In this installment of our series, we will be exploring the most popular, strange, and exotic foods that start with “K.” Although you may have some difficulty pronouncing some of the food items on our list, we are pretty sure that once you give them a chance, you will see that they indeed taste delicious. From different types of seafood that you probably hadn’t tasted before to hidden tastes the Chinese and Japanese cuisines have to offer, we are pretty sure that you will find something that’s to your taste. Let’s take a look.
Foods that start with “K”
1. Kidney beans
Kidney beans, known for their distinct shape and red color, are a legume that is used in many different cuisines. They are a great source of fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals. They can be used in a variety of dishes and can be a healthy addition to your diet.
Also known as black-eyed peas, kidney beans have been cultivated since ancient times by people across North America and Europe. The word “kidney” comes from their shape; they resemble bean kidneys with two round lobes on either side. In Latin America, the beans are referred to as feijão de pére. Native Americans used dried seeds to create cornmeal mush. Europeans took to calling them “black-eyed” due to their dark coloration.
Kidney beans are usually boiled whole so that the pods break apart easily. You can also remove the outer shells from each pod before cooking. When served fresh, they taste sweet and salty. Cooked versions include chili sauce, salad dressing, hummus, tacos, soups, casseroles, pasta, stir-fries, and even desserts such as crème brûlée.
Kiwi fruits are smaller than most other fruits, are green in color with round yellowish flesh, and have a pleasant, sweet flavor. They are often used in salads or smoothies because they have an acidic taste that helps balance other flavors in the dish. Kiwis are usually eaten as snacks or desserts, but they can also be made into a milkshake, smoothie, ice cream, or sorbet. The fruit looks like a little egg sitting atop its own shell.
Kiwi fruits are a good source of vitamins C and E, potassium, and fiber. They are also low in calories and have a high water content, making them a refreshing and healthy snack.
These yellow fruits originated in China and Southeast Asia where they are grown today mainly in New Zealand. Their flesh ranges between soft and fuzzy.
A culinary delight made popular throughout much of the Middle East, kebabs are pieces of meat, fish or vegetables mounted on skewers and grilled over coals or flames. Kebab recipes vary widely depending on the region and culture. Traditionally, kebab is made from lamb, beef, or chicken. Many kebab dishes contain yogurt sauces flavored with garlic, mint, lemon, saffron, and rosewater. Although many people think that kebab is a dish that only includes meat and bread, that is not the case, as most kebabs include vegetables like eggplant, cauliflower, bell peppers, and zucchini squash.
After grilling, kebabs are often dipped in butter and sometimes served with mashed potatoes, rice, breadcrumbs, or salads.
Kingfish is a firm, silvery-pink type of cod that lives along the Atlantic coastlines in shallow waters. You'll find kingfish filets and whole filets prepared commercially and sold fresh in markets and supermarkets. Kingfish provides plenty of omega-3 fatty acids; therefore, it is a healthy choice that you should be including in your diet.
It is a popular food fish and is often used in Japanese cuisine. The Kingfish is known for its savory flavor and its firm, meaty texture. It is a versatile fish that can be used in a variety of dishes, from sushi to stews.
A Knish is a type of Jewish food that is made with potatoes, onion, and beef. It has a doughy texture, and it is usually served in a sandwich-like shape. In America, they are usually served in a twisted doughnut shape.
These doughnuts originated in Eastern European countries including Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus. Knishes are traditionally filled with cheese curds, and potato or poppy seeds. Sometimes, raisins or nuts are included. Most cooks grate hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Romano directly onto the filling. This mixture is then folded together several times before shaping. Once baked, the knishes are brushed with melted butter and broiled until golden brown.
Although we have a strong contender for the most popular food that starts with the letter “K”, there is no doubt that in recent years kale has increased in popularity. Kale is a dark leafy vegetable that is seen as a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to the high amounts of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients that it contains. Kale belongs to the cabbage family which includes cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts among others. The name ‘kale’ is a Dutch word, meaning ‘bitterness.’ Kale contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene which are plant pigments that are sometimes called "antioxidants”, which are useful against many medical conditions.
7. Kipper fish
Though not as popular as kingfish, kipper fish is another healthy seafood that deserves a mention on our list. Kipper fish is a saltwater fish that are typically found in the Atlantic Ocean. They are popular and are often consumed smoked or pickled. Kipper fish are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a healthy choice for those looking to add more seafood to their diet.
Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish. It is made from salted and seasoned vegetables, with the main ingredients usually being cabbage, radishes, scallions, and garlic. It may also include green chili peppers, ginger root, small shrimp, fish sauce, and salted shrimp. Kimchi is hugely popular in Korea, where it has been eaten for centuries. It is also popular in many other countries such as China and Japan after being introduced by Koreans during their migration to these countries.
