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Don’t tell Ukrainian chef Ievgen Klopotenko that borsch is just food. For him, the beet-and-meat stew is the embodiment of everything Ukraine is fighting for. Klopotenko says food is a powerful symbol of a nation's identity. He's been trying to reclaim Ukraine's traditional cuisine and show that its culture is distinct from Russia's. Klopotenko helped lead a lobbying effort that got UNESCO last year to declare that Ukrainian borsch is a cultural treasure that needs preserving. Although the declaration said borsch wasn't exclusive to Ukraine, the move infuriated Russia. Klopotenko runs a popular Kyiv restaurant and has a new cookbook coming out in the U.S. He hopes it will raise the profile of Ukrainian cuisine.

In Filipino homes, the smell that wakes up many families is not coffee brewing or bacon frying, but slices of garlic sizzling in oil. It’s for a fried rice that uses up the previous day’s rice and makes it delicious by packing it chock-full of crisp, toasted garlic. For their version, the cooks at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street make golden garlic chips to mix into the rice at the end, along with a flavorful oil that infuses the entire dish. They add chicken to transform it into a main dish that can be eaten any time of the day. Soy sauce, scallions and a small amount of sugar give the rice complexity.

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