Vegetarian Recipes From Around the World

Food can really be quite magical. Throughout our lives, we might have memories of making a specific dish with a close family member, growing certain ingredients ourselves, sharing a home cooked meal with friends, or learning special recipes that have been passed down through generations. Food is something that can be cherished, enjoyed, and shared with those we love! We have compiled a handful of wonderful, diverse vegetarian recipes from personal knowledge, friends, and family that we hope you can try yourself.

西米露 (xi mi lu)

西米露 (xi mi lu) or “Sago Soup” with Taro is a type of tong sui dessert common in Cantonese cuisine. Tong sui desserts can be described as a warm and sweet soup eaten after the main course of a meal. I remember when my mom would make this for me as a kid, I always demanded that it needed more sugar, since I never thought it was sweet enough. However, Cantonese dishes are known to have a more mild taste that utilizes the natural flavor of seasonal ingredients. Depending on your own preferences, you can definitely add or reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe! —Allison Jiang

The ingredient measurements were based on some rough estimates but should make about 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups of chopped taro
  • 5 cups of water
  • ⅓ cup of tapioca pearls (mini pearls are ideal)
  • ⅓ cup of rock sugar (can be substituted with any sweetener you may have on hand)
  • ½ can of coconut milk

Instructions:

Chop up about half a taro root into ½ inch cubes.

Boil the taro in 5 cups of water for about 30 minutes or until it reaches a mashable texture.

Add the rock sugar, and stir until it dissolves.

Turn the heat to low, and mash up the taro. Note: depending on the texture you prefer, you can leave some larger taro pieces or mash it until it is completely smooth with the water.

Add the tapioca pearls, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

Turn the heat to low, and stir in the coconut milk.

Bowl of Sago Soup with Taro
Mini Tapioca Pearls
Images by Allison Jiang

Callaloo with Ackee

Callaloo is a leafy Caribbean vegetable, also known as Jamaican spinach or vegetable amaranth. Callaloo can be prepared in soups, salads, stir frys, and feature a multitude of ingredients; this particular recipe includes ackee and scotch bonnet peppers. One of my best friends was able to share her father’s recipe with me and talk about how much she has enjoyed eating this dish with her family whenever he would make it. —Allison Jiang

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of callaloo
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 can of ackee
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt, thyme, and paprika

Instructions:

Soak the callaloo in salt water before cutting off the stem and finely chopping.

Dice all of the vegetables, and remove the seeds from the scotch bonnet.

Add garlic, tomatoes, onion, and scotch bonnet to a pan with oil and cook on low until soft and fragrant.

Add callaloo, and sauté until fully cooked.

Add ackee, and cook for one minute. Be careful not to overcook the ackee to avoid it becoming too soft.

Bowl of Callaloo and Ackee
Image from Safiya Robinson on sisterwoman vegan

Gỏi cuốn

Gỏi cuốn, Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, is a light dish that is often served as an appetizer in Vietnam, but if you really stuff these things, you can absolutely make them the main course of a meal. There are many variations on what you can put in gỏi cuốn, the only ingredients that are constant are the rice paper, dipping sauce, and vermicelli noodles. Vietnamese dishes are known for being light and refreshing, and this dish is a perfect representation of that! —Long Tran

This recipe makes 12 rolls (about 2 servings).

Ingredients:

  • Half a pineapple
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 12 Lettuce leaves
  • 12 rice paper (bánh đa nem)
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) of vermicelli noodles

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Garlic
  • Chili
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar

Instructions:

Chop the pineapple and cucumber into medium-thick strips slightly shorter than the diameter of the rice paper.

Beat the eggs, and fry on medium heat into a flat omelette (lightly season with salt and pepper). Let the flat omelette rest, then slice the omelette into strips similar to the pineapple and cucumber.

Prepare the vermicelli noodles if they are dry noodles according to the packet.

Fill a bowl with lukewarm water, and lightly wet the edges of the rice paper.

Place the rice paper on a flat surface, and place a piece of lettuce on the paper.

Add a handful of vermicelli noodles, the pineapple, cucumber, and eggs in that order.

Roll the rice paper in, tucking in the edges.

Repeat steps 4 – 7 for all rolls.

For the dipping sauce:

Add the fish sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water in that order to a bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add diced garlic and chilli to taste.

Image of fresh spring rolls from dienmayxanh.com and image of dipping sauce from helenrecipes.com.

Poffertjes

Recipe adapted from https://www.thespruceeats.com/classic-dutch-poffertjes-recipe-1128877.

Poffertjes are Dutch mini yeast pancakes that are delicious and super easy to make! Ari, a member of the Planet Blue Student Leaders who is Dutch, shared this recipe with us:

“We eat it on special occasions for breakfast – they’re usually covered in butter and a LOT of powdered sugar. They’re not very sweet on their own so you have to add a lot of sweetness on top. They’re also usually made in special cast iron pans with little divots for the batter. This was one of my favorite “treat” breakfasts growing up!” —Arianne Kok

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon warm milk
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup white all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, more for serving
  • Powdered sugar for serving

Instructions:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 tablespoon of warm milk.

In a different bowl, combine and whisk the buckwheat flour, white flour, eggs, sugar, salt, half the warm milk, and the yeast and milk mixture. Add the remaining warm milk and continue whisking.

Cover the bowl and rest the batter for an hour.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron pan.

Add teaspoons of the batter in circular movements when the butter starts to sizzle.

Flip the poffertjes when the bottom has set.

Serve with butter and powdered sugar.


Sopa de fideo (versión mexicana)

This specific soup, sopa de fideo, originated in Mexico and was passed from generation to generation, making it the perfect winter staple food across the country. My mom would always make it whether we were sick or needed something quick and delicious to cook for us. Now that I have moved out of my parents’ house, I decided to cook for myself these traditional dishes that are very near to my heart and connect me close to my mother. It feels almost as if I were cooking with her in person. It definitely made me appreciate the art of cooking and made me reflect on how much effort my mom put into making these foods for us. —Maria Ramirez

Makes approximately 7-8 servings; great for meal preparation.

Ingredients:

  • One pack of Moderna brand noodles
  • 3 round tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 tomato (vegetarian option) or chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small onion

Optional:

  • 1 block of queso fresco (Mexican cottage cheese)
  • Variety of small cut vegetables of your choice

Instructions:

Cut small onion in half, cut 3 round tomatoes in halves. Place in a blender.

Open 2 tomato/ chicken bouillon cubes and place in blender.

Add in blender ½ teaspoon of cumin.

Pour 4 to 5 cups of water in the blender. Blend until orange.

Leave aside and get a medium sized pot.

Turn medium heat on the stovetop.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pot.

Finely chop other half onion and drop in the pot.

Finely chop 1 garlic clove and drop in pot.

Add in the Moderna brand noodles pack. Stir until golden brown/orange.

Next, pour in the mix made from the blender.

Stir and watch for 20 minutes until noodles are puffy.

OPTIONAL: Add some vegetables of your choice to the soup.

OPTIONAL: Add a block of queso fresco (Mexican cottage cheese) for more flavor.

You did it! ¡Provecho, enjoy! 🙂


Thank you for letting us share these recipes with you, and we hope you get to try them soon! We might do another vegetarian recipes edition, so if you have any recipes you want to share please, send them to planetbluestudentleader@umich.edu!

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