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Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 03:53 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
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Posts: 12
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

Re-post from two threads to this newsgroup.
Note: I will NOT reply to this thread.

=============
Part A:

Korean and Chinese cuisine are shamefully cheap and low class compared
to Japanese. A few random thoughts here on mother's day when food is
one of the main staples, even when prepared by your maid. (No in fact I
don't often eat Asian, but just to reveal my bias I like Japanese,
and no I did not eat Asian tonight, have not been snubbed by a Chinese
or Korean restaurant, but just random thoughts here, in no particular
order....)

First there is presentation. When you start deliberately mixing food
together on the table - haha how can you call it an 'art' with
those bibimbap or something, in a charred stone bowl or all that lo
mein on a sizzling plate? One of the hallmarks of haute cuisine is its
emphasis on preparation or presentation technique -not how you
reproduce your stomach contents for public view! In fact in haute
cuisine often different ingredients are cooked separately to the right
degree of 'ripeness' and then mixed together, hence the
extraordinary amount of time needed for preparation. Bento boxes -
and these are considered cheap Japanese - like 'rice boxes' -
nonetheless preserve or at least pretend to preserve this quality.
Koreans and the Chinese do not. Else you may as well go for an infant
diet or a pureed diet for old people. The fact that everyone digs into
a public plate in the case of Chinese - thus sometimes without a pair
of public utensil (i.e. chopstick) is yet another 'low class' sign
- it's probably a residual from an ancient powwow ceremony where
people just feast on a dead carcass after a long day's hunt. Very
very primitive.

Décor of the restaurant is another issue and is peripheral to this
subject of presentation. Even a middle class Japanese restaurant (at
least in North America) is quiet - meaning you can hear what your
neighbors are saying, unlike Chinese or sometimes Korean - and at
times you feel like you've entered a monastery or Shinto temple
inadvertently where you start your life journey and engage in some epic
meditation session. Chinese restaurants - even the so called more
expensive ones are like a flea markets or a public high school
cafeterias where you need to shove your way in and where you are
sometimes given a time limit on when you should finish your food, and
where you have to combat waiters from mixing residual food between
dishes together - just so they get a head start in dish cleaning, if
they do that at all....

The use of ingredients is important. Eggs or bean sprouts may be valid
ingredients but they are very cheap, and are definitely not suitable
for a main course dish at supper, and are certainly no showcase prizes.
No, in fact the use of these materials reflects a sign of historical
economic dearth when you think about it. It's not so common in North
America but I think in mainland China people are so poor they eat
tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and tofu as their main dinner dish day after
day, night after night! Whoa!!

I think 'high class' cuisine often seeks to preserve freshness and
the true, 'original' flavor of the food with a minimal amount of
seasoning. Chinese cuisine often resort to deep frying or stir frying,
and certain provincial Chinese (like Szechuan) use spices or MSG to
mask their flaws. Some Korean dishes encourage the use of hot sauce
(e.g. the bibimbap). Sort of like poor Indians using curry in
everything - thus you can really have a crappy piece of meat (if they
can afford it) but you still won't be able to tell what's in it.
It's like a woman who relies too heavily on makeup. That's why
ground beef is low grade but you'll never mince filet mignon. And why
many Chinese kitchens are so invisible - so secretive and furtive in
their preparation of food that they in fact don't even pass public
health standards!! One report I read demonstrated that it's cleaner
(measured in terms of a lack of bacterial count) to eat off the *floor*
of a university microbiology lab than a food tray at fast foods places
where teens spit on your onion rings (is that true, or is that just
Eminem lyrics) or at Chinese restaurants.

Another sign is quality vs quantity. Chinese buffets now abound in
North America - because they are cheap - and Chinese buffets love
to emphasize quantity at the expense of quality. They are geared
towards 300 lb trailer wives and inner city single moms and new
southeast Asian immigrants probably. In higher class restaurants the
emphasis tends to be more on preparation and not on quantity, and the
end product is presented perhaps as a psychological mechanism as a tiny
fraction of the entire plate surface area.

