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torakris

Japanese style Chinese food

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When I first at Chinese food in Japan I was surprised at how different it was from the Chinese food I had eaten in the US. "Wow", I thought, this must be real Chinese food, then I took a trip to Hong Kong..... :blink:

Now I know that the Chinese food in Japan is..., well.., very Japanese. :biggrin:

What are some of your favorite Japanese style Chinese dishes?

I love Nagasaki sara udon, crispy deep fried noodles topped with a saucy stirfry of various meats, seafood and vegetables.

picture:

http://www.ringerhut.co.jp/mn02.jpg

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well...gyouza?!

Despite the many gyouza styles that I wish had REMAINED stuck to the pot and not made it to my plate, there are lots of good ones.

We make nira/cabbage/pork ones at home, in batches of 60...

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I love Nagasaki sara udon, crispy deep fried noodles topped with a saucy stirfry of various meats, seafood and vegetables.

picture:

http://www.ringerhut.co.jp/mn02.jpg

Interesting, that looks a lot like the Cantonese dish often labelled as "Seafood Pan Fried Noodle"

It's more or less what Winnipegers call "Cantonese-style Chow Mein". I'm not sure why it's considered udon since the noodles that my friend uses are egg noodles (she's from Nagasaki). I thought "udon" always referred specifically to udon noodles which have no egg in them. I should ask my friend for clarification.

My favourite Japanese-style Chinese food would anything from Osho :smile: . Greasy and salty Chinese food in a dirty restaurant--what could be better than that? And their gyouza rocks!

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Ramen-gyouza at 4 AM after a night out in Roppongi-Shinjuku-Shibuya.... Heaven!

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I was really surprised the first time I ate Chinese food in Japan as well. Until now, though, I was under the impression that it's closer to authentic Chinese food than what's usually available in the US, but perhaps that's not the case? I think there's a difference, though, between Japanese style Chinese food and Chinese restaurant food in Japan. The food at Chinese restaurants in Japan always seemed a lot lighter than Chinese food in the US.

Mabo dofu is probably my favorite Japanified Chinese dish - I ate it first in Japan, and really hated it the first time I ordered it from a Chinese restaurant. I also like nira-tama soup (chive egg) a lot, although I'm not sure if that's really coming from Chinese food.

Does ramen count? Shu mai?

Now I have an incredible craving for sara udon. There's something so nice about how the sauce softens up the noodles a bit and everything gets all starchy and gooey. Might have to make this tonight.

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Also: champon, Nagasaki's famous dish. Medium thick noodles in a thick seafood soup. Nagasaki is also famous for Shippoku food, a course meal served banquet style with a lot of Chinese dishes and influence.

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I used to hate Japanese Chinese food and found it incredibly greasy yet lacking in flavour. But it's grown on me and now I really like Japanese style fried rice, ramen, gyoza, niku-man, spring rolls etc. But my favourites are the miso stir-fries. I have no idea if these are based on any kind of real Chinese food at all; I suspect not. But nothing beats a miso stir-fry with cabbage and green peppers!

Still, 'real' Chinese food is best! I sometimes make more authentically Chinese version of a Japanese-Chinese favourite, like yaki-soba, ramen or yaki-beefun. And my husband always vastly prefers the 'real' Chinese one!

I thought "udon" always referred specifically to udon noodles which have no egg in them. I should ask my friend for clarification.

Prasantrin, sometimes udon can just mean noodle. I think if the word 'udon' is used by itself it really means udon- thick wheat noodles. Only when combined, as in 'sara udon' does it mean something else. Just like soba- alone, 'soba' means buckwheat noodles, but 'chuuka soba' or 'yaki soba mean somethng else.

Now I think I'll have to visit Ringer Hut for their sara udon- one of the cheapest- and tastiest- fast foods available.

Mapo dofu in Japan is nothing like the real thing, starting (but not ending) with the absence of huajiao. But if you know that (that it's not the real thing) going in, you'll find it to be pretty tasty nonetheless.

