Christmas meals around the world – meals inspried by 4 countries + 1 we have every year….
This year I had the idea to expand our interest in eating around the world into Christmas meals around the world. Browsing some different meal ideas and websites I decided upon:
Ok, so Guyana and Japan were a certainty. Guyana’s dish, which you’ll see below, we made over the summer and LOVED it! Japan, while many think sushi immediately, that’s not it. I’ll explain what and why when we get to that one. Ukraine encompasses what we have yearly for Christmas Eve dinner, I’ll fully explain that in due time as well.
December 20- germany
Inspired by German Christmas markets and my love of all things Germany, this was our choice for meal number one. Though most Christmas markets were closed in Germany again this year, two of my favorite youtubers, Deanna & Phil were able to find one in Hanover. Please enjoy their experience below:
What We Ate:
For dinner I served (going clockwise):
- Currywurst (Bratwurst with Curry Ketchup)
- Käsespätzle mit Grüne Zwiebeln und Speck (Cheesey Egg Noodles with Green Onions and Bacon)
- Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut und Senf (Bratwurst Sandwich with Sauerkraut and Mustard)
All items purchased for this meal were from Aldi. I made the Käsespätzle according to package directions but added the sliced green onion and bacon after bringing everything to a boil. Same for the Bratwurst – pan fry for 5 minutes, then add water, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. The Sauerkraut just went from the jar to the pan to warm up a bit. I had Jamaican Curry I prepared for a previous meal and added it to some ketchup.
DECEMBER 21- CHILE
From what I learned from Why Christmas, Christmas in Chile is centered around Christmas Eve. Families gather and share a meal around 9/10 pm. The site merely states that a dish enjoyed is ‘asado’ and chicken, turkey, and pork. I took this to mean Pollo Asado and went for it. Check their post out for more explanation of traditions and a nice coffee-liquor beverage that we chose not to make at this time.
To accompany the chicken I went with a Chilean Rice recipe I found here. The rice was so nice and soft/fluffy. Everything had a taste of perfection. Oh and that chicken, every time I opened the fridge I got a whiff of the chicken marinating. SO GOOD.
Here are the recipes I used:
- Chicken: I went for a combination of the following, since I didn’t have exactly everything for either. Plus one said 6 cloves of garlic for 4 chicken breasts vs the 2 cloves for the same amount of chicken. Of course I went with 6! I’ll do a post with how I combined the below noted recipes, but for now I present:
- Rice: Petit Chef – Chilean Rice
What a wonderful alternative to the boring chicken and rice many of us are used to. These two dishes were so flavor packed. For my own preference, I may add a dash of cumin to the rice next time. It was calling my name but I wanted to stick to the original recipe as closely as possible.
December 22- Guyana
Guyana has a population making up of many different cultures. Those of Chinese descent brought Chow Mein into the melting pot of flavors. Guyanese Chow Mein is a dish bursting with flavor. The crunch of the bok choy combines with the soft noodles and the firm green beans. This recipe is from one of my favorite sites, Global Table Adventure, when I create my own post of the recipe I’ll link to that.
I like to marinate the meat early on and prepare the vegetables so that when it comes time to cook the dish, everything goes quickly. I recommend adding an additional egg as two doesn’t seem to be enough. Top with some sriracha when ready to eat for additional heat and flavor.
December 23- japan
Not sushi like you may think. When Kentucky Fried Chicken came to Japan in the 1970s, it was marketed as the ultimate American Christmas Dinner. The slogan was simply: “Kentucky For Christmas! – Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” This made Fried Chicken a beloved national dish for December 24th and 25th.
We enjoyed an order of chicken tenders/strips, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and the holy grail of KFC cuisine – cole slaw.
December 24- Ukraine
Christmas Eve, time for our yearly feast. Matt is of Ukrainian descent and while he grew up with a traditional meal, we have evolved it to suit us a bit better over the years.
This particular meal consists of breaded and fried haddock, peas, pierogi, barley and mushrooms, cabbage soup, garlic, and bread among other things. We enjoyed some wine and shots of Crown Royal. For dessert (no pictured) we had fruit salad, jello, and some fruit filled pastries. There are some other traditions which we didn’t take part in this year but include cookies filled with either apricot or prune which denote luck for those who pick the prune cookie, and dinner rolls – one containing a quarter which grants the person who selected that roll luck for the upcoming year.
We hope you enjoyed reading and learning about each of our Christmas meals around the world!
So, what does your family serve for Christmas Eve/Day? Anything specific to where you are from or have you created your own traditions?
What countries should we consider for next year?