The word "Kimchi" is a compound of the words "gimchi" and "chagi." The latter is a Korean word meaning "salt", so it derives from salt-fermented vegetables. The modern word "kimchi" appears to be first attested in the mid-16th century, making it one of the oldest fermented foods known. It is still called gimchi in parts of South Korea and is considered a national dish.
The kaki fruit, also known as the Japanese persimmon, is a deliciously sweet and slightly astringent fruit that is native to East Asia. The kaki fruit has been enjoyed in China and Japan for centuries and is now gaining popularity in other parts of the world.
Kaki fruits are small and spherical, with a slightly flattened shape. They have smooth thin skin that ranges in color from deep red to orange-yellow. The flesh of the kaki fruit is firm and orange, with a large, centrally located seed. They are typically eaten fresh, by hand, or in salads. They are used in cooked dishes, such as pies and jams. Kakis are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber; as a result, it is seen as a healthy food option.
Another citrus fruit originating from Asia, kabosu is a type of citrus fruit that is native to Japan. It is similar in appearance to a lime but is smaller and has a slightly different flavor. The kabosu fruit is often used in Japanese cuisine and can be found in many stores that sell Asian food products. It has thin, smooth skin, and it is seedless. It can be eaten as a snack, used as a topping in salads, or as a juice.
11. Kung Pao chicken
Kung pao chicken is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that is typically made with chicken, peanuts, and vegetables. The dish is often stir-fried and served with rice. Kung Pao chicken is often considered a spicy dish, as it typically contains chili peppers.
The dish is believed to originate from the Sichuan province of China and is typically made with chili pepper paste or sauce.
Kipfel is a German cake that is made with yeast dough, milk, flour, and eggs. It is generally rolled into a spiral and then baked. Although kipfel is traditionally eaten during the Christmas season, it can also be enjoyed year-round and is often served with coffee or tea.
Kokam, a popular Indian snack, looks like a cross between a samosa and a croquet ball. A typical kokam contains potatoes, onion, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, curry powder, yogurt, and spices. At first only available in winter months, they quickly grew in popularity and became widely consumed throughout India. Nowadays, you can buy kokams year-round at Asian grocery stores and online retailers.
Kumquat is a small citrus fruit that resembles a miniature orange; they are native to Southeast Asia. Unlike oranges, however, they lack pulp and feature thick rinds covered in waxy bloom. Their flavor ranges from mild to slightly bitter depending on the variety. Despite having such a unique appearance, kumquats aren't technically edible unless removed from their shells. Once peeled, they turn soft and juicy inside, similar to a grapefruit. They're commonly enjoyed as candied or juiced fresh. While they're primarily grown for culinary purposes, their skins contain compounds believed to possess medicinal properties.
Kielbasa is a sausage that is rooted in Eastern Europe, specifically Poland. It is made from pork, beef, or sometimes veal, and typically seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper. Kielbasa is a versatile sausage that can be grilled, baked, or smoked. It is a very popular sausage in many parts of the world, and it is often used in dishes such as stews and casseroles.
Katsudon is a Japanese dish that is typically served with sliced egg, thinly sliced potato, and green onion. It is most popular in Japan and throughout Asia. It consists of a bowl of white rice and a deep-fried pork cutlet (the pork cutlet is called tonkatsu) topped with shredded carrots, green onion, and egg. It is often eaten with miso soup or tsukemono (Japanese pickles). It is also commonly served with a sweet and savory sauce on top.
Perhaps one of the most famous foods that start with “K”, ketchup is a condiment made from tomatoes, vinegar, and spices. Regardless of your culture or ethnicity, we are pretty sure that you have tasted this beauty at least once. It is generally used as a dip for different types of snacks and dishes. Ketchup is also used as an ingredient in different condiments, such as chili and barbeque sauce.
While our list of foods that start with “K” opens with familiar tastes like kidney beans, kiwi, and kebab, we are pretty sure that you will be surprised by the variety of foods that you have never heard of. If you like pastry, give knish and kipfel a chance, originating from Eastern Europe and Germany, respectively. If you can’t do without seafood, try and see if you like kipper fish and kingfish. If you are into fruits, kaki, kabosu, and kumquat are three citrus fruits from the East, which will offer you a fresh breath of air.
Food That Starts With K
- Choose a unique recipe you never heard of.
- Give it a try!
- Let us know in the comments how you liked it.
- Kidney beans
- Kipper fish
- Kung Pao chicken