When you think about foods that start with the letter O; oranges, oats, and omelets immediately come to mind. But did you know that there are other exquisite foods that start with the letter O?
You may be familiar with some, but many will be exciting and new – a gold mine for foodies to try cooking.
Here is a list of 51 unique dishes that start with the letter O. The list contains cuisines from different cultures across the world, including fruits, herbs, vegetables, seafood, soups, and a combination of both meats and vegetables.
The List: 51 Foods that Start with O
1. Oat Milk
Oat milk is plant milk, and a great alternative if you’re lactose intolerant It’s made from blending oats with filtered water and allowing it to strain, with a sweetener.
Oatcakes are more like a flatbread, but with oats as the core ingredient. They can be used as crackers or served as lunch with meats and cheese. Oatcakes are more distinct than rice cakes. Did you know that oatcakes aren’t baked, but griddled?
Oatmeal is another popular food at breakfast in most households – no wonder, because oats are the healthiest grain globally. It’s a great option for lowering blood sugar levels, preventing heart-related illnesses, and maintaining healthy digestion.
Oatmeal is made from either rolled, flattened, or grounded oats. Did you know that the type of oats used in making oatmeal will determine the outcome?
Some oats, like the steel-cut oats, usually take longer to cook than the other types (15-20 minutes) and require soaking for a softer touch. On the other hand, rolled oats take just a few minutes to prepare. Oatmeal is often topped with honey, chopped nuts, or berries.
Obbattu is a sweet Southern India flatbread made from a special type of flour called Maidu. It’s made from mixing the flour, turmeric, salt, ghee, and chana gram. It comes in different varieties like coconut (Kai Obbattu), plain, or filled with fruits and vegetables. Did you know that obbattu is typically made for special occasions and festivals?
Oblea is a dessert throughout Latin America. It’s a wafer sandwich filled with jam, cheese, sugar milk mixture, and whipped cream. If you want to add some extra sweetness to it, serve oblea with marmalade, condensed milk, or coconut.
Oysters are a type of seafood belonging to the bivalve salt-water mollusks that are rich in vitamin D, Manganese, calcium, copper, zinc, and antioxidants. Oysters have a unique salty and buttery taste. They can be eaten raw or cooked but are popularly served in half-shell with a sauce and lemon wedge.
Oysters are also well known as aphrodisiacs. In China, Malay and Vietnam, oysters are extracted for oyster sauce.
Obusuma is a popular Kenyan dish. It’s a cooked maize mash, typically served with green vegetables, fish, stews, or scrambled eggs.
Ochazuke is a delight from Japan made of green tea poured over cooked white rice. It’s normally served with pickled vegetables and salty toppings.
Octopus is a type of seafood belonging to the mollusk family, grouped with squids, naticoids, and cuttlefish. It’s soft-bodied, has eight legs, and there’s over 300 species. The majority of the octopus’ species are edible, except the blue-ringed type. It’s rich in omega-3, vitamin B12 and iron.
The trick to cooking it perfectly is over low heat and slowly, to prevent it from turning rubbery. It can be fried or grilled. To prevent choking while eating it, chew them well because of the tentacles. In Japanese and Korean cultures, it’s eaten raw and a snack. Did you know that the octopus has three hearts and blue blood?
10. Oeufs en Meurette
Oeufs en Meurette is a popular French dish particularly for the Burgundy region. It’s made from poached eggs coated with red wine, burgundy sauce, garlic toast, mushrooms, onions, and other additional ingredients according to an individual’s preference. The flavor of the red wine plays a major role in this delicacy when it flows on the poached eggs and the burgundy sauce.
It’s commonly served with butter-fried bread at the base, poached egg, and sauce drizzled at the top.
11. Ogbono Soup
Ogbono soup is a Nigerian delicacy with ground ogbono seeds as the main ingredient. Other ingredients are meat (or fish), vegetables, water, and palm oil. The ground seed is usually used as a thickener, and the soup is similar to curry, with a rich yellow in color.
Ogi is a Nigerian custard made from ground maize. The maize is soaked for at least three days, then left to ferment, giving it a sour taste. Ogi is usually served for breakfast, and you can add honey or sugar to add a sweet twist to it.
Even though traditionally maize is used, sorghum, or millet can be used. To enhance nutritional value, you can add fresh cow’s milk, egg yolk, oils, or fruit.
Ohitashi is a Japanese salad with a spinach base, although other vegetables can do. It’s made from filling lightly cooked spinach with spiced dashi (belongs to the broth family in Japan). This dish is healthy and vegan friendly!
14. Oil Down
Oil down is the national dish for Grenada. It’s a stew made from salted meat, jackfruit, vegetables, coconut milk, and spices and herbs. Back in the days, when preparing oil down, it was made in a big pot to allow the community to contribute something towards its making.
Did you know that this delicacy is called “oil down,” because the coconut milk assists in releasing the rich oils as it settles down?
