Students Share Lunch Recipes From Around the World

Mackenzie Pham, Staff Writer

Laughter is heard throughout the Woodson cafeterias as students from all grades gather to enjoy their delicious lunches. As lunch boxes are being clasped open, an unusual scent arises within the walls of the cafeteria. It is a mix of sweet and sour from many unique dishes around the world. Woodson’s diversity builds off of the student body and their various backgrounds and cultures. Here are a few traditional lunches that Woodson students pack every day. 


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Spring rolls are traditional Vietnamese wraps composed of vermicelli noodles, shrimp, pork, mints, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper dipped in water until soft. A delicious creamy peanut sauce is served alongside as well. Spring rolls are thought to have originated from southern Vietnam, where this refreshing meal nicely balanced the burning heat of the rice farms. As a relatively simple meal to construct, spring rolls provide many needed nutrients such as protein and fat from the shrimp and pork, vegetables from the lettuce and mints, as well as carbohydrates from the vermicelli noodles and the rice paper wrapping. “Spring rolls are a fix to hunger as they bring joy to our mouths with their fresh ingredients and refreshing bites of rice paper, vermicelli noodles, veggies and shrimp,” said Junior Amy Tran. The ingredients for the rolls include:

  • two ounces of rice vermicelli
  • eight rice wrappers (depending on how many you want to make)
  • eight slices of pork belly
  • eight large, cooked shrimp – peeled and split
  • three tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • two heads of lettuce


To make the savory peanut sauce:

  • ¼ cup water
  • three tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • one teaspoon finely chopped peanuts

To assemble this oriental meal: 

  1. Boil the rice vermicelli until soft.
  2. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip 1 rice wrapper into the water for 15 seconds until softened and spread across a plate. In a straight row, assemble 2 shrimps, 2 slices of pork belly, a handful of vermicelli, mint, and lettuce. Fold both sides of the rice paper inwards and tightly roll the paper, starting at the end with the ingredients. 
  3. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. 





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Kimbap is a traditional Korean dish commonly consisting of rice, vegetables, and meat wrapped in seaweed and then cut into small, circular shapes. Kimbap originated in Japan, but then made its way to Korea over time, where it was adapted and modified. “The combination of carrot, pickled radish, protein, spinach, and meat paired with the soft texture of the rice and freshness of the seaweed all coated in layers of flavorful sesame oil creates a decedent symphony as they come together in my mouth,” said Junior Hannah Lee.


“Kimbap is one of my most favorite Korean foods because of its tasty ingredients and appealing appearance,” said Junior Claire Cho. “It’s also really simple to make and common amongst Korean meals.


The specific ingredients for kimbap include:

  • five sheets of seaweed paper
  • four cups of cooked rice
  • ½ pounds of tenderloin
  • four eggs
  • A handful of carrot sticks
  • five strips of yellow pickled radish
  • ten ounces of spinach


To assemble kimbap:

  1. Rinse all vegetables and cut into long strips 
  2. Marinate and fully cook the tenderloin
  3. Mix all eggs and cook them in a circular pan, creating thin sheets. Then, cut the sheets into thin strips the length of the seaweed paper. 
  4. Place a sheet of seaweed paper on a rolling mat and spread ¾ cup of rice throughout the sheet. 
  5. Place beef, carrot, pickled radish, egg strips, and spinach in the center of the rice.  
  6. Grab the folding mat with both hands and press it tightly as you roll the kimbap. However, as you roll the kimbap, do not roll the mat too. 
  7. Remove the mat from the roll and cut the roll into ½ inch this slices



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In North India, people usually consume roti (which is similar to a flatbread) and some sort of cooked vegetable like cooked okra (bhindi), potatoes (aloo), gawar ki phali (native Indian vegetable), or something similar. In South India, people eat idli, which is a rice cake, with sambar (stew) and spicy chutney. In addition, they also have dosa (spicy crepe) with cooked potatoes, sambar and chutney inside. “Idli and dosa are perfect dishes that fit with any Indian meal,” said Junior Samik Bhinge. 


The specific ingredients for the North Indian dish:

  • Roti
  • Okra (bhindi)
  • Potatoes (aloo)
  • Gawar ki phali
  • Onions
  • Turmeric
  • Red chili powder
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • asafoetida


To assemble:

  1. Chop all vegetables and saute onions until softened. 
  2. Add vegetables to onions and then add spices to your liking.
  3. Mix and then cover with lid and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Eat with small pieces of roti in combination with the vegetables.

Recipe: from Junior Zainab Rentia


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Pasta is a staple to the Italian menu, and is commonly eaten during lunch or dinner. One special type includes alfredo pasta, which consists of fettuccine pasta cooked in the classic, creamy alfredo sauce. Alfredo pasta originated in Italy and is said to have developed as a remedy for nausea. The recipe then traveled to the United States where it became a popular dish. “I think Alfredo pasta is delicious, especially if you add chicken and broccoli in it,” said Junior Noelle Duble. “Overall, it is a very good pasta dish.”



The specific ingredients for alfredo pasta include:

  • 24 ounces of fettuccine pasta
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ pint heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup grated Romano cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


To assemble traditional alfredo pasta:

  1. Cook the fettuccine pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes and drain.
  2. In a large pan, melt the butter and add salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese until melted and creamy. 
  3. Add pasta to the sauce.


Recipe link: