16 + Foods That Start With The Letter U

Are you looking to find foods starting with the letter U? If so, you’re in the right place!

We have been going through the alphabet to find all kinds of foods starting with each letter of the alphabet and today, we have reached U. Do you think there will be many?

Various Foods That Start With The Letter U

Read on to find out!

Each letter of the alphabet starts the name of some type of unique food (see also ‘38+ Knockout Foods That Start With The Letter ‘K’‘). While some are relatively unknown in the world, some are eaten every day.

Moreover, some letters (see also our favorite foods beginning with R) are easier to come up with food names than others (try and think of 20 foods beginning with A and then starting with Q – good luck!)

When it comes to the letter U, many unique veggies, fruits, and dishes start with the letter. You will certainly be familiar with some, whereas others may be brand new to you.

We have researched foods from different cultures and cuisines around the world to find some fascinating foods, beginning with U.

Many are very tasty and healthy, and waiting for you to try. So, let’s get started and run down our list of various worldwide foods starting with the letter U (see also our favorite foods that begin with the letter “L”).

Foods That Start With The Letter U

1. Ugli Fruit

We start with one of our favorite names for any food anywhere in the world – the ugli fruit.

Also known as uniq fruit, and more commonly, Jamaican Tangelo, this is a citrus fruit native to Brown’s Town, Jamaica (see also ‘23 Jamaican Recipes You Will Love‘). IT is actually a natural hybrid of a tangerine orange and a grapefruit (or pomelo ).

Despite its name, there is nothing ugly about this fruit. It just looks like an ordinary citrus fruit, like a lemon or lime.

Its flesh is juicy and extremely sweet, and grows to be a little larger than grapefruits. However, the ugli fruit has very little seeds compared to other citrus fruits.

Rich in vitamin C, this fruit is very low in calories, making it a healthy option to add to diets. Moreover, it contains flavonoids, anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help play important roles in our bodies. 


2. Ugali

From the ugli fruit to a one-of-a-kind dish hailing from Africa, Ugali.

Also known as ugali pap, nisma, and nshima in various regions of Africa, Ugali is an oatmeal boiled in either water or milk. It is very thick and typically created with corn or maize. 

Ugali is a simply made dish, usually served alongside vegetables and meat. And, contrary to what many believe, it is not tasteless.

Ugali tastes somewhat like mild popcorn. Just don’t try taking it in the movies with you! 

3. Udon

We travel to Japan to check out a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. Without doubt, noodles are a staple of Japanese food, and Udon is no exception.

This thick, chewy noodle is created using wheat flour and is often served as either a stir-fry or in broth. 

Udon can be consumed hot or cold, making it a quick and easy snack when hungry.

It is also an alternative to ramen in some cases, as it doesn’t contain as much MSG (see also ‘The 5 Substitutes For Accent Seasoning That Work Best!‘) or sodium. If you’re ever in Japan, you’ll likely eat some Udon at some point.

4. Urad Dal

Also called black lentil or split black gram, Urad Dal is a pretty common food item cooked and eaten in India.

When cooked, you can do so in various ways, with different areas of India using different cooking methods.

For instance, Urad Dal is typically used as batter in dosa and idli, whereas in Northern India, it is generally used to make Dal (dried, split pulses).

Urad Dal is not only tasty but it provides a ghost host of health benefits, such as help with digestion, protection for the brain and heart, improving bone health, managing diabetes, and boosting overall energy levels. Superfood! 

Umbrella Fruit

5. Umbrella Fruit

This is one you may be more familiar with. The Umbrella fruit is native to many tropical regions worldwide, but it is mostly grown throughout Africa and Asia.

When grown, it has a yellow and green appearance and tastes slightly acidic. Many agree that it is similar to mango (see also ‘How To Store Mangoes?‘) and pineapple. Its texture is surprisingly crisp and works well in certain drinks, such as Martinis.

6. Ube 

Ube (see also ‘20 Colorful Ube Recipes You Have To Try‘) is a root crop, originating in the Philippines. A variety of purple yam, Ubes have a distinct purple hue.

In terms of shape and size, they are close to sweet potatoes, but their skin has a darker, deep purple color.

Ube tastes sweet, but with a mild flavor. It is very popular in a range of desserts thanks to its hints of vanilla.

Some treats it is used in include ice cream, cupcakes, donuts, cookies, and pancakes. If you have a sweet tooth, you must try Ube for dessert soon! 

7. Ukrainian Rolls 

Quick test – where do you think Ukrainian rolls originated? Time’s up! You were right – it’s Ukraine (see also ‘14 Of The Best Ukrainian Restaurants Across America‘)!

These diner rolls are also known as pampushki, and are almost “pillowy” and soft in texture. Once you bite into these delights, though, you are met with various herbs and garlic. Divine! 

In Ukraine (see also ‘14 Of The Best Ukrainian Restaurants Across America‘), these pull-apart rolls are generally served alongside other native dishes, such as Borsch. And, they also work very well when dipped in soups, something the Ukrainians often do.

Umble Pie

8. Umble Pie

No, we didn’t misspell the word “humble.” However, Umble pie does come from the word “humble” and it is a very simple dish, hailing from the United Kingdom. 

Umble pies are typically created with cheap ingredients, such as minced offal, deer, or other meats, before being seasoned with salt and pepper, as well as nutmeg.

Umble pies are based on different pastries and meat pies made during the Medieval period. They are hearty and perfect for a cold, English winter’s night.

