The concept of what makes a salad a salad differs depending on whom you ask, and what country they’re from. Is it the lettuce? Because that would ‘X’ out at least half of this list. Veggies? Hmm people sure don’t think so. Simplicity? The French disagree. Whatever “it” is, cultures around the world have whipped up their own fantastic version of it. Don’t waste a second longer getting your grocery list ready, you’ll need it after reading up on these refreshing salads of international origin.
A perfect accompaniment, paired with most meals served in Israel. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions make up the bulk. Dab on just enough rice vinegar and olive oil for a light coating , then sprinkle with sea salt for a flavor-busting crunch and wallah. The salad’s vegetables are locally grown in Israel ensuring an emphasis on their fresh, springtime flavors.
Herring Under Fur Coat
No worries, the fur is symbolic as the herring is actually under a coat of boiled veggies sent through a grater. The formal selection is comprised of potatoes, carrots, and beetroot blended together with mayonnaise for a viscous layer to hide the pickled herring. This aptly named, wholesome salad is extremely popular in Russia and most often served at Christmas Eve and New Years celebrations.
For the Guatemalan holiday, Dia de Los Muertes, families would traditionally visit cemeteries and have a picnic comprised of their deceased relatives’ favorite foods. Over time, the families began mixing all of the foods into one massive cold platter salad. As such, the precise ingredients of the fiambre remain fluid, although the dressing is usually a dijon mustard, red wine vinegar mix. Ingredients can include green beans, carrots, salami cubes, papaya, radishes, chorizo, cheeses, and even gherkin pickles.
A hearty salad with the delicate presentation and flavor selection of premiere French bistro. Tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and green beans make up the veggies. The staple meats include tuna, anchovies, and occasionally a boiled egg. The ingredients are neatly partitioned instead of tossed together, drizzled with a tasty vinaigrette.
A thick-bodied cooked salad with a strong mixture of ingredients, the end product of which exudes a strong scent. Hence its secondary name gado-gado, meaning ‘potpourri’ in its country of origin, Indonesia. It’s available to purchase from street vendors there in nearly any city. Steamed greens, gently boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs sided by deep-fried tofu and tempeh, all topped by a tangy peanut sauce.
Whenever food becomes Americanized, it transforms into a heavier and richer version of its foreign counterpart. The simple garden salad couldn’t escape this fate sadly(actually happily) enough. Throw in iceberg lettuce so you can call it a salad, then load up on charbroiled chicken slices, boiled eggs, avocado chunks, and chunks of tomato for extra juiciness. Puts a whole nother spin on “I just had a salad today.”
Laos lays its own take on our formal preconceptions of the salad arts by devising one entirely composed of meat. The meat—chicken, duck, beef, pork, the goods basically—is ground and thoroughly minced. It’s marinated in fish sauce before cooking it. Afterward, lime juice is added for an extra pop and a generous cropping of mint leaves gets intertwined with the finished dish.
Mexican Black Bean Salad
A salad which doubles as a refreshment on a sticky summer afternoon, just fitting for the southern climate. Black beans, peppers, onions, and corn are the main players here. Mexico’s signature flavor combo of lime and chili hit the forefront of the dressing, using olive oil as the base. It’s best served chilled for maximum effect.
Absolutely iconic, the Greek salad has seeped through to restaurants worldwide. Yet, many such recipes stray from what made it a classic. They’ll add lettuce or bog it down with ingredients like avocado that mask the kalamata olives’ salty appeal. The feta cheese should be all you need to establish character in this dish. Add in those olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers, plus a dash of salt, oregano, drizzle in olive oil and you’re golden.
This Thai dish is found throughout most mall food courts in Bangkok and whipped right up on the streets in every city. It’s called papaya salad, although the name simply isn’t accurate for describing what your taste buds are in for. This is because the papaya is unripened, dry, and shredded. In a grounding pot, the papaya is frisked together with tomatoes, shrimp, raw eggplant, and typical Thai seasoning of fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and lime. Oh, and lots of chili. This dish is spicy, watch out!