Also, practically, when was the last time at a quiet, sedate wine
'n' cheese inbred soirees or business meetings that they serve
Korean or Chinese food? Never! Never! Never! These just do not have the
same cachet at upper middle class or upper class/educated functions -
it's like wearing a tracksuit to a wedding. Japanese is however
increasingly served in these functions, and in fact I think it adds a
touch of cosmopolitanism to an otherwise dull mélange of French and
Italian.

And let's not forget also that at the lower middle class level, we
see Chinese and Koreans trying to operate Japanese restaurants, dishing
(pun huh?) out ersatz Japanese food. You just don't see things the
other way around.

Here is another practical reason. We now know how beneficial omega-3
acids are to health. These are found in cold-water fish amongst other
food items. Fish - sushi, sashimi - is one of the main staples of
Japanese diet. And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked.

So why is all this important? Food is like sex. Hunger is one of our
natural, human, cardinal urges. It may be a non-topic and neglected
when it's abundant, such as in North America, but since food is
required by everyone to survive, i.e. it drives natural selection,
cultural varations hold a key to understanding something deeper
perhaps. I think what we eat and how we do it - like sexual norms and
mores - reflect and reveal ourselves more than anything else. I've
listed a few suggestions here, as a brute, who visits, occasionally,
Burger King. But if I can see it, I'm sure others can also.

But then as an aside here comes the counterpunch too. Let's compare
food with sex for the moment. Chinese and Korean cuisine - variety
notwithstanding - don't engage in foreplay. Which is why they're
so fun and very satisfying in private, with all those carbs and fat.
It's very to the point -- calories, if not healthy nutrition -- so I
guess that's a real strength of Chinese and to a lesser extent
Korean. See, I'm very objective. I've said before that Chinese food
is very much like porn: (1) best enjoyed private and takeout, (2) good
variety, (3) addictive to some, (4) cheap, (5) often dirty, and (6)
outlets are found in sleazy neighborhoods. That however still doesn't
erase the fact that they're still considered very 'low class'.

Yeah yeah I know, "de gustibus non est disputandum", i.e. taste is
not disputable. But in this mano a mano comparison between Japanese and
Chinese/Korean cuisine, I say the Japanese won hands down.

=========
Part B:

Replying to my own message yet once again....I'll avoid any debate
because ultimately tastes are not disputable as I said before. It's
like saying to a *** guy what he does is disgusting but he probably
relishes every moment of it. Personally I think that food is like women
and cars (no I'm not *that* sexist come on) - variety's important.
Variety is the spice (no pun there) of life and I think it depends on
the occasion and mood.

I'll offer two other points - so glaringly omitted from my "hasty"
thesis:

1. Price. Unless they're Chinese or Korean owned, Japanese restaurants
in general charge a premium for their food and services. While the free
market is not always rational, it does indicate that there is a demand,
at least in North America. And I think that's true in the Far East as
well outside Japan - Japanese restaurants are never considered 'cheap
food' or 'lower class food'.

2. Yes you can get real sick from Chinese food. It's called the Chinese
Restaurant Syndrome. Heard of it? He
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001126.htm

"Chinese restaurant syndrome is a collection of symptoms that some
people experience after eating Chinese food. A food additive called
monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been implicated, but it has not been
proved to be the agent that causes this condition."

"Life-threatening symptoms may be similar to any other severe allergic
reaction and require immediate medical attention. These include the
following:

* Swelling of the throat
* Chest pain
* Heart palpitations
* Shortness of breath"

Whoa!!! Now those two points above are more objective than a lot of
what I presented originally. I won't argue about presentation, decor
etc, just stating my initial opinion - and everyone will have an
*opinion*. And that's precisely that.

But I think the above 2 points which are blatantly neglected
in my first go-around carry somewhat more weight. And let's not forget
that once again in upper middle class/near-rich/educated functions,
Chinese food
or Korean food [or SE Asian food, like Vietnamese] will never be
served, unlike Japanese.

But then again I said food is like sex right? Let's try to convince an
imaginary *** guy to give up his sex by telling him that his modus
operandi is defective - or at least not useful - and not because of
'taste' that it's disgusting. That is, you can't have children! It's an
evolutionary dead-end! Will he be convinced?

Same with food preferences. It's beyond objective economics or health
considerations - it's modulated by culture no doubt - and may well be
ultimately primal.

Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 04:49 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

Ha ha! An alternative, and Very Politically Incorrect, culinary
viewpoint! Interesting!!!

"And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked."

THE longest.

Personally I find the "savage" Korean cuisine an excellent compliment
to the refined Japanese cuisine. Kim chee makes you strong!




ww

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 04:49 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

Ha ha! An alternative, and Very Politically Incorrect, culinary
viewpoint! Interesting!!!

"And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked."

THE longest.

Personally I find the savage Korean cuisine an excellent compliment to
the refined Japanese cuisine. Kim chee makes you strong!




ww

  #4 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 05:35 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


wrote in message
oups.com...
Ha ha! An alternative, and Very Politically Incorrect, culinary
viewpoint! Interesting!!!

"And the Japanese have one of the world's longest life
expectancy at ~81 years, last time I checked."

THE longest.

Personally I find the savage Korean cuisine an excellent compliment to
the refined Japanese cuisine. Kim chee makes you strong!



Kimchi is good stuff.
It's quite popular in Japan as well mostly because of the
fairly large Korean immigrant population, but the kimchi in
Japan, as well as stuff I've had in the US isn't overly fermented. Which is
the way I like it.
M


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 07:27 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 49
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

In article , Musashi
wrote:

Kimchi is good stuff.
It's quite popular in Japan as well mostly because of the
fairly large Korean immigrant population, but the kimchi in
Japan, as well as stuff I've had in the US isn't overly fermented. Which is
the way I like it.


And where is the kimchi "overly fermented"? Just in Korea. All the
Korean dining I've done has been in Korean owned-and-run restaurants in
Garden Grove, CA, in the Little Korea there. Logic says that would be
pretty much the real deal, right?

Or is that a North/South thing? I never really think of this stuff as
particularly fermented, but then I haven't really been comparing it to
anything else.

--
"A Dictionary of Japanese Food, Ingredients & Culture" by Richard Hosking
(Tuttle, '97). All the hints one might need for exploring Japanese food.

"The Sake Handbook" by John Gaunter (Tuttle, '02). An excellent intro and
reference to sake.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 02:01 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


"Gerry" wrote in message
.. .
In article , Musashi
wrote:

Kimchi is good stuff.
It's quite popular in Japan as well mostly because of the
fairly large Korean immigrant population, but the kimchi in
Japan, as well as stuff I've had in the US isn't overly fermented. Which

is
the way I like it.


And where is the kimchi "overly fermented"? Just in Korea. All the
Korean dining I've done has been in Korean owned-and-run restaurants in
Garden Grove, CA, in the Little Korea there. Logic says that would be
pretty much the real deal, right?


Probably but not definitely. I say this because Korean friends talk about
kimchi in
terms of numbers of days in the pot, and as with any foods, preferences may
vary
depending on geography.

Or is that a North/South thing? I never really think of this stuff as
particularly fermented, but then I haven't really been comparing it to
anything else.


Have you ever opened a jar of Korean kimchi and had the jar go PSSSSSS from
the gas?
But the kimchi I've had in the US in Korean owned/run restaurants have never
been
so fermented.

M




  #7 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 02:13 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


Musashi wrote:

Korean friends talk about kimchi in terms of numbers of days in the pot, and as with any foods, preferences may vary depending on geography.


Have you ever opened a jar of Korean kimchi and had the jar go PSSSSSS from
the gas?


But the kimchi I've had in the US in Korean owned/run restaurants have never
been so fermented.

M


I love kimchi. Before eating the fully fermented kimchi, I always set
it out to "air" some. The loud smell will lessen somewhat but the
flavor is still full.

I use kimchi with almost everything. It's wonderful added to vegetables
when they're cooking and of course as a condiment with most meats.

The first time I ate it was at a Korean friends house. The bowl of
kimchi was placed near my plate and I thought it was a type of salad
and started eating it strait up. My host and his wife thought that was
very funny and from that day on, when I ate at their house, an
individual bowl of kimchi was provided to me. When my friends wife had
friends over, she would always introduce me as the guy she told them
about who loves kimchi so much! They always seemed to like me more
after that. Ha!

