Claudia Alarcón's Top 10 International Food Mash-Ups

Uchiko
Uchiko (Photo by John Anderson)

Of course, cross-cultural gastronomy is nothing new. Practically every culture's cuisine is a mixture of international ingredients and techniques, but lately I've experienced some new and interesting culinary crossovers.

1) Queso con chutney at Whip In Northern Indian meets Tex-Mex in this addictive version, made with Austin Slow Burn's green chile queso topped with homemade garlicky cilantro chutney. Great with a pint or two from Whip In's superb beer selection.

2) Korean Barbecue tacos at Chi'lantro I absolutely love this truly inspired Mexico City-meets-Seoul mash-up. Its spicy pork taco is one of my favorites; there's something about sesame oil, kimchi, and corn tortillas that really works, like a Korean taco al pastor.

3) Shime saba at Uchiko These guys have chosen to forgo wasabi and soy sauce in favor of more interesting seasonings for their nigiri sushi. My favorite has an Italian accent: cured Norwegian mack­erel, thinly sliced grape tomato, paper-thin truffle, and fresh basil. Swoon-worthy.

4) Huitlacoche risotto at Zandunga Italian technique + Aztec ingredients = amazing stuff. Creamy, earthy, and just downright satisfying, huitlacoche risotto could be featured in any fine-dining restaurant in Mexico City. Well done, chef!

5) Bulgoki burger at Burger Tex Burger Tex is the pioneer in Korean food mash-ups. If you haven't had its Bulgoki Burger, you are truly missing out. Add grilled pineapple if you're feeling extravagant.

6) Crispy fried chicken at Saigon Kitchen Fried chicken is often seen as a quintessential American dish, but this crispy, crunchy version, served with steamed rice, pickled veggies, and fish sauce, is just awesome.

7) Ice cream at Thai Fresh Classic French technique and Asian ingredients in amazing flavor combinations like mango-lime, blackberry-coconut, Thai basil, peach-mint, and sweet corn. Best ice cream in Austin, no doubt.

8) Crepes at Crepes Mille Fusion crepes are not particularly nouvelle, but these guys take it over-the-top with fillings like Penang curry, beef or tofu bulgogi, shrimp scampi, and the popular pork floss.

9) Thai Curry Shrimp Boudin Blanc from Kocur­ek Family Charcuterie I love charcuterie of all sorts, and this one really spoke to me: ground Texas Gulf shrimp seasoned with shallots, garlic, Thai chile, peanuts, palm sugar, cilantro, lemongrass, fish sauce, and coconut milk. As good as it sounds.

10) Artisanal bread from Panaderia Chuy Aside from the best bolillos and Mexican pastries in the city, Chuy Guevara also bakes European-inspired artisanal breads like baguettes, sourdough, cranberry-walnut, and more.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Claudia Alarcón
Savory Characters
Savory Characters
Cooking up the next generation of cocktails

Feb. 6, 2015

Calling the Shots
Calling the Shots
The women defining Austin's cocktail culture

Jan. 23, 2015

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle