Snacks and Food-Ball For The World Cup

The 2018 World Cup is kicking off shortly in Russia and we can’t wait to watch the games together! Of course there needs to be lots and lots of food to munch on, so we’re putin a global spin on game snacks by featuring recipes inspired by participating countries.


Beginning with the host country, try your hand at these delectable meat-filled Russian dumplings, from They are known as ‘pelmeni’ in their home country, probably because those who eat them always want pel-meni more. Serve hot (dowan cold wor).



1 egg

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


18 ounces ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons ice-cold water

1 tablespoon coarse salt

freshly ground pepper to taste



1. Combine egg, vegetable oil, and salt in a measuring cup; add enough water to fill to 1 cup. Pour into a bowl, add 3 cups flour, and knead into a smooth, elastic dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.

2. Dust a baking sheet lightly with 1 tablespoon flour.

3. Combine ground beef, onion, water, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix filling thoroughly by hand or using a fork.

4. Roll out a portion of the dough very thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds with a cookie cutter or a wine glass. Keep the rest of the dough covered with a towel to avoid drying out. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of filling on one side of the dough circle. Fold dough over and seal the edges using fingers, forming a crescent. Join the ends and pinch them together. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Freeze pelmeni for 30 minutes to prevent them from sticking together.

5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and drop small batches of frozen pelmeni into simmering water. Cook and stir until the meat is cooked and pelmeni float to the top, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to serving plates using a slotted spoon.


Say Ola bola to this lovely Patatas Bravas recipe from It’s simple to prepare so you tak-paella work so hard. This dish literally means ‘spicy potatoes’, referring to cubes of potatoes served in a spiced tomato sauce – need we say more?   



Olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup prepared mayonnaise
1 large plum tomato, halved, seeded and roasted until soft
Few dashes hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Splash aged sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large Russet potatoes, parboiled, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Flat-leaf parsley leaves



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in the oven.

2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cook for 30 seconds. Let cool slightly.

3. Combine the onion mixture, mayonnaise, tomato, hot pepper sauce, and vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth, season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

4. Heat 2-inches pure olive oil or canola oil in a large high-sided, heavy-bottomed skillet until it begins to shimmer. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove the potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate for a moment to drain the excess oil.

5. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, put the potatoes on the pan in an even layer and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan and season the potatoes with a bit more salt. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the aioli and garnish with parsley leaves. Serve caliente (hot).


A classic appetizer normally eaten at an asado (Argentinian barbeque), indulge in this super simple yet muy sabroso recipe from Bring your napkins – it may get Messi.


Ingredients (serves 2):

400 g provolone cheese cut 1 inch thick
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
½ tsp chilli flakes
Sourdough bread toasted



1. Lay your slab of provolone onto the kitchen bench and press some fresh oregano leaves onto the top. Scatter some chilli flakes over as well, pressing down gently so they stick.

2. Heat a 12-14 cm cast iron skillet over medium-high flame. Lay the cheese in the skillet, unseasoned side down. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it gets nice and golden on the bottom.

3. Flip the cheese over with a spatula and cook the other side as well, until it all melts and fills the skillet.

4. To serve, garnish with more oregano leaves and chilli flakes. Simply dunk into it with the toasted bread.


From the land that brings us delights such as schnitzel, bratwurst, pretzel, and Ozil, meet the mighty Kartoffelpuffer; more commonly known as a German potato pancake. Depending on where you are in Germany, they could be named Reibekuchen, Reibeplätzchen, Reiberdatschi and Grumbeerpannekuche (aiyo). They’re quite a mouthful, but delicious mouthfuls at that. Try this version courtesy of



2 1/2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and very finely grated
1 small yellow onion, very finely grated
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon sea salt
neutral-tasting oil for frying



1. Thoroughly wring out the liquid in the grated potatoes by placing them in a colander and squeezing them with your hands or by placing them in a clean dish towel and wringing out the liquid.

2. Place the drained grated potatoes in a medium-sized bowl with the grated onion, eggs, flour and salt and use your hands to work it into a tacky mixture.  Add a little more flour if needed. Do no let the mixture sit for long before using it, use it immediately.

3. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the mixture (depending on size preference) in the hot pan and flatten into pancakes with the back of a spoon.  Fry on both sides for 3-5 minutes until the Kartoffelpuffer are golden. Place them briefly on paper towels.

4. Serve immediately while hot with applesauce, fruit compote or powdered sugar.  For a savory version serve with herbed yogurt, quark or creme fraiche or with meat and gravy as part of a meal.


The one thing that’s probably easier to find than a Kim in Korea is Korean Spicy Chicken Wings! They are ubiquitous for a reason – one bite makes you go om-nom-nom-yangnyeom. In light of recent happy events, let’s not be particular if this recipe represents South or North, just enjoy the burn of this nuclear-spicy recipe from

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
12 large chicken wings
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp ground ginger
150 g (1 cup) potato flour, plus extra, to dust
vegetable oil, to deep-fry
chopped unsalted peanuts, to serve


Sweet and spicy sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
95 g (⅓ cup) gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp corn syrup or honey


(Marinating time 2 hours)

1. Process garlic and onion in a food processor to a paste. Place in a bowl with chicken, mirin, ginger, 2 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, and combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.

2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add remaining ingredients and 60 ml water, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.

3. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towel. Whisk flour with 100 ml water until smooth. Fill a deep-fryer or large pan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds).

4. Working in 3 batches, dust wings in extra flour, dip into batter, allow excess to drain off, then drop into oil and fry, turning halfway, for 4 minutes or until cooked and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season. Serve with the sauce and peanuts.


We couldn’t miss featuring a recipe from the gastronomical superpower that is Japan! Everyone loves munching on popcorn at the movies, but we bet you haven’t tried making this umami-sweet Japanese popcorn that is made with Nori, sesame seeds, and brown sugar. Just between us, we call this dish J-Popcorn.


1 tbsp of nori seaweed flakes
1 tbsp of black sesame seeds
1 tbsp of light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp of coconut oil
75g of popcorn kernels
2 tbsp of butter, optional



1. In a pestle and mortar, grind the nori sprinkle, 2/3 of the sesame seeds, sugar and salt to a fine powder.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 3 popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat until they pop

3. Immediately add the rest of the corn after the corn has popped, replace the lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until all the kernels have popped

4. Transfer the popped corn to a large bowl and pour over the melted butter, if using. Sprinkle over your sweet and salty nori mixture and use your hands to mix well until every piece is coated

So much food and so little time, so hurry and whip up these unique dishes before the referee blows the whistle! As always, you can find a collection of our recipes at We’ve sourced the finest ingredients from all over the globe for your cooking convenience, so drop by Ben’s Independent Grocer to pick up what you need. Have a wonderful World Cup!

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