  #8 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 03:49 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 49
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

In article , Musashi
wrote:

Kimchi is good stuff. It's quite popular in Japan as well mostly
because of the fairly large Korean immigrant population, but the
kimchi in Japan, as well as stuff I've had in the US isn't overly
fermented. Which is the way I like it.


And where is the kimchi "overly fermented"? Just in Korea. All the
Korean dining I've done has been in Korean owned-and-run
restaurants in Garden Grove, CA, in the Little Korea there. Logic
says that would be pretty much the real deal, right?

Probably but not definitely. I say this because Korean friends talk
about kimchi in terms of numbers of days in the pot, and as with any
foods, preferences may vary depending on geography.

Or is that a North/South thing? I never really think of this stuff
as particularly fermented, but then I haven't really been comparing
it to anything else.

Have you ever opened a jar of Korean kimchi and had the jar go
PSSSSSS from the gas? But the kimchi I've had in the US in Korean
owned/run restaurants have never been so fermented.


Nope. Never bought it in a jar. That would be a nationally
distributed brand or a local jarred thing. We have a couple of kimchi
shops around here, amazingly. They really only have these 5 gallon
jars of two or three kinds of kimchi in refrigerators. That's all they
sell! Amazing...

--
"A Dictionary of Japanese Food, Ingredients & Culture" by Richard Hosking
(Tuttle, '97). All the hints one might need for exploring Japanese food.

"The Sake Handbook" by John Gaunter (Tuttle, '02). An excellent intro and
reference to sake.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 05:45 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

The trick with kim chee when it's too strong is very simple - you just
rinse it off. Same with sauerkraut. Fermented cabbage, like kim chee
and sauerkraut, are super-foods!

  #10 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 05:58 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 432
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


If kim chee is too strong, the solution is very simple - just rinse it.
Sauerkraut too. Fermented cabbage - sauerkraut and kim chee - are
super-foods!

  #11 (permalink)  
Old 30-06-2006, 11:22 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


RichAsianKid wrote:
Re-post from two threads to this newsgroup.
Note: I will NOT reply to this thread.


Ummm... Then why post in a discussion group?

snip lots of other stuff

  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2006, 02:21 AM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO


"RichAsianKid" wrote in message
ups.com...
Re-post from two threads to this newsgroup.
Note: I will NOT reply to this thread.


Good.


  #15 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2006, 02:33 PM posted to alt.food.sushi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default Japanese vs Korean/Chinese Cuisine IMHO

On Sat, 1 Jul 2006 22:30:25 +0100, Elder
wrote:

In article .com,
says...

If kim chee is too strong, the solution is very simple - just rinse it.
Sauerkraut too. Fermented cabbage - sauerkraut and kim chee - are
super-foods!


I've only ever had dried Kinchi powder or as a cube with instant
noodles.
But I do love Sauerkraut too.

I guess there must be a link to them both being fermented/pickled
cabbage dishes.


Hello Elder, here's a recipe for Kimchi that I found on "Recipe
Exchange". This recipe is for only a 3-7 day fermentation. I like mine
fermented for at least a month. The flavors seem to meld better.

Enjoy!

***********

Kimchi

1 lb. Napa cabbage – chopped coarsely
1 lb. daikon – peeled, sliced ½ thick & either halve or quarter the
slices depending upon the circumference of the radish
2 carrots, peeled @ sliced ¼ inch thick
5 scallions coarsely sliced
2 ½ T + 2 t salt + 1 t salt
2 T finely minced ginger
1 ½ T finely minced garlic
1 T cayenne pepper, ground

This is a 2-Step process

First step:

In a large bowl, mix 5 cups of water, 2T + 2t salt until dissolved.
Add cabbage, daikon & carrots and weight lightly with a plate to
cover. Soak 12 hours @ room temp.

Second step:

Mix ginger, garlic, cayenne, scallions & 1tsp salt in another large
bowl. Drain cabbage, etc., reserving the salt water. Toss the cabbage,
etc. w/ the spices. Place in a ½ gallon jar (make sure your jar has a
lid) – Cover w/ retained salt water (you won’t use it all), leaving ½
inch head space. Loosely cover with lid (after 24 hours tighten the
lid) and ferment @ room temp. for 3-7 days.
 




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