Cooking Every National Dish | Charles Tang

Welcome to my (Charles’s) food blog, where I will cook every (or as many as I can) national dish for my Senior Independent Study Project (SISP) at Mass Academy!

I'm Charles, a current senior at Mass Academy, and my cooking skills are pretty limited. In the past, I have made breakfast eggs or basic fried rice dishes, but nothing fancier than home-friendly foods. In fact, I recently participated in Mass Academy's cooking club run by Ms. Small and Dr. Crowthers, which I greatly enjoyed. My SISP project is to spend at least 100 hours to become more skillful at cooking and experienced with various cultures and flavors around the globe. From learning different cooking tools to playing around with different spice combinations, I will embark on a journey across the world while staying in the vicinity of my kitchen.

Furthermore, I hope to gain food blogging and photography skills by creating a food blog/online cookbook website showcasing my work. I hope you enjoy exploring these recipes I cook! I will also be leaving my personal reviews on each recipe I cook, and since I have a very particular taste for foods, don't get too riled up by my ratings; I am just a high school student.

Go back to personal website to learn more about my interests and academic work.


🇬🇲 Gambia

June 6, 2023

Rating: 4/10

Equipment: Dutch oven (or a large pot)

My second recipe! Domoda is a Gambian Peanut Stew made with peanut butter, tomatoes, and onions, and is usually served with rice. This was my first time cooking an African dish, and also the first time making a stew using a Dutch oven.

Meat Spicy Salty
🇳🇬 Nigeria

July 16, 2023

Rating: 7/10

Equipment: food processor, Instant Pot

My fifteenth recipe! Jollof is a very popular dish in West Africa, and is a tomato-based rice dish. It is very similar to Spanish paella, but with a lot more spices and flavor. It is a very popular dish in Nigeria, and is often served with chicken or beef.

Vegan Salty
🇪🇬 Egypt

July 17, 2023

Rating: 10/10

My ninth recipe! Koshary (or Koshari) is a delicious mix of grains and sauce, with diverse flavor! It is eaten as a “peasant dish” in Egypt as the ingredients used can be found in any common household. It is also a very popular street food in Egypt, and is usually served with a red tomato sauce and fried/caramelized onions. There are six main parts to this recipes which are rice, lentils, pasta, tomato Sauce, fried onions, and chick peas.

Meat Spicy
🇹🇳 Tunisia

October 16, 2023

Rating: 7.5/10

Equipment: Large skillet (or wok)

My sixteenth recipe! Shakshuka is a delicious tomato-based breakfast dish with eggs poached in the sauce. It is a popular dish in the Middle East and North Africa, and is usually served with bread or some other type of grain. The dish is very easy to make and is very customizable with spices and herbs to make it more flavorful.


Meat Salty
🇭🇹 Haiti

July 27-28, 2023

Rating: 6/10

Equipment: deep fryer (or a large pot)

My twelth recipe! Haitian Griot is a delicious fried pork dish, usually served with plantains or tostones. It is a very popular dish in Haiti, and is usually made with a common seasoning mix called Epis. The pork is usually marinated overnight, and then fried in a large pot.

Meat Salty
Pepian de Pollo
🇬🇹 Guatemala

July 16, 2023

Rating: 9/10

Equipment: food processor

My eigth recipe! This is the first North American (and Latin American) dish I made so far. It was a very interesting dish to make, as it used many ingredients that I have never used before (such as pepitas and sesame seeds). The sauce smelled so delicious throughout the process, especially with the blend of toasted seeds. This is also the first time I used a food processor, which I dug up from the basement of my house.

Meat Salty
🇨🇦 Canada

July 26, 2023

Rating: 8/10

My eleventh recipe! Canadian Poutine is made with fries topped with a delicious gravy and squeeeeeeeaky cheese curds (straight from Canada!). It is a hearty dish that is perfect for a cold winter day, yet I cooked it in a heatwave in July. Poutine is a dish that is very popular in Canada, and is a must-try for anyone visiting the country.

Meat Salty
🇸🇻 El Salvador

November 24, 2023

Rating: 7/10

Equipment: Large skillet (or wok)

My eighteenth recipe! Pupusa is a traditional El Salvadorian dish that is a thick corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, beans, and/or meat. I made this dish for Thanksgiving it was a great experience! The dough was very easy to make and the filling was very flavorful. The pupusas were very filling and were a great addition to the Thanksgiving table.


