Much of the typical dishes of Belgium are strongly influenced by French and Dutch cuisine, both countries bordering Belgium. Something that characterizes Belgians when cooking is that they use many popular French techniques, while eating large portions is what represents them, along with delicious drinks.
For Belgians it is important to use products from the region and their own of the season in which they are to prepare the recipes, hence the difference in flavors and predominant ingredients that you will be able to notice between one region and another.
Beyond what most may think, Belgian food is not just junk, actually, typical of Belgium is a particular mix of techniques and styles from other countries.
In this list of typical Belgian dishes you will realize that a very common ingredient will be the potato. It is so relevant in the gastronomy of this country, that the natives often affirm that they were the creators of the French fries.
1. Moules frites
For seafood lovers, this is the perfect Belgian recipe. Moules frites are mussels accompanied by French fries. As I told you before, Belgians eat in large portions and you will see a sample of this in a restaurant where they serve moules frites; If you ask for a portion of this delicacy, they will surely serve you a kilo and a half of mussels with potatoes just for you, do not think that the portion is designed to share, although of course you can, if that is what you want.
This is an easy dish to prepare, you only need a few mussels and steam them with a little celery, onion, carrot and a touch of pepper. It is usually accompanied with a classic cold beer and a delicious dressing that can be prepared with white wine or garlic margarine.
2. Carbonade flamande
If you are interested in trying part of the traditional gastronomy of Belgium, you cannot stop eating the carbonade flmande, which is a stew made from beef that represents Belgian cuisine very well.
This recipe consists of cooking the beef on the grill while it is seasoned with some aromatic herbs such as bay leaf. In addition, a little onion, sugar and vinegar are added. You can see this stew in the kitchens of other countries in this region of Europe, but unlike the classic white wine, in Belgium they prefer to opt for their favorite drink, the world-famous black beer.
If you order it in a restaurant, it will surely be served with French fries or bread, along with a delicious and cold Belgian beer. These combinations are what give the dish a flavor that you will not taste in another country.
3. Pork ribs
This is one of the best known dishes in Belgian gastronomy. Pork gossip is the favorite of both residents and tourists.
The technique with which the ribs are prepared in Belgium makes them crisp and, above all, delicious, ideal to accompany them as tradition dictates, with salad or French fries.
To try to replicate this dish, you can take some pork ribs and fry them in oil until they reach a well-marked golden color. Then, over low heat, cook for about 40 minutes with some pieces of carrots and Brussels sprouts.
This is the name of French fries in Belgium. Traditionally and as it is done in most of the country, potatoes are fried in beef fat, although they can actually do it in oil and achieve a result quite close to the traditional one, because the important thing is in the way in which the potatoes are fried.
The secret of the frietjes is to fry once at a low temperature so that they brown a little, and then, a second time over high heat, so that the browning is intensified, obtaining a fried potato that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
This incredibly delicious aperitif can be found anywhere in the streets and restaurants of Belgium. Unlike many other parts of the world, in this country the tradition is to dip the fries in mayonnaise and not in ketchup sauce.
Fried potatoes are so important to Belgians that in the city of Bruges there is a museum dedicated to the fried potato and its history.
Among the recipes that I will mention in this list, the waterzooi is considered the most traditional of all. Throughout the Belgian territory this creamy soup is prepared inside each home throughout the year.
The creamy soup can be made with chicken or fish, and is prepared with carrots, leeks, cream, eggs and aromatic spices. The most common is that it is accompanied with a little bread.
Some choose to dip the bread in the soup, while others prefer to cut it into pieces and spread it all over the plate to join the soup in each spoonful.
Originally, this dish was known as viszooitje, because it was only prepared with fish, but after chicken began to be used, it was given the name it has today.
6. Filet americain
Finally, I present to you the filet americain, a dish that is not at all popular with visitors and this is thanks to the fact that it is based on raw minced meat.
This dish resembles the fillet of tartar, with the difference that the Belgian version uses finely ground meat mixed with some spices that are very characteristic of the food of this country.
To prepare a filet americain, you need finely ground meat that will then be seasoned with onion, egg yolk, parsley, capers and some sauces such as ketchup and mayonnaise.
This recipe is usually eaten with bread or toast, although you can also order it as the main dish in a restaurant to be served with French fries and a fresh herb salad. Although, traditionally Belgians eat filet americain as a sandwich between two slices of bread.