Looking for foods that start with U? Whether it’s Categories, or even just Scrabble, it can be daunting to get a less commonly used letter. U’ joins the difficult letter group, but I’ve still found 19 foods that start with it!
The cool thing about this list of Foods that Start with U is that there are items from so many different cultures on here. It has single foods, as well as meals, some fruits, and condiments. Most importantly, everything on this list is delicious.
Foods that Start with Letter U
Most commonly known for its distinct bright purple color, Ube is a type of yam that comes from the Philippines. It’s even sweeter than a standard sweet potato and has a subtle nutty flavor, as well as a hint of vanilla, making it a popular ingredient in Filipino desserts. It’s easily confused with Taro, which is a root vegetable too, except while it’s often featured in purple Bubble Tea, it’s usually supplemented with food coloring.
2. Udon Noodles
Udon is thick Japanese wheat noodles that are usually served in broth. You’ll find them served both hot and cold though. The noodles themselves have a pretty mild taste, helping them to take on other flavors easily. They’re springy and chewy, making them the perfect comfort food.
3. Ugli Fruit
Also known as Jamaican tangelo, ugli fruit is a cross between mandarin oranges and grapefruit, and it has a sort of pear shape, with a rough yellowish-orange skin. Ugli fruit is only in season from December to April.
4. Ukrainian Rolls
Also called Pampushki, these Ukrainian dinner rolls are the perfect soft and warm bread to go alongside soups like Borsch. They have a golden-brown crust and a soft, airy interior. It’s almost guaranteed you’re going to want to fill up on them before you even touch your meal.
5. Umami Burger
Umami Burger is a gourmet burger chain in the U.S. For over a decade, they’ve been shaking up the burger game with topping options like truffle aioli, gochujang and of course, umami slaw. More recently, they’ve introduced the Impossible Burger to their menu for anyone looking to skip out on the meat, while still enjoying a tasty burger.
Umeboshi is the pickled version of the Japanese Ume fruit. Ume is often described as a plum, but it’s actually quite similar to an apricot and when it’s preserved, it isn’t exactly meant to be enjoyed like you might a can of fruit salad. Umeboshi is extremely salty and very sour, you probably wouldn’t want to eat a whole one. It’s typically cut up and used as a condiment, served on top of plain rice or in dressings and marinades.
Unagi is the Japanese word for “freshwater eel”. Unagi is never eaten raw. Typically, it’s grilled over charcoal. Surprisingly, Unagi doesn’t have a strong fishy taste. Its meat is soft and chewy and it absorbs flavors really well. You’ll often find it in a soy-based glaze.
8. Unagi Sauce
Unagi Sauce is the glaze that goes on Unagi, and can also be used for other grilled foods or as a condiment with sushi. It’s similar to a BBQ sauce and combines soy sauce with mirin, which is Japanese sweet rice wine. Most recipes also add sugar because the sweetness is a key flavor of the sauce.
9. Unagi Sushi
Unagi Sushi is cooked sushi, with the pieces of Unagi being grilled in their really thick and shiny sauce. While eels themselves might look kind of slimy, Unagi is a really fluffy and flaky fish with a taste most similar to a mild white fish.
10. Unbleached Flour
Flour naturally becomes bleached with time from exposure to oxygen. So when you’re buying unbleached flour, you’re buying flour that has aged naturally. Bleached flour has been given chemical agents to speed up the process. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all Unbleached Flours are chemical-free, but they do have a denser grain. This thicker texture lends well to more structured baked goods like bread and pastries.
Uni refers to sea urchin roe, or, eggs. But unlike the tiny popping orange balls you’re used to seeing with sushi, this type of roe might be a little jarring at first glance, as it looks more like a tongue than anything else. However, don’t judge this food simply by its appearance. It’s a Japanese delicacy and it can get pretty expensive as each sea urchin only produces 5 pieces of Uni. Uni has a strong oceany taste, without having a strong fishy taste.
12. Unsalted Butter
While salt certainly makes everything taste good, there are actually quite a few more benefits to using unsalted butter. It’s basically just “plain” butter. Salt is added to butter to preserve the shelf life, so this won’t last as long in your fridge. But it also won’t add any extra taste, which is especially important in baking, where everything is measured out perfectly and you’ll likely already be adding salt. While the caloric count is exactly the same, there is 90 mg less salt per tablespoon in unsalted butter.
13. Unsweetened Chocolate
Like Unsalted Butter, Unsweetened Chocolate is great for baking because it is a pure ingredient, so you can add all the flavors you need to supplement it without worrying how any additives in the chocolate will alter your taste. You probably won’t enjoy Unsweetened Chocolate on its own. It’s bitter and chalky because it’s 100% pure cocoa. But it’s great for decadent recipes like brownies and chocolate mousse.
14. Upside-down Pineapple Cake
Upside-down Cake is a really simple way to get a beautifully decorated dessert. The trick here is that you decorate the cake pan before pouring in the batter. A traditional Upside-down Pineapple Cake places maraschino cherries in the holes of pineapple rounds and covers them in a buttery brown sugar glaze. Typically, the cake is just a vanilla cake and when it’s cooked and cooled, you can flip it over, revealing a beautiful cake covered in fruit. The glaze also seeps down into the cake, giving it an added fruitiness.
15. Unpasteurized Cheese
Unpasteurized cheese comes from raw (or unpasteurized) milk and it’s a pretty debated issue amongst cheese connoisseurs. In North America, laws prevent raw-milk cheese from being sold until it has been aged for at least 60 days in order to protect consumers from bacteria like E. Coli. Unpasteurized cheeses are normally much softer, like certain types of Brie or Camembert, but you’ll often find these cheeses tasting just as good made with pasteurized milk. Hence, the argument of whether unpasteurized cheese is any better (many people will still say yes).
16. Urda Cheese
Urda is a fresh whey cheese originally from Romania that’s very popular in the Balkans. It’s kind of similar to Ricotta. It’s softer, but a little bit grainy and is mainly used in baking and in pastry fillings because of its mild, sweet taste.
Uni and Urchin are the same thing. It can be enjoyed raw with butter or lemon juice like oysters, and certainly makes an impressive-looking dish with all of the spikes. Just be mindful not to hurt yourself! Many chefs also prepare it as part of seafood pasta.
18. Utah Scones
These fried Utah Scones are delicious. They’re more similar to a doughnut than what you might think of when you consider a scone. But they’re topped with gooey honey and powdered sugar for a really sweet and sticky treat.
Uttapam is a great South Indian breakfast idea. It’s made with dosa batter, but is a little bit thicker and is topped with different vegetables like onions, tomatoes and carrots. The great thing about it is that the batter keeps well, so you can leave it in the fridge and cook fresh Uttapam for breakfast every morning. It’s basically like having a veggie-filled pancake.
Did you think it was even possible to list 20 Foods that Start with U? The wild thing is that doesn’t even cover all of the ‘U’ foods that exist out there! Do you have a favorite food that starts with ‘U’? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking to surprise my family with a new dish or a new word!