Welcome to JarKitchen.com where our readers meet the best foods ever. Our series titled “foods that start with” has taken so much attention that we have decided on continuing this series with the letter K. In this article, we will be talking about foods that start with K. Hopefully, you will be following us up to the end. If you have any letter suggestions like foods that start with K, you can notify us in the comments. Please enjoy this article while sipping your coffee and follow us till the end.
We wanted to start our list with this intriguing food from Finnish cuisine. Kalakukko is the traditional food of a regional area in Finland. When I took a look at the image of kalakukko it reminded me of “bread kebab” my mom cooked when I was a child. But, kalakukko’s color and ingredients are totally different from what I imagined. The dark brownish color actually comes from the rye flour that they use to make the bread. Although they still add wheat flour to easily mold it, the majority of the dough is made of rye flour.
Like other Finnish cuisines, it takes a long time to bake kalakukko to make sure that the ingredients are well-cooked. Interestingly, the kalakukko consists of three different types of meat: fish, pork, and red meat. I am wondering what is the motivation for them to mix these three types into one bread. The outcome looks so delicious that you can see the moistness of the meat from the outside.
You will be seeing a lot of Japanese foods on this list and kamaboko is the first one. If you are familiar with the anime “Naruto”, you probably have seen kamaboko before. As an irreplaceable part of Japanese ramen, kamaboko is the general name for all types of fish cakes. The main ingredient for kamaboko is surimi which is the processed version of fish in the form of white paste. Since this is a unique Japanese food, there is not an exact English translation but, we can call it fish paste since this is the basis of it.
Kamaboko is not the main dish but an ingredient or snack. Depending on your preference, you can eat it cold or grilled. There are different types of kamaboko but I will be mentioning the most popular one. Red Kamaboko is the most famous one although its outer layer is pink and the inside is white. You can see red kamaboko in ramen, udon or soba. The second most popular one is Naruto kamaboko that gives its name to the anime character Naruto. Although it has the same colors as red kamaboko, what makes naruto kamaboko is its swirling pink designs and ragged edges. This is also a popular choice for ramen or other soups.
There is a common fallacy about karaage, especially by foreigners. Until searching for the details about karaage, I was thinking of karaage only as “deep-fried chicken” from Japanese cuisine. However, karaage turned out to be a word used for any kind of deep-fried e-meat. But, that doesn’t change the fact that the deep-fried chicken version is the most popular one. Before cooking the meat, they usually cover it with potato or corn starch or flour to make the crispy effect.
During my stay in Japan, karaage was my life-saver thanks to its affordability and good taste. Thanks to these qualities, you can find them wherever you go in Japan. In my opinion, I would easily spend my life only eating karaage in Japan. You can consume karaage as the main dish or combine it with steamed rice.
4. Kare Raisu
In our previous article, we have talked about Indian curry. Kare raisu is the Japanese curry rice that has a totally different taste than the usual curry. When we translate it into English, it means “curry and rice”. In other words, Japanese curry does not only consist of curry but rice as well. The curry flavor we use for Indian curry is in the texture of powder while we use curry roux for Japanese curry.
So long as you have the curry roux itself, you don’t have to be in Japan to try kare raisu. You can find curry roux in 4-tablet packages and use only one of them when you cook curry. For the ingredients, it will depend on your preference but meat, potato, and carrot are the main ingredients. I have eaten both pork and chicken curry version of kare raisu before. In my opinion, to balance the sweet taste of the carrot and potato with the meat and curry roux, pork meat has played a better role than chicken. The main reason why this meal is combined with rice is that Japanese people consume any food with rice, even breakfasts. You will feel the creamy taste of the curry when you mix it with your steamed rice with only one taste.
Our next food is from my own origins: one of the most favorable dishes of Turkish cuisine, karnıyarık. It takes its name from the shape of the eggplant whose body is split into two and stuffed with a mixture. “Karnıyarık” means “the one with a cracked stomach” and this is literally what this dish looks like. Eggplant and minced meat have an essential place in Turkish cuisine and this dish is one of them.
By grilling the eggplants on the pan for a few minutes with the oil, you will get them softer and split their interior into two by taking out the soft part. After that, you will be stuffing that part with the mixture of onion, pepper, minced meat, tomato, tomato, and pepper paste, and some seasonings. Once you finish filling all eggplants you can add tomato and pepper on them if you prefer and put them in the oven until the eggplants start cracking. There is a lot of Turkish food that can be cooked with the same ingredients like musakka, imam bayıldı, or Ali Nazik. Hopefully, we will be mentioning them in our following articles as well.
