When you think of foods that start with the letter K, it might be hard for anything to immediately come to mind other than popular choices like kale, ketchup, or kiwi. However, there are a surprising number of foods that start with the letter K.
With a wide variety of choices, from spicy Chinese Kung Pao Chicken to savory Mediterranean Kebabs and even snacky kettle corn, the letter K is sure to impress.
This list draws on many cultures and many different flavors, with 51 foods starting with the letter K. Hopefully, through it, you will be able to find something new to expand your culinary horizons.
51 Foods That Start With K
As can be expected, there are all kinds of foods that start with the letter K, from all different areas. Many of those on this list you may be familiar with and others you may not, but hopefully you find something you like.
Kale is a nutrient rich vegetable leaf belonging to a group of cabbage. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, Kale has become a common ingredient. It’s a perfect choice to power up your salad or smoothie.
Kung Pao Chicken
Originating in Sichuan China, Kung Pao Chicken has become a staple of Chinese cuisine, especially as it is known across the globe. The stir-fried dish is made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. Spicy with a slight sweetness, it’s sure to impress.
Popular in many countries, but particularly the Middle East and Mediterranean, Kebabs are metal or wooden skewers of meat and vegetables. There are many types of kebabs with pretty much endless meat and veggie possibilities.
Of course, when thinking of the letter “K” and foods, ketchup has to come up. Sweet and tangy, ketchup is considered a condiment or sauce and is a beloved companion to a number of foods.
A popular fair food, kettle corn is popcorn seasoned with sugar, salt, and oil to give it that nice sweet glaze. The combination of sweet and salty is what makes this popcorn a fan favorite.
Key Lime Pie
Key lime pie is a popular American dessert. A delicious combination of key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk, key lime pie is light and fluffy in terms of flavor and consistency.
Yet another staple cuisine, Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish. Made with salted and fermented cabbage and Korean radish, Kimchi has a spicy yet tangy flavor. Many dishes use kimchi as an ingredient and there lots of variations in terms of spices.
Kidney beans are a variety of the common bean named for their visual resemblance to kidneys. They are a major source of protein globally and appear in many dishes, but beware, an uncooked or improperly cooked kidney bean is toxic.
The kingfish, or king mackerel is a fleshy fish that is best prepared grilled, fried, baked, or even smoked. A great alternative to tuna or the more expensive salmon, kingfish will not disappoint.
These crispy wafers are well known across a variety of cultures with all kinds of flavor variants, such as green tea, cookies and cream, wasabi, lemon, and more. Japan in particular is known for creating some interesting and unique flavors.
Originating from China, kiwifruit, also known as Chinese gooseberry, is another well-known food. With a good combination of sweet and tangy, kiwi has become popular in many different countries.
Kosher pickles are made in the Jewish New York City style, marinated and infused with plentiful garlic and dill. Sour to the taste, these pickles go great on any sandwich.
Kahlua is a popular Mexican liqueur that drives coffee fanatics wild. One of the most touted coffee-based drinks, Kahlua is a combination of arabica coffee, rum, and sugar.
Kirsch is a clear, colorless brandy made from sour cherries, traditionally morello cherries. You would think this would give the liqueur would be tart, but it’s got a nice note of almond to mellow it out.
There are many types of king crab, with red being the most common. Their large size and unique, savory taste makes them a highly desired cuisine and ingredient that is well worth the price.
Kaffir lime, also known as makrut or Thai lime, is a citrus fruit indigenous to tropical regions of Southeast Asia and southern China. Both the fruit and the leaves are part of cuisine to enhance flavor and fragrance.
Krupnik is a Polish barley soup made with vegetable and meat broth. It typically includes potatoes, meat, vegetables, onion, and/or dried mushroom. Coincidentally, there is also a traditional sweet alcoholic drink with the same name, also from Poland.
Kasha is a type of grain dish popular in East-Central and Eastern European countries. In English, Kasha is usually buckwheat grains eaten as cereal or porridge, but in other areas and languages it can apply to any type of cooked grain.
Kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish in Europe, particularly in Britain. Taking its inspiration and origins from India, the dish is a lovely combination of flaked fish, hard-boiled eggs, and rice boiled with curry, parsley, and butter or cream.
Kamameshi, literally “kettle rice” is a traditional Japanese rice dish. Kamameshi is topped with vegetables and chicken or seafood. Originally referred to communal eating from the kama cooking pot, it branched out to include single portions.
A kipper is a whole herring split in a butterfly fashion from tail to head. The fish is typically pickled or salted and then smoked to give it flavor.
Kecap manis is a type of sweet soy sauce from Indonesia. It is a popular condiment made from fermented soybeans, roasted grain, salt, palm sugar, and surprisingly, a type of mold. Kecap manis is thicker and much sweeter than typical soy sauce.
Ketembilla is a type of berry from Sri Lanka and Southern India. A balanced combination of sweet and acidic, ketembilla is great as a jam or jelly and is just as good eaten fresh.
Kielbasa is a staple of Polish cuisine and is quite simply Polish sausage. In American English, kielbasa usually is the coarse, U-shaped smoke sausage. Kielbasa can be pork, beef, turkey, lam, chicken, or veal so long as it’s prepared as sausage.
Kiwi berries are cousin to the kiwi fruit and are very alike in texture and appearance. The primary difference is that the berry cousin is skinless and much smaller and sweeter than the more popular kiwi fruit.