Ecr, I love both Chinese style and Japanese style, but of course Chinese is best and that's what I cook at home. It is possible to find real mapo dofu made with szechuan pepper (and black beans), but it doesn't seem to be popular at all. Pity!

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and where better to get Chinese food in Japan than one of the 3 Chinatowns.

For more information on the 3 Chinatowns in Japan (Yokohama, Nagasaki, Kobe) look here:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2420.html

I think there are many places in Japan with better Chinese food than in those Chinatowns. I know that Kobe Chinatown, in particular, sucks (for lack of a better word). It was even worse than North American food court Chinese food. Really, really horrible. In Kobe the best Chinese restaurants are far away from Chinatown--there's one very good one near Shin-Kobe station, though I can't remember its name.

Nagasaki's Chinese food was better, as was Yokohama's, but both places are still filled with sub-par Chinese food. It was difficult to pick out the best restaurants in either place, since there were so many ones that weren't good.

For me, Chinatowns in Japan were huge disappointments in terms of food.

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The one time I ate in a Japanese restaurant serving Chinese food was while attending a conference at the huge conference center in Kyoto. The restaurant was very close to the Center. The food was delicious and graciously served in elegant surroundings. But what sticks in my mind was that each dish was served in separate successive courses and in separate plates for each diner, a serving style diferent from any other restaurant serving Chinese food I've experienced. Do Japanese restaurants serving Chinese food commonly serve in this Western manner?

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The one time I ate in a Japanese restaurant serving Chinese food was while attending a conference at the huge conference center in Kyoto. The restaurant was very close to the Center. The food was delicious and graciously served in elegant surroundings. But what sticks in my mind was that each dish was served in separate successive courses and in separate plates for each diner, a serving style diferent from any other restaurant serving Chinese food I've experienced. Do Japanese restaurants serving Chinese food commonly serve in this Western manner?

In my experience, food in Japan is usually served when it is ready. A group of diners may have their orders served at different times, resulting in one person beginning and finishing his/her meal before another even gets his/hers (this happened to me more than once, and I was usually one of the last to get fed :sad: ). It is possible that the restaurant at which you ate served dishes according to when they were completed without really given thought to "Western"-ness.

But reading your post again, I think maybe I'm wrong in this case.

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I have had Chinese food served in Western style course like Pirate described, usually at weddings, it always seemed odd to me..... :blink:

I think some of the worst Chinese food I have eaten in Japan was those at the banquet halls in big hotels, very bland and everything tastes the same.

Prasantrin,

I have never been to the Chinatowns in Kobe or Nagasaki, but some of the best Chinese food I have had was at the Yokohama chinatown, especially the cheaper places. It is really hit or miss though, the last time I was there the restaurant we picked was really awful and it was expensive to boot. There are so many restaurants there that I usually go on a friend's recommendation rather than picking one randomly.

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Hiyashi chuka. A quick google search tells me that it was invented in Japan in the early Showa period. (Showa began in 1925.)

I'm a fan of sesame-seed-based soup (goma-dare).

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Hello Torakris,

here is my favorite example of Japanese style Chinese cuisine.

Many years ago, I remember going to a restaurant in Yokohama run by a very popular Chinese chef, Tomiteru Shu( or was it Tomitoku?).

He has a knack for reinterpreting Chinese dishes into Japanese/ Chinese versions; while some of these dishes tasted fine, other Chinese dishes were just "Lost in Translation".

The most delicious of Shu's dishes was an incredible "Sake Chahan" ( salted salmon fried rice). This was Shu's take on the classic Cantonese / Hakka specia;ty

"Hahm yu chow fan" or salted fish fried rice.

Of all the Japanese style Chinese dishes I have tried in Japan, Tomiteru Shu's sake chahan was simply the best ever.

