Making Foreign Food WITHOUT Foreign Ingredients

I don’t know about you, but I love having a wide array of food. Chinese, mexican, african, and South American are some of my favorite types of dishes to eat. I also love learning authentic ways to cook an older, foreign recipe. The only downside to liking foreign food, is I live in a small North Dakota town. When you live in a small, conservative town, there are very few resources to cook foreign food. However, this is not the smallest town I have ever lived in. I am very thankful that I am in a larger town now with an asian and african market, but not having those options was kind of tough. Today, I will delve into how I managed to make some of my favorite foreign recipes, without having those foreign ingredients.


One of the first steps to making foreign food without the proper ingredients is finding the right recipe! One of my favorite sites for finding new and exciting recipes is pinterest! It’s completely free and you can search anything you are interested in! I can find recipes with certain ingredients or specific recipes! For example, if I type in “chicken ramen” I can look at recipes, or scan a part of the picture to find out more. If I scan the fishcake ramen, I will get how to make narutomaki, where to buy it, and related recipes! Pinterest has way more than food recipes and how-to’s. There are also funny memes, fashion tips, makeup dupes, and more! 

Another way to find recipes is through different subreddits! Some of my favorite subreddits include r/cooking, r/baking, r/recipes, and r/food. Not only are there recipes on these pages, there are tips, tricks, suggestions and discussions about everything food related! I have gotten some of my favorite recipes like roasted fennel, pumpkin pie roll ups, and more! Reddit and Pinterest are both completely free and easy to use sites! I have two Pinterest accounts (my personal and blog) so if you are interested in finding some of the recipes I am interested in, check them out here: and here:


The second way I made foreign food without foreign ingredients is finding appropriate substitutes to ingredients I wasn’t able to use. Now heed my advice, you can’t always substitute certain ingredients. Even if you aren’t making foreign food, there is a whole list of substitutes to use instead of main ingredients. For example, if a recipe calls for creme fraiche, a good substitute is sour cream, the main difference is creme fraiche has more fat which makes it smoother, and is less sour than sour cream. Creme fraiche is a commonly used in pastas and as a dip. If you can pick up a jar, it’s certainly worth it. People also say that some common substitutes for eggs are applesauce, mashed potatoes, and so many more. If you aren’t sure of a substitute for a certain ingredient either ask google or go to pinterest! You will more than likely find it there! The best way to know if it works is to try it for yourself! If it doesn’t work, try something else next time!


Lastly, one of the ways I learned how to make foreign food was by tasting it and writing down what I tasted! When I went to Cozumel, Mexico we had a delicious seasoned Grouper! It was my dad and uncle’s favorite and they converted me! In small town Minnesota, you won’t find exoctic Grouper so we had to find a substitute, so we found freshwater bass and cod! Both of these fish were white and flaky like Grouper, so the next step is remembering the seasoning.It was a very simple garlic and lemon seasoning with hints of lemon and paprika (as well as salt and pepper). Now that we have our spice, we have to figure out the most delicious part: the sauce. The closest I could think of to the sauce we had was a classic white beurre blanc sauce! The classic white sauce paired really with the fish. That is how I replicated one of my favorite recipes from Mexico!


I hope this helped in making some foreign recipes when you don’t have the foreign ingredients! Now that I have access to international market, my cooking has improved so greatly! I know that some people aren’t quite as lucky so I hope these tips and tricks help you making your next foreign meal! 

What are some of your favorite foreign recipes? Are there any tips or tricks that I forgot? Do you want to see more posts like this? Let me know in the comments below or chat with me on Instagram @sunshineandseasoning


Thanks for reading everyone! Happy Sunday everyone! 


-Bre 🙂



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