This will be the 4th Japanese food out of the six on this list but I can assure you that it is so delicious. Katsudon is a combination of tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and donburi (rice bowl). “Katsu” means the process of pounding the meat before cooking while “don” refers to the fact that this is a bowl dish. There will always be rice at the bottom of the bowl and you can put the meat on it after you cook the meat with the omelet. You can add scallions to it to complete your bowl.
In Japan, there is a common belief that eating “katsudon” will bring success along with it. This is because “katsu” is a synonym with the word “achieving” in Japanese. That is why many students eat katsudon before taking important exams or detectives eating katsudon before catching the culprit. Those are all superstitions but you should taste this amazing bowl dish once in a lifetime.
7. Kebab (or Kebap)
As one of the most famous Middle Eastern dishes, kebab is a general name that we use for any type of grilled meat. In Turkish cuisine, any type of meat that is cooked by using a skewer is known as kebab. You will get the traditional shish kebab by lining small cubes of meat on a skewer and grilling it. In Turkey, there are different variations of kebabs like Adana, Urfa, shish, Iskender depending on the region or the type of grilling of the kebab.
When we think of kebabs as Turkish people, the first thing coming to mind is Adana kebab because Adana is the region that is famous for its kebabs. What makes Adana kebab special is the spiciness of the meat. In a usual Adana kebab plate, there will be grilled tomato and peppers along with the Adana kebab, bulghur pilaf, and yogurt. If you think you may have an issue with the spicy foods, we highly recommend you try Urfa kebab which is the not spicy version.
8. Kettle Corn
As a genius discovery for the food sector, kettle corn is the embodiment of oxymorons. While it is supposed to be usual popcorn when you wait for corn to pop, you can turn it into a dessert by adding some sugar and caramel. You may wonder why they use “kettle” to define this food. It is because they have used iron kettles for the first time to make kettle corns.
The key to the best kettle corn is not adding sugar after you make sure that one of the kernels pop and the pan is hot enough. In this way, you will not feel the rough surfaces of the sugar while eating because it will melt along with the heat. At this point, you can prefer using caramelized sugar to add the caramel taste into your kettle corn as well.
Being a traditional dish from Georgia, khachapuri is actually the name of the cheese that people use to cook this food. Judging from the outer appearance, khachapuri is very similar to the Turkish pitas that are filled with ingredients like cheese, meat, or vegetables. By giving the oval-like shape to the dough and making clear edges like the ones in pizza, there will be a space in the middle. They generally use egg, khachapuri cheese, and seasonings to make the filling for that area.
When the outer layer of the dough gets its crusty texture, the dish is ready to serve. It is better to dip the bread part of khachapuri in the filling of cheese and egg and eat it. The best way to enjoy your khachapuri is to eat it with your bare hands. You should feel the warmth of the bread and fill your mouth with a whole piece of that.
Here is a combination of two cuisines for you. As part of Chinese and Philipino cuisines, kiampong is a type of rice casserole. The texture of the rice is pretty similar to the Turkish pilaf where the rice sticks to each other. The biggest difference, however, is that rice is not the only main ingredient. What makes this food interesting is the usage of pork belly, Chinese sausages, shiitake mushrooms, and the vegetables of your preference. By ordering kiampong at a restaurant in the Philippines, you can complete your one meal thanks to the mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and oils in it. Since I get used to eating rice without any other ingredients (even salt), kiampong looks a little messy to me, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try when I have the chance.
11. Kimbap (or Gimbap)
Once you take a look at the image of kimbap, you may ask yourself “Isn’t this sushi?”. As a person who had a chance to taste both kimbap and sushi, I can assure you that these two are totally different from each other considering the fillings and the rice. While cooking rice for sushi, they usually soak it with rice vinegar while they use sweeter and sesame oil for kimbap. Besides, I have never seen a street food seller where I can buy sushi that I can eat with my bare hands. During my visit to South Korea, I bought a lot of street food including kimbap and I could eat it with my bare hands while walking because I didn’t have to dip it in anything.
Other than this difference, they usually don’t use raw meat to make kimbap. The main ingredients for the filling could be only vegetables, tuna, fish egg, cheese, kimchi, or pork cutlet. Comparing kimbap to sushi, I can say that kimbap’s portions are bigger especially if you get it as street food. While you need soy sauce to sweeten the rice of sushi, you can already complete that step while preparing the rice of kimbap. There is no need to say this but both of them were pretty delicious for me. But if I were a beginner, I would start with kimbap since it doesn’t consist of raw meat and switch to sushi.
