Korean-Chinese Primer III

You’re mostly correct, but I have to disagree with you when you said “they adopted most of the traditional cuisine of South Korea” – there’s nothing adopted from Korean cuisine. People who migrated from Shangdong brought their home cooking and cuisine to South Korea, and adjusted the taste to suit the local population, exactly as the Cantonese brought their cuisine to American and adjusted the taste here. The pattern is the same everywhere Chinese food has traveled, to Japan, even India – each one has its own version of Sweent & Sour Pork and other “popular” dishes.

For the lack of a better term, the term “Korean-Chinese” has been used to describe the type of Chinese food found in Chinese restaurants in Korea.

Kelly’s observations were very accurate, and I especially agree with his assessment that unlike Americanized Chinese food, which most Chinese don’t eat, the Chinese food found in Korea is also liked by most Chinese including those coming from Taiwan. I know most of my Taiwanese friends love to eat the noodle dishes. And yes, you can find these same type of restaurants in Taiwan as well! (But you’ll never find a Chop Suey place there!)

Some of the entree dishes mentioned in that thread were the same ones I mentioned in my messages on the San Tung thread – except they used the Korean-translated words.
(For those who don’t know, Korean words (similar to Japaense words) borrow many words from Chinese characters) So for most of the Chinese dish names, there’s a equivalent Korean pronounciation.

The main “proof” of Michael’s saying it is not Chinese food is that he says the same type of food cannot be found in Beijing, Shanghai, HK, or Taipei — But the same can be said for Americanized Sweet & Sour Chicken and Beef Chop Suey! So I guess these are AMERICAN food then, not Chinese?!

And just because he says they can’t be found doesn’t mean they don’t exist. All the dishes from these restaurants originated from Chinese cuisine and just slightly altered to suit the local taste. You can even walk into Darda (which is Islamic Chinese) and find ChaoMaMian (Jjampong), because it is a Chinese dish!

Some dishes mentioned in the message:
tangsuyook: The granddaddy of this dish is the Gu-Lao Ro in Beijing cuisine. It is known in Shandong cuisine as Tang Cu Ro (the basis for the Korean name). And it’s more commonly known elsewhere as: SWEET & SOUR PORK. The dish is the same but flavor adjusted for each locality.

nanjawansu: In Chinese: Nan Jian Wan Zi (southern fried meat ball) – This is your basic Shandong meatball dish, basically the Northern Chinese’s answer to the famous Shanghai Braised Lion’s Head.

Kkanpungki: This is an original Shandong dish which I’m not aware of any similar ones elsewhere in China. (A distant relative may be ChungKing Spicy Chicken) But it is NOT similar to Kung Pao, no matter how similar they sound, they don’t have any words in common.

Actually, it’s flattering that nowadays some Koreans do think of these food as Korean, but if you go to these restaurants, you’ll find all the owners and cooks to be Chinese from Shandong. Shandong people have created cuisine that taste so good that some Koreans have tried to claim it as its own.

It may be that RAMEN (as its sold in Japan) is a Japanese dish because they’ve modified it so much that there’s little resemblence to the original Chinese soup noodle. However, things like ChaoMaMian, ZhaJiangMian, and all the other dishes have not changed that much, and they can still be found in Chinese restaurants that they’ll always remain as Chinese cuisine.

I don’t want to sound too confrontational, but at the same time, I think it’s important that the CORRECT food knowledge be shared on an important board like the Chowhound so people don’t get mislead.

Having lived in Korea for 10+ years, I can safely say for most of the Shangdong people there, that the “long term stayers” who have lost their culinary culture referred by the “study”, is a very, very small minority.

The study has obviously missed the way the majority of Shangdong people lived in Korea and continued Chinese cuisine legacy and is popularizing it not only in Korea but also in the US.

Complete Thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/24268

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  1. July 9, 2008

    […] Santa Clara and burned the place down. China Way was a place for serving Shandong noodles and other Korean-Chinese dishes popular with the local Korean and Chinese population alike. They were one of the two […]

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