10 Must-Try Exotic Recipes

Sample authentic international cuisine from the comfort of your own home.

Seafood Tagine

Photographer Howard L. Puckett, 

Seafood Tagine

Tagines and other Moroccan dishes often feature preserved lemons as an ingredient. Their salty-sour bite adds an important element to the recipe. To substitute, grate about ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice into the recipe. You may need to adjust the salt, as well, but taste first.

Recipe:  Seafood Tagine

Spicy Thai Lobster Soup

Photographer Jim Bathie, 

Spicy Thai Lobster Soup

Cooking the rice in the Asian Blend seasoning steeps in flavor. Use the extra seasoning blend to add zip to simple marinades or grilled chicken.

Recipe:  Spicy Thai Lobster Soup

Coconut Curried Shrimp

Photographer Howard L. Puckett, 

Coconut Curried Shrimp

Thai red curry paste packs heat, but rich coconut milk and brown sugar tames the dish. You can back off to half the amount and still have nice flavor.

Recipe:  Coconut Curried Shrimp

Vietnamese-style Prawns and Hearts of Palm with Green Tea-Noodle Salad

Photographer Jean Allsopp, 

Vietnamese-style Prawns and Hearts of Palm with Green Tea-Noodle Salad

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat and wheat and have a nutty-earthy flavor. This version, made from green tea, can be tricky to find in smaller cities; you can substitute any noodles with excellent results.

Recipe:  Vietnamese-style Prawns and Hearts of Palm with Green Tea-Noodle Salad

Orange-Sesame Noodles with Grilled Shrimp

Photographer Jean Allsopp, 

Orange-Sesame Noodles with Grilled Shrimp

Besides being an easy and delicious meal you’d be proud to serve company, the best thing about this dish is that it’s so quick―boiling water for the noodles is the most time-consuming part. Leftovers make a tasty cold noodle salad.

Recipe:  Orange-Sesame Noodles with Grilled Shrimp

Ginger-Soy Glazed Mahi Mahi

Photographer Jean Allsopp, 

Ginger-Soy Glazed Mahi Mahi

Use any mild to medium-flavored fish for this easy dish. We recommend eco-friendly choices like black cod or sablefish, mahi-mahi, or farmed tilapia from the United States.

Recipe:  Ginger-Soy Glazed Mahi Mahi

Tempura Soft-shell Crab with Asian Slaw

Photographer Jean Allsopp, 

Tempura Soft-shell Crab with Asian Slaw

You know summer is on its way when you see live soft-shell crabs in fish markets. Have your fishmonger clean them if you’re squeamish, but cook them as soon as you get home. Or, purchase cleaned and frozen soft-shell crabs. These tend to be less plump and crisp than fresh but are available almost year-round.

Recipe:  Tempura Soft-shell Crab with Asian Slaw

Grilled Shrimp in Banana-leaf Pouch

Photographer Jean Allsopp, 

Grilled Shrimp in Banana-leaf Pouch

Cooking in banana leaves steams food, keeping it tender and moist. Banana leaves are available at melissas.com if you can’t find them at your market. You can also use heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Recipe:  Grilled Shrimp in Banana-leaf Pouch

Miso-glazed Black Cod in Coconut Broth

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner, 

Miso-glazed Black Cod in Coconut Broth

Miso is a Japanese seasoning paste made from fermented soybeans (though there are some versions made from chickpeas). The high-protein condiment is quite salty, so you won’t need to add any extra seasoning.

Recipe:  Miso-glazed Black Cod in Coconut Broth

Sesame-crusted Tuna with Teriyaki Stir-Fry

Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner, 

Sesame-crusted Tuna with Teriyaki Stir-Fry

What makes this tuna special is the mix of black and white sesame seeds. If you can’t find the dark ones, you can simulate the effect by lightly toasting sesame seeds in a skillet until golden brown, then mixing with uncooked white sesame seeds. Try the teriyaki stir-fry sauce on shrimp and chicken, too.

Recipe:  Sesame-crusted Tuna with Teriyaki Stir-Fry

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