Being the king of fermented vegetables, kimchi is one of the best Korean cuisines for me. Although the main ingredient for the kimchi is napa cabbage, people are using Korean radish to make it. The fermentation process of kimchi takes longer than you imagine. After cutting the cabbage and salting it, you need to add water that will be enough to cover the whole cabbage. Once the 1-2 waiting process is over, you need to rinse the cabbage and spend the waiting time preparing the paste for kimchi. Shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and ginger are the essential ingredients for the spice paste.
Once you mix all the ingredients, you can add your cabbages and mix them with the paste as well. After that, you will be waiting for 1 to 5 days for your cabbage to get fermented. Eventually, you will be getting the sweet-sour taste. If you believe in yourself about the spices, you are free to add more spices to the mixture before the fermentation process. I have seen many dishes where kimchi is either a side dish or one of the ingredients.
13. King Crab
As its name states, king crab is the biggest harvestable crab type with its average 24 pounds weight. What makes it special is the weight and the rareness of it. According to some sources, there are only four stocks from there you can get king crab. As a result, the price of king crab is pretty expensive. Because of its exclusiveness, there are markets only selling king crab’s legs by shattering the crab into pieces. In this way, it would be possible for anyone to afford at least some part of it.
With its high protein supply, king crab could be one of the best meat types for your body. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, king crab will definitely lead you to a healthier lifestyle through a proper diet.
14. Kit Kat
Taking its name from a political club called “Kit-Cat Club” in London, Kit Kat is probably one of the most well-known chocolate brands in history. The most popular Kit Kat version is those having 4 fingers in it. It may not be right to call Kit Kas chocolate since it is basically a wafer bar that is covered with chocolate. What makes Kit Kat so special is the variations in the appearance and the ingredients of Kit Kat.
What took Kit Kat one step forward is probably the involvement of Japan in the chocolate business. Although the general image of Kit Kat is the ones with red packages, I ate more than 6 different versions of Kit Kat during my stay in Japan: Sakura, orange, cherry, sake, yuzu, lemon. According to the latest updates, there are more than 300 versions of Kit Kat only in Japan. Most of them take their places on the shelves during special occasions or definite seasons. Each of them has a unique taste differing from the others. Japan’s Kit Kat’s fame has reached up to such a point that you can actually order them online in any other country.
15. Kobe Beef
After King Crab, here is another exclusive food for you. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you about my personal experiences with this Japanese beef because I couldn’t afford it during my stay in Japan. 1 pound of Kobe Beef almost costs 110$ and we will be telling you why it is that expensive. Kobe beef takes its name from the Kobe region in Hyogo prefecture because the cattle are grown in this area.
What gives Kobe beef its exclusive taste is the way they raise the cattle. To promote the appetite of the cows, they first give beers to the cattle. After that, they massage cattle daily, sometimes by using sake. And, this provides the meat get smoother and softer. Lastly, as you can guess, they make the cattle listen to classical music to let them relax and regains their appetite. Considering the time and effort that they spend on raising those cows, the price is somehow reasonable. Like with any other exclusive food, there are many fake Kobe beef sellers. If you really want to eat the real one, you need to spend some money on it.
16. Korean Barbecue
As one of the best gifts of Korean cuisine, Korean barbecue is the best excuse for gathering together with friends. Imagine a portable stove in the middle of the seat that you have taken. When it comes to Asian barbecue restaurants, they are usually working with the self-catering service. They will be bringing the meats you ordered and you will be starting to cook them by yourself in the oven.
For the Korean barbecue, tenderloin or the sirloin part of the beef are mostly preferred. As can be seen in other meats, marination is the most essential part of the barbecue. By mixing ginger, scallions, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, pepper, and soy sauce, the marination of the meat becomes ready. After the marination, they will directly bring your meat to the table and you can take the start. Since the tenderloins or sirloins are usually thinly but lengthwise sliced, it gets harder to eat them with nibbles. For this reason, there are always special scissors at the table to cut the longer part of the meat. If you ever watch any Korean drama, you will definitely come across a character cutting their meat with scissors.
Just by looking at the elegant images of this cake, you will grasp that kransekake is a special occasion cake. As a common tradition in Denmark and Norway, kransekake is for celebrations like Christmas or weddings. There is an alternative name for this cake as well: the wreath cake. Considering the outer appearance, it would not be a surprise to rename this cake as a wreath cake thanks to its many layers. Usually, there will be around 18 cookies that stand on each other with the help of white icing.
The most interesting thing about this cake is that it is totally gluten-free! If you have a gluten allergy, you can enjoy this cake or you can revise the recipe for another cake. All ingredients are egg whites, sugar, and almond. What is most important is to bring almond into the texture of flour. After mixing all ingredients, your dough will be ready to rest for the night. The next day, you can bake your cake and lay them on top of each other to create your own tower.