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake or pizza made from flour, eggs, pork belly and shredded cabbage. Other ingredients like octopus, shrimp, bacon, cheese, spring onion, and other vegetables can be added for your personalized preference. It’s served hot with delicious sauces drizzled on the top.
Okowa is Japanese steamed rice served wild herbs, chestnuts, and meat. To add flavor and color to it, the rice is often boiled in red Azuki beans.
Okra is a seed pod with sticky white seeds often used in Indian and Caribbean cuisines. It’s rich with antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Okra can also be used for its medicinal properties. It’s often sauteed with vegetables and garlic or added to soups and stews for additional nutrients. Did you know that okra is also identified as “ladies’ fingers”?
Okroshka is a Russian cold soup made from chewy, raw vegetables, eggs, boiled potatoes, and cooked meat, served. This combination is then mixed with kvass, a non-alcoholic drink made from brewed rye or black bread, and then served with sour cream.
Olallieberry is a cross breed of blackberry, youngberry, and loganberry. Like any of these, it’s often used in sweet dishes and pies, with a tart and sweet flavor. It’s rich in vitamins C and A, potassium, and calcium.
Olan is a delicacy with roots in South India–most travelers and foodies don’t know about this exquisite fish because it’s typically a home-made meal. It consists of light curry consisting of cowpeas, coconut milk, and curry leaves, and often served with Kerala rice.
21. Olive all’Ascolana
Olive all’ascolana traces its roots to Italy. It’s a tasty appetizer made by filling olives with meat before frying them. It was first made by chefs who used leftover meat for the stuffing–typically beef, pork, chicken, or veal.
A classic member of a well-arranged charcuterie board, olives belong to the family tree of a group of fruits known as drupes or stone fruits, including mangoes, cherries, almonds, and peaches. They grow on olive trees and are found in the Mediterranean Basin.
Olives are yellowish green in color when unripe and brown or black when fully ripe. Olives are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. They’re often eaten as finger food or as an ingredient in a flavorful salad. They’re also extracted for olive oil, a versatile kitchen staple that’s great for frying because of its lower smoke point compared to other oils.
23. Olivet Cendre
Olivet cendre is originally a =cheese made in Olivet, France from unpasteurized cow milk. The cheese is aged for a month and then smoked by grapevines in a vineyard. This produces the ivory-white sheath with a chalky dough that brings about the unique taste of the cheese. Did you know that the milk used to make this cheese is from grazing cows along the Loire River?
Ollie is originally a French soup made from various vegetables and meat. It can be made in a variety of ways, but the popular ingredients are a savoy mix of sausage, bacon, and beans.
The omelet is a fluffy, beloved breakfast in many households. It’s made by mixing eggs in a bowl, often with other ingredients, then frying and folding them in a hot pan with either oil or butter. To customize your omelet, you can add vegetables, pieces of meat, cheese, and seasonings in the middle.
Omurice is a Japanese omelet made from an egg on top of fried rice, served with soy sauce or ketchup drizzled on top. For a fun tradition, when the omurice is served, the chef will make a slice to let out the running melted egg inside.
Onigiri is a well-known Japanese food: it’s white rice shaped into a triangle and covered in seaweed called nori. Onigir is stuffed with salted salmon, pickled takana, kombu, and pickled ume.
28. Onion Bhaji
Onion bhaji is an ordinary Indian snack and side dish akin to fritters. The batter is created from flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Sliced onions are then dipped into the batter and fried in oil. There are different types of onion bhajis, like mint bhajis, red onion bhajis, or spicy bhajis.
We all know onions and have used them in our cooking and salads. Onions are root vegetables that grow in a bulb underground with friendly sprouts on the surface.
Onions come in various varieties– yellow, red, white, chives, shallots, leeks, etc. Each type brings a unique flavor!
30. Onion Kulcha
Onion kulcha is leavened bread identical to Naan, which is well-known worldwide. It’s leavened with soda and baking powder then fried or cooked on a frying pan. It’s called onion kulcha because onions are used as an ingredient while making the dough, enhancing its flavor. The bread can be eaten alone but is commonly served as a side dish with curry.
Oolong is a popular tea originating from China. It has two varieties; one with Chinese roots which tastes stronger, and one with Taiwanese roots, which has a lighter, floral flavor.
32. Opera Cake
Opera cake is a small, layered French pastry. It’s made up of almond sponge soaked in coffee syrup then covered with buttercream, ganache, or coffee frosting. The cake must have six layers, each with the same depth and a glossy chocolate glaze on top.
Did you know that the name opera cake originated from the wife of the inventor, who suggested that it looked like the Paris Opera house?
Orach is popularly used as an alternative to spinach but tastes saltier compared to other green plants. It’s grown in the Mediterranean and is used in salads.
