or, rather, this echo says something like: “What are we eating? ¿Que hay de cenar?夕食は何? Šta ima za večeru? Cosa c’è per cena? Apa untuk makan malam? ? Hvað er í matinn? מה יש לארוחת ערב?…” You get the idea.
The fact is, no matter where they live, everyone is busy and everyone forget to do that menu planning thing was the answer to “what’s for dinner?” question is “take a look at the whiteboard in the kitchen under Thursday…”. Everyone forgets it.
As a result, getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less is an art form practiced from America to Zimbabwe. Lucky for us.
America: ten-minute cheeseburgers
A juicy beef burger dinner puts an end to any day and Adam Liaw’s recipe will get you there in 10 minutes flat. That’s right, you’ll have these babies on the table faster than you can maneuver through a drive-thru around town.
Argentina: Matambre and Tortilla
A thinly sliced flank steak stuffed with grilled vegetables and melted cheese sounds like a worthy dinner to us. The fact that everything is done outside on the barbecue adds to its appeal.
The appeal of a potato tortilla at the end of a long day cannot be underestimated. Not only is it ready to devour in 30 minutes, but it’s also made with ingredients you’re bound to have on hand. Call it a rescue meal.
Cambodia: Khmer Fish Salad
This crunchy fish salad is light, nutritious and an absolute breeze to make. It tastes so fresh and light that you will be amazed when it fills you up so easily.
Ethiopia: Enqulal Fir
The Enqulal tree puts a new spin on the beloved breakfast-for-dinner motif. The eggs are scrambled with vegetables and chilli then put in the mouth with freshly prepared kita.
France: Salmon with lemon butter and buckwheat galette
The French definitely have a way with salmon, as this recipe baked in lemon and butter proves. Exactly the kind of meal prep you want to take home.
Although ham and eggs are a classic pancake filling, feel free to throw whatever you have on hand into your pancake.
Germany: Knackwurst Potato Salad
Don’t save potato salad for summer barbecues, it’s good all year round and you don’t need an occasion to make it either. Not when served hot and with added sausages. . .
Greece: Barbecue Chicken and Meatballs of Lamb and Feta
Most Greek dishes call for slow cooking or braising, but you can find some quick gems among moussakas, spanakopitas and roast lambs. Like a quick barbecue chicken with lots of flavor.
Lamb meatballs will also give you all the flavor of slow cooking in a fraction of the time. Serve them with a salad, between breads or directly in your mouth.
Hungary: Chicken Schnitzel
Coating chicken in golden breadcrumbs isn’t just for Hungarians, but damn they do it so well.
India: Tandoori Lamb and Chicken Pepper
Lamb chops make a great evening meal, especially when marinated in Indian spices. Do not forget to make the marinade in the morning so that the cutlets can soak all day.
Curries aren’t generally known for their quick cooking, so when you find a decent quick curry recipe like this, brace yourself.
Indonesia: corn fritters
Every home needs a great corn fritter recipe and this one could be yours. Serve them with a green salad and be sure to save some for breakfast tomorrow.
Italy: Rigatoni boscaiola and Spaghetti vongole
This creamy pasta dish is Adam Liaw’s favorite dish and that’s all we need to know.
Seafood is a godsend when you’re in a hurry – it cooks at lightning speed and packs in maximum flavor. Silvia Colloca’s spaghetti vongole e ‘nduja is all that and more.
Japan: Oyakodon and Miso Soup
A chicken and egg combo that will have your taste buds giggling with content. Especially since they know the whole dish took about 10 minutes to put together.
A good miso soup recipe will save you time and time again. It’s hearty, tasty and quick.
Korean: Fried rice with kimchi and
This quick fried rice proves that if you have a pot of kimchi in the fridge, you’re about to cook a meal.
Lao: BBQ Chicken Cutlets
Make the marinade in the morning or even the night before so these chicken cutlets have plenty of soaking time. Then it’s all about heating up the grill and cooking them while you make a salad and chili dip.
Lebanon: zucchini fritters
See ‘corn fritters’ above, but with zucchini.
Malaysia: Penang char kway teow
Thick rice noodles (the thicker the better) add texture and balance to a bold array of Malaysian sauces and spices. It’s the kind of dish you make on a whim because you can’t fight the cravings anymore.
Mexico: Mushroom Quesadilla
Not only is this quesadilla dinner quick, but it’s also portable. Bake it, catch it, and eat it on your way to a fun place.
Nepal: Aaloo tama
Take a nutrition boost via the potato, black-eyed beans, ginger, garlic, spices and bamboo shoots that feature in this thick Nepali soup. It’s a delicious way to warm up after a cold ride home.
Portugal: Grilled Sardines
Simply Grilled Plump Sardines – one of the easiest recipes you will ever master. Serve with a large salad and lots of crusty bread.
Sri Lanka: Stuffed tuna
Devil tuna is a popular Sri Lankan dish that layers with spicy satisfaction in just 30 minutes.
Spain: Almejas in salsa verde
Put it on those clams, put it on chicken or toss it in pasta – the green sauce in this Spanish recipe is gold.
Thailand: Khao pad pu and chicken green curry
The addition of crab makes the Khao pad pu special, but at its heart it’s just quick fried rice.
Ah, the classic Thai green curry is thankfully quite easy to make at home. A little trick of curry paste does not go astray, of course…
Vietnam: Sauteed Beef and Lemongrass Chilli Chicken
If Luke Nguyen can cook these crispy noodle pillows with a side dish of sautéed beef on a railroad track, then we can do it at home in less than 30 years.
Rest assured, if it’s a Vietnamese dish and the words “sauté” appear in the method, it’s a good dish to get to the table quickly and intelligently.
Zimbabwe: Venison skewers
Venison adds intrigue to barbecued skewers, but you can always thread beef, pork, or chicken instead. There’s always the whipped feta dip to keep things interesting.