Make these 14 international foods at home to remind you of your favorite OCONUS stations

By Julie Provost

Being stationed overseas is one of the perks of military life. Whether you are in a small German town, an Italian village, or a Japanese city, during your time abroad, you will be immersed in the culture and take it back home with you. And, of course, culture includes food. Here are some of the foods from overseas locations you can make once you are stateside.


Okonomiyaki from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Toshiyuki IMAI, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Okonomiyaki: This is a savory pancake with cabbage, protein, and toppings like sesame seeds and green onions. You can mix everything together or you can layer the ingredients.

Udon from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 ポトフ, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Udon: A thick, wheat-flour noodle that only takes four ingredients, you will use flour, cornstarch, warm water, and sea salt to whip up this Japanese staple. Homemade noodles are tastier than the dried ones you can buy at stores and are firm yet chewy.


Homemade Schnitzel from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 Jessica Spengler, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Schnitzel: This classic German food is thinly sliced pieces of veal covered in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then deep fried until golden. Schnitzel is also made with chicken, pork, and even cheese.

Schupfnudeln anbraten from Flickr via Wylio
© 2016 Thomas Schubert, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Schupfnudel: Made in southern Germany, this traditional dish is like a dumpling or a thick noodle and is similar to the Italian gnocchi. These potato fingers are made from rye or wheat flour, egg, and potato. This dish goes well with sauerkraut, duck, and pork.

South Korea

Kimchi from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Lisa Risager, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Kimchi: A a staple in Korean culture, the dish is traditional banchan made from salted and fermented vegetables, napa cabbages, and Korean radishes. There are a variety of seasonings you can use, and there are many different ways Kimchi can be made.

Han Gook Gwan Bibimap from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Indi Samarajiva, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Bibimpap: This is a meal of mixed rice, meat, and assorted vegetables. There are endless ways to fix the dish. More traditionally, it is served with raw beef and raw egg yolk along with other vegetables.


gelato from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 stu_spivack, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Gelato: This cold, creamy treat is the perfect Italian dessert. Made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar, gelato can be flavored with fruit and nut purees as well as other flavorings. Easily make this at home with an ice cream maker. This dessert is lower in fat but higher in sugar than traditional ice cream.

Mmm... Margherita Pizza from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 jeffreyw, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Margherita pizza: This pizza is a famous icon in Italian food culture. It’s made with San Marzano tomatoes instead of sauce. Mozzarella, fresh basil, salt, and extra-virgin olive oil form the rest of the ingredients.


Baklava from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Marc Kjerland, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Baklava: This rich and sweet pastry is a classic dessert in Turkey. The dish is made from layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts such as walnuts or pistachios, and soaked with syrup. Most people like to make baklava in squares, but you can also get creative with the way you present the dish.

lauki ke kofte from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 Devika, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Köfte: Made as meatballs with ground beef, lamb or mutton, crumbled bread, minced onions, and spices, this dish can be found in markets around Turkey. The recipe varies from region to region and even from town to town. Some köfte are meat only, and others are combined with bread, rice, and onions. This dish is served with flatbread, onions, and yogurt.


(While Hawaii is obviously a state in the Union, the flavors are ones that you will want to bring back with you, no matter where you PCS next. We couldn’t help but included these delicious dishes!)

Sweet Sweet Bread from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Joel Penner, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Portuguese sweet bread: This bread–also known as Hawaiian Bread–is usually made during Christmas and Easter but can be enjoyed all year long. It’s made from milk, sugar, honey, eggs, yeast, flour. . . and sometimes lemon peel.

An Hawaiian roasted pig at the AICP Rewards reception from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 David Shankbone, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Pua’a kālua: This pork is what you will find at a luau. The pig is cooked over a pit and roasted slowly all day where it acquires its deep and smoky flavor. You can make a version at home without a pit with a pork butt, Hawaiian or sea salt, and water. It is also served with green onions.

Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at