Chicken Adobo
🇵🇭 Philippines

October 16, 2023

Rating: 7.5/10

Equipment: Large skillet (or wok)

My seventeenth recipe! Chicken adobo is a popular Filipino dish that is made by marinating chicken in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. The chicken is then cooked in the marinade and served with rice. The dish is easy to make yet so delicious for meal prepping!

Vegan Spicy Salty
Japanese Curry
🇯🇵 Japan

August 23, 2023

Rating: 9/10

My thirteenth recipe! Japanese Curry (or Kare) is a flavorful and well-liked dish for any occasion. I cooked it this time for my meal prep, and it was a great choice. I used a pre-made curry roux and topped it with some flavorful chicken (or no chicken for a vegan alternative). I will definitely be making this again in the future!

Meat Spicy Salty
Kimchi (and Fried Rice)
🇰🇷 Korea

July 5-11, 2023

Rating: 8/10

My seventh recipe! I have never made fermented foods (pickles, kimchi, etc) before and this was definitely a first. This recipe used many Asian ingredients, which are sometimes a pain in the rear end to obtain (such as gochugaru spice). The outcome came out pretty well, although I think I can balance out the cabbage and radish portions better if I made it again (which I definitely will!).

Meat Spicy Salty
🇳🇵 Nepal

June 26, 2023

Rating: 9/10

Equipment: steamer pot

My fifth recipe! Since I have a Nepali friend, they showed me how to make one of the most popular dishes in Nepal, momo! Essentially, momo are dumplings, commonly served with a spicy tomato sauce. We made 175 momo, but this recipe below is scaled down for 100. It’s also a popular street food in Nepal, and can be served for any event!

Meat Spicy Umami
🇵🇰 Pakistan

June 14, 2023

Rating: 8/10

Equipment: Instant Pot

My third recipe! Nihari is a Pakistani beef stew made with a lot of spices and seasoning, as well as beef shank. I decided to use an Instant Pot version of this recipe to make it cook faster, cut down on the portioning, and made some substitutions along the way.

Meat Salty
🇨🇳 China

July 1/2, 2023

Rating: 10/10

My sixth recipe! One of my childhood favorites, I went to my grandmother’s to learn her famous recipe (Meat Zongzi). Since China’s actual national dish (Peking Duck) is near impossible to make at home, I decided to learn one of my grandmother’s recipes. Zongzi is essentially a stick rice dumpling, which is a tradition to eat during the Dragonboat (Duanwu) Festival. It is a pretty complicated recipe, but I hope you enjoy it!


Meat Salty
🇵🇹 Portugal

July 25-August 19, 2023

Rating: 6/10

Equipment: butcher’s paper (I used aluminum foil)

My tenth recipe! Bacalhau (or Bacalao in Spanish), is salted fish, which is used in a variety of cooking from stews to fried fish and Croquetas. Just salting fish filets makes Bacalhau Fresco, which is cured and salted for 1-2 weeks. I then cooked rice with the salted fish which makes Arroz de Bacalhau. This is my first time working with fish as well!

Meat Salty
🇪🇸 Spain

September 4, 2023

Rating: 8/10

Equipment: Paelle pan (or a large pan/wok/skillet)

My fourteenth recipe! Spanish Paella is a delicious seafood rice dish served with seafood, chicken, vegetables, and a very expensive and potent seasoning called Saffron. The rice dish is usually cooked in a large pan, and then served with lemon slices. Paella can be cooked in a multitude of ways, such as using rabbit meat, chorizo, pork, and other vegetarian options. Shoutout to Ms. Small for the saffron!!

Potato Rosti
🇨🇭 Switzerland

May 30, 2023

Rating: 6/10

Equipment: box grater

My first recipe! Potato Rosti is an easy pan-fried potato “pancake” that is crispy on the outside and extremely buttery on the inside. t is a popular breakfast dish in Switzerland. This was also my first time using a box grater!

Meat Umami
🇳🇱 Netherlands

June 17, 2023

Rating: 7/10

My fourth recipe! Stamppot is a Dutch dish that is essentially mashed potatoes with vegetables. I decided to used kale as my vegetable and served it with kielbasa sausage. It was a very simple yet hearty dish, and I really enjoyed it! I especially liked the creaminess of the mashed potatoes and how it goes with the sausage.