Like Kransekake, Kugel is a type of food for religious occasions like Jewish holidays. The name kugel refers to the round shape of the casserole dish. Basically, kugel is a type of casserole made by egg noodles. Although the first known kugels are made from wheat and flour, they started using egg noodles and sweet ingredients for the following recipes.
The most interesting part is the other ingredients for the recipe. Generally, they use egg noodles, cottage cheese, sugar, cinnamon (if you prefer), milk, and vanilla. In my opinion, casseroles usually taste salty but kugel is not supposed to taste salty with those ingredients. Besides, baking egg noodles in the oven is a totally different approach for using egg noodles. As in any other casserole recipes, the cook is free of determining the ingredients by his/her preference so that he/she can make it sweet, savor, or salty.
19. Kung Pao Chicken
This time we are moving to Chinese cuisine with its one of the most well-known dishes. When we translate Kung Pao directly into English, it becomes “Palace Guardian” because the food is named after the Sichuan province governor. As for its gastronomical meaning, Kun Pao chicken is a stir-fried chicken type that takes attention with its sauce. Like other Chinese dishes, Kung Pao chicken is probably best when you order it from the restaurant itself not cook by yourself. This is because many ingredients will cost you more than the delivery itself.
After cutting your chicken meat into cubes, you need to marinate them with baking soda, corn starch, and vinegar. While the marination process continues, you can spend the remaining time preparing the sauce. There are 6 main items to complete your sauce: dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), chicken broth or water, hoisin sauce (or bean paste), light soy, and Chinese wine. When you are ready, you can mix the sauce with chickens and start frying. Other than this sauce, another essential part of Kung Pao chicken is Sichuan pepper and Welsh onions. If I am not mistaken, I have eaten Kung Pao chicken once, but I cannot recall its taste.
We wanted to finish our list with special food from Russia. Like kugel, Kurnik has surprised me in another way. While I was hoping it to be sweet from the outer appearance, it turned out to be totally different. Chicken, rice, eggs, mushrooms are the main ingredients for this Russian chicken pie or Kurnik recipe. They frequently serve this food during holidays, especially Easter. Kurnik’s design and the ingredients may differ from one family to the next. It can be made with two crusts or only one; some recipes use blini-like pancakes to separate the layers of ingredients. The most interesting thing about Kurnik is that they also serve it at wedding ceremonies. By preparing two different Kurnik for bride and groom, they try to reflect different sides of them. By designing the outer crust of the Kurnik with people’s figures, they try to represent the power of the groom while they use flower decorations for the bride’s Kurnik to represent her beauty. This is probably the best time for me to see food representing the character of the person.
Bonus! The last food to start with k: Kefir
Before finishing this article, I wanted to add one of my favorite drinks to this list before finishing. Kefir is the number one solution when it comes to relieving bowel problems. Its content is between buttermilk and yogurt, and you need kefir yeast to prepare kefir at home. You get kefir in the desired consistency by adding a certain amount of kefir yeast to the milk and keeping this mixture at 20 degrees. Because of its smell, most people don’t prefer drinking kefir. Therefore, some milk brands try to produce kefir made with fruits to take the attention of the people. By the way, you don’t have to use kefir only as a beverage. Besides this, you can also cook delicious foods such as smoothies, cakes, pancakes, and pastries by using kefir. Although we suggest kefir as a healthy drink, everything should have a limit even if they are healthy. The amount of kefir an adult should consume should not exceed one glass a day. My suggestion is to start with the kefirs including fruits and switch to natural ones. In this way, you will be getting used to the taste slowly as I did.
Final Thoughts on Foods That Start With K
While finishing another pleasant article titled “foods that start with K”, I must admit I have put much emphasis on Asian cuisine, especially Japanese ones. Hoping that you have learned different things from our article “Foods that start with K”, we will be continuing our series with different letters by mentioning different cuisines. Finding foods that start with K was not challenging at all but, this doesn’t mean that it was easy writing about foods that start with K. Trying to pick the best and the most interesting food names for you, I tried to reflect my own ideas about the foods that start with K as well.
In case you think of foods that start with K from your own country, please leave a comment down below so that we can also learn from you. Following this article titled foods that start with K, we will be talking about the foods that start with V. Hopefully, we will be bringing interesting content for our next article as well.
This is Merve from the JarKitchen Team. I am a freelance content specialist, and I like cooking different recipes in my free time. During the pandemic, I have had plenty of time to practice my cooking skills and cooking turned out to be a hobby for me.