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5 Must Try Soul Food Dishes

There are few dishes that are as American and comforting as soul food dishes. A traditionally African American based cuisine, soul food is a true amalgam of ingredients and preparation styles. It borrows methods and recipes from African culture, Anglo culture and Native American culture. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you will learn about just a few must try soul food dishes.


Usually served as a side, hushpuppies are a simple dish of deep fried cornmeal batter that has been rolled into a ball. This batter can be seasoned to taste, though it usually contains a strong hint of pepper, and sometimes eve onion. Hushpuppies have long been a staple of southern American cuisine, and have integrated their way into soul food meals, where they are often served alongside of BBQ dishes.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak is a thin slice of bone cutlet that has been seasoned – or "breaded" – with a variety of spices, including salt, pepper, and flour. It is then lightly fried in a skillet with either lard or butter. These steaks are served piping hot, and are sometimes served with a white gravy, as well as alongside mashed potatoes and a side of other vegetables, like mustard greens.


Cornbread is a quick bread that is made out of cornmeal and fried in a deep skillet. This dish is served as a side, and, despite being light and flaky, is also deeply filling, due to the fact that it is simply quite thick.


The name of this dish is derived from exactly from where it is extracted on a pig: its back! Fatback is a true comfort food. This fatty food, which is not as raw or "gristly" tasting as other fatty cuts of meat, is almost always served salted and cured. However, it can also be breaded and lightly fried, which gives it an appearance and flavor that is similar to bacon.


This is a corn-based mash dish that, in most parts of the southern United States, is served as a breakfast food. However, in the context of soul food, it takes on a wide variety of roles. In addition to being served at breakfast, it can also be served as part of an entree with deep fried catfish, or a la carte during a family-style feast.

As you have learned, soul foods are often savory and filling; they're also delicious!