Alternatively known as the Japanese arrowroot, kudzu is an edible plant. Perhaps known as a nuisance in the west, particularly America, the plant has many culinary and medicinal uses in Asia. The leaves are edible and like spinach, and the shoots are similar to snow peas.
A knish is a traditional Jewish snack food. A delicious, doughy dumpling filled with meat and potato, knish is a street food in high population areas. This deep-fried snack is easy to eat and will quickly take care of any munchies.
Kelewele is an African dish of seasoned plantains. The dish is prepared with many spices, a primary being cayenne, giving it quite the kick. Some recipes balance out the spice by adding lemon, ginger, or even banana.
Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is related to brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and others. They are eaten both raw and cooked and used as ingredients for many dishes. They are similar to, but sweeter than, broccoli stems.
Kiszczonka is a traditional Polish soup made with water, cooked black pudding, flour, milk and spices. The soup is simple, yet filling, with low calories to boot.
Kumquats are a popular citrus fruit from Southeast Asia. Similar in taste to an orange, they are a lot smaller, around the size of an olive. Kumquats are also rich in vitamins and nutrients, making them a healthy choice.
Kugel is a traditional Jewish dish of baked pudding or casserole. Kugel is typically made from egg noodles or potato and is often served on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays.
Knackwurst is a type of short, plump sausage from northern Germany. Having originated at some point during mid-16th century, there are now many ways to make knackwurst depending on region and family tradition. Common ingredients are ground veal and/or pork and fresh garlic.
Kantola is t a type of gourd fruit, also known as spiny guard or bristly balsam pear. Originating from areas of India and popular in parts of South Asia, kantola is actually cooked, spiced, and eaten as a vegetable.
I bet most already know of this dessert. Klondike bars are a novelty snack of ice cream coated with a thin layer of chocolate. A favorite for children, it simply had to earn a spot on this list.
Kurrat is a type of leek originating from Egypt. With a long history of cultivation, it’s prominent in areas of the Middle East and used in a variety of different dishes.
Kenkey is a type of dumping originating in Africa and popular in the Caribbean. The African version is sourdough dumpling stuffed with meats and veggies served with stew, soup, or sauce. The Caribbean version is cornmeal, plantain, green banana or cassava wrapped in banana leaves.
Kachumbari is an East African salad made of fresh tomato and union. It is an extremely popular dish and extraordinarily easy to make. Some versions include chili peppers to add a little extra spice.
Keshi Yena is a round ball of cheese stuffed with spiced meat then baked or steamed. A traditional Dutch Caribbean dish, keshi yena has a long history, lending to many recipe variations in cheese, meat, and other ingredients.
Also known as cabbage soup, Kapusniak is a cabbage or sauerkraut soup. It has many different names depending on region and nationality but is most often a vegetable soup with a base of mushroom or fish stock.
Khichdi is a South Asian sautéed dish made of rice and lentils. There are other variations, including one from India that uses daal and vegetables. In some areas, it is one of the first solid foods fed to babies.
Katsudon is an extremely popular Japanese food. It is a simple bowl of rice topped with deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, vegetables, condiments, and often caramelized unions. Katsudon is known for being sweet and savory.
Knäck are a traditional Swedish Christmas candy. Extremely popular and served in many households during the holiday season, knack is a Christmas delight, with chocolate, caramel, licorice, lemon, orange, mint, cinnamon, and more.
Kouglof is a Central European cake popular in many countries, including Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia, and more. This is a traditional brioche cake made with a variety of fruit and nut combinations and baked in a circular Bundt mold.
Kachori is a spicy Indian snack made with gram flour and moong dal and deep-fried. Flaky and flavorful, kachori is traditionally made with a dal filling but has come to include other types, such as lentil.
Kushari is Egypt’s national dish and a major street food. Taking inspiration from India, Italy, and other Middle Eastern countries, this dish is a lovely blend of tastes and cultures. Kushari is a rice dish made with lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni then covered with tomato sauce and fried onions.
Kai kou xiao (also Xiao Kou Zao)
Kai kou xiao is a Chinese cake that originates from Beijing. It is a fried sesame cake made with water, sugar, flour, egg, and sesame seed. Simple and delectable, this dessert is popular at Chinese New Year celebrations.
Kheer is a form of pudding from India and Southern Asia. It is another simple dish, made by boiling milk, sugar, and rice. After it’s done, just add some dried fruit and you’ve got a simple but delicious dish.
Koeksister is a traditional South African confectionery, almost like a doughnut, made of fried dough infused and glazed with syrup or honey. The dish takes a braided shape and is quite sweet and crisp.
Koroi (Kahikatea Berries)
A tall tree native to New Zealand, Kahikatea is known for producing delectable berries. These berries were traditionally eaten raw, but are also great as a jam or in a tart.
Kulfi (also Qulfi)
Kulfi is a traditional Indian frozen dessert. Though similar to ice cream, Kulfi tastes slightly different and is much denser. Typically kulfi is made with milk, sugar, nuts, and cardamoms, and frozen in a popsicle-style mold.
After learning of all these delicious foods from all sorts of areas, such as New Zealand’s Koroi or Polish Kiszczonka, I hope there are a few that popped out at you to try. It’s time to go on out there and grab some kiwi or key lime pie!