The foods that we love eating are closely tied with our cultures and upbringings, and what is popular on one side of the world may be unheard-of on the other. Popular comfort foods especially can tell us a lot about the people in foreign lands — what do they eat when they’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up? Which foods feel nostalgic and sentimental?

Even when the dishes or flavors are completely foreign, the emotions behind them are familiar. Food connects us — it crosses the boundaries of geography, language, and culture to reveal our shared humanity.

In our most recent blog post, the foodies here at JJ Fish & Chicken discussed five of our favorite home-grown all-American foods, but today, we want to take a look at the rest of the world. What are the most beloved foods from across the planet?

Read on to learn more, and when you’re ready for some mouth-watering comfort food right here in the United States, visit our crispy fried chicken restaurant at JJ Fish & Chicken in Lakewood, Washington!

Japan: Oden

Oden is a Japanese fish cake stew that is especially popular in the wintertime. It’s widely available for takeout, and you can even get it at corner stores, but it’s also incredibly easy to make at home since it’s a type of nabemono: a one-pot dish.

Common ingredients include boiled eggs, radishes, fish cakes, and vegetables stewed in a warm broth. It’s easy to modify, and many families and restaurants put their own special spin on it, adding octopus and seaweed, or tofu and hot mustard. Next time you’re in Tokyo, ask the locals where they get their favorite oden! You may get a different answer every time.

India: Khichdi

India is home to another widely popular, easily modified one-pot dish: khichdi (roughly pronounced “kish-dee”).

In its simplest form, khichdi is a risotto-like dish that consists of rice, lentils, and a whole lot of seasoning. A staple in most Indian kitchens, khichdi is nutritious, light, and filling, and it can be easily modified to match an infinite variety of tastes. It is often one of the first solid foods that Indian babies eat, so it makes sense that many Indians associate it with home, comfort, and safety.

Lebanon: Man’Oushe

Man’Oushe is a Middle Eastern comfort food that combines all the tastiest traditional Lebanese flavors and spices into one simple, delicious dish. It consists of a flatbread, baked just long enough that the inside is still warm and chewy but the outside is crisp. This is topped with olive oil, za’atar (herbs and spices), tomatoes, and mint, and it’s usually served with lamb, chickpeas, and olives. Is anyone else getting hungry?

United States: Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a well-established American staple. It’s the simplest dish on this list, but it’s definitely our favorite (okay, we’re a little biased). Consisting of chicken that is battered, deep-fried, and coated with mouth-watering spices and herbs, then served with tasty sides like french fries or mashed potatoes, or green beans and mac and cheese, or… where were we going with this?

If, like us, you’re suddenly in the mood for crispy fried chicken, we’ve got you covered! Check out our online menu and then come visit us at JJ Fish & Chicken in Lakewood, where you can try the best fried chicken and fish fry in Washington. We can also bring the chicken to you with our affordable food catering options — contact us today to see what we can do for you.