Around the world in four plates

UB students share their favorite cultural recipes

mooncake

The Student Union may be one of the most popular places for UB students to grab their grub, but some students say the impersonal feeling of campus food leaves them craving something a little closer to home. 

UB has students from 115 different countries, many of which aren’t represented as a part of the university’s on-campus dining options. In order to commemorate the diverse dishes that haven’t made their way to campus, students told us their favorite recipes from home. 

  1. Chinese Mooncake

Jason Xu, a sophomore business administration major and Chinese Students and Scholars Association president, invites everyone to look deeper into Chinese culture with the Chinese Mooncake. 

Xu is from Shanghai and said the dessert is a representation of the “full moon” and sharing with loved ones. This cake is primarily made during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, a harvest festival like Thanksgiving. 

Mooncakes are offered in multiple flavors, the most common being redbean, nuts and Xu’s favorite, coconut. 

  1. Vietnamese Bún Riêu 

As a first-generation American, sophomore business administration major Abby Tran enjoys a combination of Cantonese and Vietnamese cultures in her family meals.

When it came to picking her favorite food, Tran said the Vietnamese tomato-based bún riêu was the obvious choice. The contents of the dish are staple flavors in Vietnamese cooking and contain some of Tran’s favorite ingredients: tomatoes and crab.

For those who don’t like seafood, Tran suggests bún bò huế, a spicy beef soup with a strong umami profile or bánh xèo, a crepe-like omelette with unlimited filling options. 

  1. Russian Zharkoye

Larry Novofastovsky, a sophomore accounting major, grew up with a kitchen stocked with classic home-cooked Russian foods such as zharkoye, a nostalgic dish that Novofastovsky’s grandmother typically prepared. 

This traditional meal consists of potatoes, vegetables and beef combined in a stew that’s broiled for hours. 

  1. Indian Butter Chicken 

Butter chicken, a common Indian dish, is a favorite of junior mechanical engineering major Kaustubh Fukey. 

The iconic recipe can taste different every time you eat it. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, the unique mix of spices allows for experimentation in flavor. Ingredients like cumin, garam masala and cilantro make this dish the perfect introduction to the world of Indian cuisine.

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