5 Healthy Dishes From Around The World to Ignite Your Senses

The best part about visiting new places is trying out the local cuisine. I find that food says a lot about a culture, but mostly I just really enjoy eating! When I try a new dish I expect there to be magic, I want to really feel the flavors of the food. Food should be pleasurable, it should bring out primal feelings in a person.

As with most people, I choose my meals based on mood. When I’m looking for excitement I’ll go with something more refreshing like Salmon Mango Tartare. When I want a good kick, I’ll make Dakdoritang, a spicy chicken dish from Korea. Then there are the days when you find yourself in an unbearable heat and you need a physical cooling down-that’s where Peruvian Ceviche comes in. Food has the ability to change your mood, your physical temperature, and your mindset. A potluck dinner can bring people of all different backgrounds together and a Sunday breakfast can create a lasting family tradition.

Here is a list (in no specific order) of 5 healthy dishes from around the world that will ignite your senses:

1. Salmon Mango Tartare

This healthy dish is a light, citrus filled summer dish; easy to make and delicious to eat.


  1. 2 cups fresh, raw, cubed salmon
  2. 2 cups cubed mango
  3. 1 cup diced kiwi
  4. Lemon zest (to taste)
  5. Salt&Pepper (to taste)
  6. A couple dashes of Tabasco sauce
  7. Fresh dill (to taste)
  8. Juice from 1 lemon


  1. Mix the salmon, mango, and kiwi together in a bowl. Add zest, salt&pepper, Tabasco, and dill. Store in fridge for about an hour (this step is not necessary, simply preference). Add the lemon juice right before serving. Enjoy!

For a more filling dish, add your favorite rice to the mix  (we suggest jasmine rice and poppy seeds). And if raw fish isn’t your thing, substitute the raw salmon for a cooked salmon filet. Still delicious and super healthy. Yum!


2. Peruvian Ceviche

Ceviche is a light dish that delivers a good punch-perfect for a hot day. The origins of Ceviche are much debated but in my opinion Peruvian Ceviche stands on it’s own as the best.


  1. 2lbs firm white fish, cubed
  2. 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. 1 dash of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
  5. 1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
  6. 10 limes, juice the limes and then put through a strainer to remove pulp
  7. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  8. 1 dash fresh ginger, grated


  1. Salt the onion for 3-5 minutes. While waiting for the onion, mix all other ingredients. Rinse the onion and place on top of mixture. Store in the fridge for 2-4hrs. Mix everything together (lightly blend) and serve with a side of fresh salad or cold sweet potato slices.



3. Korean Dakdoritang

This is one of my favorite healthy dishes and, when done correctly, is not for the faint-hearted. Dakdoritang is spicy. It’s great for kicking a cold or a night out paired with Somak (Soju-a Korean alcohol, Makju-Beer). Here is the recipe –


  1. A mix of chicken pieces (breast, thigh, drumstick), about 2lbs
  2. 4 to 6 potatoes (whichever kind you prefer) , peeled and cubed
  3. 3 carrots, chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  5. 2 tablespoons gochujang (red chili pepper paste)
  6. 2 tablespoons guchugaro (red chili pepper flakes)
  7. 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  8. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  9. 2 onions (white or green), chopped
  10. Salt&Pepper
  11. 1 tablespoon ginger, ground
  12. 2 cups of water


  1. Mix all ingredients except the onions into a pot or slow cooker. Cook on simmer for 30-40 minutes, until everything is cooked and the flavor starts to really come out. Add the onions for the last 5 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.



4. Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is such a simple, healthy and tasty salad to make. Traditionally it is made with bulgur but I prefer to use couscous, the choice is yours!


  1. 1 cup uncooked couscous (or bulgur)
  2. 1 red onion, diced
  3. 3 cups of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  4. 1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  5. 1 cucumber, diced
  6. 3 tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 cup of raisins
  8. 1/4 cup of olive oil
  9. 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice


  1. Place uncooked couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over it until it is covered. Set aside under a cloth for 15 minutes. Mix together all ingredients except the olive oil and lemon juice. Once the couscous is finished add to the vegetable mixture, add the olive oil and lemon juice. Place in the fridge until cool and dig in!



5. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

I love jerk chicken. ThisJamaican Jerk Chicken recipe from chef Paul Chung is my favorite to use when cooking at home, but remember, nothing can beat the real thing. So if you need an excuss to get to Jamaica, this is a good one.  This dish is super flavorful  but isn’t overwhelming, which is something I struggle with sometimes. I recommend making it a day before so that the meat can really soak up the spices.

  1. 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  2. 3 medium scallions, chopped
  3. 2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  6. 1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
  7. 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  9. 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  12. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  13. Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered


  1. In a food processor or a Vitamix blender, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
  2. Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the grill for a smokier flavor.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.



All of these dishes ignite a sense or a feeling within that changes you, maybe not forever, but a least for one meal. If you’ve enjoyed these recipes and would like to find more of the same type I highly recommend Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes, by Jane Coxwell. The recipes are fun, simple and tasty.

*Note-When making the following dishes at home feel free to improvise. Yes, cooking is a science, but I feel it’s more a science based on intuition and pleasure. Have fun with it!

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wonderful comments!


Tyler is the Editorial Director of YogiApproved.com. He is a vegetarian but often dreams of buffalo chicken sandwiches. His dog is smarter than your honor student.

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