Orangelo is a hybrid fruit–it’s a cross between an orange and grapefruit. Originally, the fruit grew on its own in coffee plantations in Puerto Rico. It has a citrus flavor and can be round or pear-shaped.
You’ve probably enjoyed orange slices or orange juice in your lifetime. Oranges are popular citrus fruits rich in vitamin C that can be enjoyed fresh, squeezed to make refreshing juice, used in salads, or as a cocktail ingredient.
Oranges can also be used for flavor in baking, as well as for making preservatives and marmalade. Did you know that a squeeze from oranges can enhance the flavor of your dishes, especially with fish?
Oregano is an herb belonging to the mint family. It’s been used for generations to add flavor to dishes and for treating some health conditions, such as strengthening the immune system and fighting contamination. It’s an aromatic herb popularly used for tomato-based recipes like pasta and pizza.
Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which assists in preventing cell damage. It also has great antibacterial benefits. Grown in your garden, it can be used as a natural repellant.
37. Oregon Grapes
Don’t let the name fool you; they aren’t grapes and don’t taste like grapes. Oregon grapes is a medicinal herb rich in Vitamin C and have a sour taste. It’s popularly used for bowel cleansing and treating stomach ulcers. The trunk from the plant is used to produce medicine, while the roots can be used to topically treat eczema.
You’ve probably taken a bite of Oreo while watching your favorite show or have packed it as a snack for your child’s sleepover. Oreos are a sweet, delicious combination of chocolate cookies with cream filling. They come in various flavors and are often dipped in a glass of milk or a peanut butter jar.
39. Orgu Peyniri
Orgu peyniri is made from strips of elastic cheese wound jointly in strands to create a braid. The cheese is usually made from cow’s milk and ripened in brine. To soften it and get rid of extra salt, sometimes the cheese is soaked in water too. The mild flavor in the cheese is suitable for a variety of different dishes.
Oritang is a Korean stew or soup made by slow cooking duck and vegetables. The soup is generally clear, but the flavor and texture vary depending on spices used.
Oroblanco is a citrus, seedless fruit resembling the grapefruit, originally created in California. They are a sweeter than grapefruit though! To enjoy, you can peel slices off like an orange, or you can scoop it with a spoon.
Orzo is a type of short-form pasta modeled like a huge grain of rice. Traditionally, it’s made from flour (semolina from durum wheat), but whole grain can be used too. It can be cooked like your usual pasta or like risotto. You can get different orzo variety flavors, like sumptuous sun-dried tomatoes.
Oshiruko is a Japanese dessert made from Azuka beans. The beans are boiled and smashed into oatmeal. It’s served with the Japanese rice cake, mochi.
Ossobuco is a dish made from veal shanks that has been simmered for hours with vegetables, white wine, and broth. What makes this dish stand out is the marrow in the hollow of the veal bone. If veal is unavailable, you can use beef shanks with marrow-filled shin bones.
Once it’s cooked, ossobuco is commonly garnished with gremolata and then served with risotto or polenta. To get the full flavor of ossobuco, you should prepare it a day before eating!
45. Ostriche Arrosto
This appetizer dish is not actually made from ostrich. Ostriche arrosto is actually made by frying oysters in oregano, parsley, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and lemon juice. To boost the flavor of the oysters, you can also grill them.
Osumashi is a simple and easy Japanese soup made from seafood, chicken, and dashi. It can also be made in other varieties to include tofu, green onions, carrot, or tamango (a type of Japanese omelet).
47. Ovos Moles de Aveiro
Ovos Moles de Aveiro is a Portuguese delight made from sugar and egg yolks. Some people prefer to add chocolate to the mix. The origin of this dish is fascinating – the creator, Aveior, created it making shapes representing fish and shells because of his deep connection to the ocean.
Owofibo is a Nigerian oil soup identical to pumpkin soup. It’s made from tomatoes that are blended with akun and palm oil.
49. Oxford Blue
As the name suggests, Oxford blue is blue cheese akin to stilton. It’s creamy in texture and tangy in taste. It’s made from pasteurized cow’s milk and left for 10-12 weeks to mature. It can be eaten with crackers, used in dressings and sauces, or enjoyed all by itself.
Oxtail is a cattle’s tail that is usually skinned and cut into tiny pieces for stews. It’s cooked slowly, usually the whole day to get the fall-off-the-bone feeling. Oxtail is an expensive dish because it’s specialized and takes more work for the butcher. The classic oxtail stew is made up of oxtail, vegetables, broth, tomatoes, and wine.
Oyakodon is a rice bowl dish from Japan. Ingredients including chicken, onions, and eggs boiled into a soup made from stock and soy sauce. The soup is then drizzled over the bowl of rice. Did you know that the word oyakodon literally translates to parent and child donburi?
Donburi is the traditional name for a rice bowl dish, and since the dish is made using chicken and eggs, they symbolize a parent and child.