9. Umeboshi 

Umeboshi (sated Japanese plums, in English) is a Japanese delicacy and made from dried, pickled, ume fruit, a plum that grows on beautiful flowering plum trees in Japan.

Umeboshi is typically served with onigiri or rice, but only in small servings. Just a little umeboshi can go a long way to enhancing the flavor of a dish, and it works very well with vegetables. 

When it comes to its flavor, umeboshi is very sour and salty. However, it is possible to buy umeboshi with honey, which is much sweeter.

You may have eaten this already without knowing, as it is often given to children alongside their veggies to make them taste better! Sneaky parents.

Umeboshi also has some supposed health benefits, such as fighting fatigue, stopping nausea, and helping with the digestive system.

Many Japanese people swear by its anti-aging properties, too, and even use it to cure their hangovers. So, next time you’re off to the bar, pick up some umeboshi first, just in case.

10. Unagi

You’re probably sitting there going, “I’ve heard of Unagi, but how?”

Well, if you have ever watched Friends, you probably heard the character Ross say “Unagi,” explaining that it is a total state of awareness.

By knowing Unagi, you can be prepared for whatever danger befronts you. Not quite…

In truth, Unagi is actually a Japanese delicacy, and an expensive one at that. Made from freshwater eel, it is cut into squares, and then dipped in soy sauce.

Other seasonings are also added before the eel is grilled. 

As with many Japanese dishes. Unagi is served over a bed of rice, and sometimes, sushi (see also ‘23 Easy Sushi Recipes For Vegetarians‘). Just never eat it raw, as Unagi is poisonous when uncooked. 


11. Umibudo 

We stay in Japan to find Umibudo, a kind of seaweed from Okinawa, but it also grows in many other Asian countries, too.

Also referred to as green caviar or sea grapes, umibudo is another expensive Japanese delicacy. It is loved for its tasty, seafood-like taste and very crunchy texture.

When you first set eyes on this seaweed, it looks more like small marbles or very small grapes, but it is undeniably from the sea when bitten into.

When eaten, umibudo is usually raw, but it can be grilled, and is often used in soups. And, not only is umibudo tasty and crunchy, it is very healthy.

It is low in calories, full of minerals, and contains some hyaluronic acid, a chemical that is very beneficial for our skin. 

12. Upma

A must-try dish from India (one of many) is Upma. In a country renowned for culinary excellence, Upma is another jewel in their cuisine. 

Mostly prepared and eaten in Southern regions of India, Upma is a dense oatmeal, made from either rice flour, semolina, and vegetables.

In most cases, Upma is enjoyed at breakfast time to fuel people for the day ahead. This is because it is both filling and very healthy, a great combination!

13. Upside-Down Cake

If you’ve been struggling to recognize many foods on our list so far, here’s one you’ve probably heard of. The upside-down cake is a popular dessert that is enjoyed for all sorts of occasions. 

Upside-down cakes are popular, not only when bought in stores, but also when made at home.

They are pretty easy to make in single pans, but their toppings are placed on their bases, hence the name. 

Ingredients used in these cakes are typically fruits such as peaches, kiwis, or pineapples. So, if you’re looking for a fresh and sweet dessert, an upside-down cake should do the job!


14. Usal

Back to India, as we explore Usal, a breakfast dish made with mung bean sprouts.

As you can imagine, this is a very healthy dish, packed to the brim with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Best of all, it is super easy to make.

Curry spices are typically used to make this breakfast dish, such as cumin seeds, red chili, turmeric, garam masala powder, as well as ginger, garlic, and oil.

Other ingredients include tomatoes, onions, and mixed sprouts.

Once prepared, many add Usal alongside vegetables, such as sweetcorn and peppers. Whether you want a snack at a party, or want to enjoy a main meal with family and friends, Usal is a great dish to try.

15. Utah Scones

Inspired by Native American pastries, Utah scones are deep-fried, sweet, and puffy treats. Just don’t expect a regular scone when ordering one of these.

The deep-fried preparation is a hint to how different they are!

Utah scones can be combined with other types of treats, such as chocolate, buttermilk, and fruits like raspberries and bananas. They may not be the healthiest but they sure do taste amazing!

16. Usban

Our final food starting with the letter U (see also ‘15+ Foods That Start With The Letter E’) on today’s list is Usban, a sausage meal originating in Tunisia.

Stuffed with a combination of lamb, rice, herbs, chopped liver and heart, you can enjoy many variations of this traditional Tunisian dish.

The herbs and spices usually added to Usban include cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper. Other ingredients include parsley, dill, and mint, but these are not always used.

Tomatoes, spring onions, and veggie oil are usually used, and then mixed together. This mixture is then stuffed into a sheep intestine before being boiled, and then fried. 

When it comes to the best part (eating Usban), it is typically served with a rice dish or couscous. Definitely worth trying!

In Summary

So, there are a number of foods beginning with U (see also our favorite foods beginning with J). We could have included so many more, but these are just some of our favorites from around the world. 

How many have you tried? Let us know! 

16 + Foods That Start With The Letter U

16 + Foods That Start With The Letter U

Recipe by Jenna

Want to find foods starting with each letter of the alphabet? Find out a selection of food beginning with the letter U with our definitive guide below.

Course: Dinner
5 from 1 vote


  • Ugli Fruit

  • Ugali

  • Udon

  • Urad Dal

  • Umbrella Fruit

  • Ube 

  • Ukrainian Rolls 

  • Umble Pie

  • Umeboshi 

  • Unagi

  • Umibudo 

  • Upma

  • Upside-Down Cake

  • Usal

  • Utah Scones

  • Usban


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

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