He took a classic Chinese dish and simply substituted wonderful shio sake for the extremely pungent Chinese salted fish and used Japanese rice in place of the usual long grain or Jasmine rice, and created one of the best fried rice I have ever tasted.

Part of the incredible flavor was from the way the rice must have been tossed in the wok, as all of us at the table remarked that the dish had that wonderful seared quality of a well stir fried dish, a quality called "wok hey" in Cantonese, which translates as " the breath of the wok"; wok hey is something very difficult for home cooks like us to achieve without the massive propane gas stoves used in Chinese restaurants.

Deceptively simple, fried rice is something very difficult to do well.

It requires a good wok technique and arm strength, and a friend of mine who is in the Chinese restaurant business in Hong Kong actually interviews chef applicants by seeing how they do fried rice, among other dishes.

I still get hunger pangs thinking of Shu's amazing chahan . :rolleyes:

cheers :smile:

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"Wok hey", that elusive, ephemeral , aroma, and taste quality that is detected when a fine dish is presented by a master cook at the peak of his skill. I tried to explain that in a thread on the China board, and no one knew what I was speaking of.

Danjou, you know food. :smile:

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Many years ago, I remember going to a restaurant in Yokohama run by a very popular Chinese chef, Tomiteru Shu( or was it Tomitoku?).

It is Tomiteru Shu and I have never eaten at his restaurant but I trick or treat every Halloween in his neighborhood (he has a gorgeous house) and once I was standing next to him at the immigration office while we were both filling out applications for re-entry permits! :biggrin:

oh and that fried rice sounds great!

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Chahan was introduced into Japan from Canton.

People coming from Canton to Japan formed the basis for the Chinatown in Yokohama.

Even today, Cantonese dishes (Note: restaurants?) account for 80% of the Chinatown.

This information is from the following site:

http://www.nhk.or.jp/gatten/archive/2000q2/20000531.html

(Japanese only)

One of my favorites is egg chahan. As the name implies, the only ingredient other than rice is eggs. I think that chahan deserves a thread of its own, which I'm going to start in a day or two. :biggrin:

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ok... just jumping in. i didnt really know where else to post this. this is probably as good as any place.

my question is about 味覇 -- "ウェイパァー" -- "weipar"

http://www.koukishoko.co.jp/taste/img/ta_img01.jpg

this is a soup base sold in sturdy red metal cans. ive never bought it. in the u.s., they go for (small size) us$8 a pop. i forgot how large the small can is. but it has something like 30 servings' worth of soup base. it is vegetables and some salt and msg... what else, i am not sure. the larger one is monster sized. quite intimidating. thats a lot of soup base, even in the smaller size. im probably going to break down and buy a can one of these days, but i was just wondering if anybody here uses it to cook.

should i not bother? is it pretty much like hondashi powder? or knorr bouillon? or does weipar have that something really special that might make something more chinese for dishes (to a japanese i guess. maybe chinese people use weipar too?)?

a quick look on google (and a few variations) gives me anywhere from 100-300 hits, mostly of pages i cannot read (since i cannot read japanese), but ill point out a few hits:

  • shio yakisoba.
  • a blog entry somewhere mentions adding it when cooking some beef dish (beef with bell peppers?? i really am guessing there... also it is apparently a bit pricey in japan too).
  • someone else has found that it is good in a very basic kimchi fried rice.

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I browsed through lots of websites on this product. What I found is that some people highly praise it as an all-purpose seasoning for Chinese cuisine, while others just dismiss it as another source of SMG. I am one of the latter.

Discussion on weipar:

http://natto.2ch.net/cook/kako/1010/10101/1010164138.html

(Japanese only)

This is a product of this company, Kouki Shoukou, based in the Chinatown in Kobe:

http://www.koukishoko.co.jp/main.html

(Japanese only)

It is not powder but in paste form:

http://www5c.biglobe.ne.jp/~naporin/gohan1/weipa.htm

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melonpan,

I too have seen those tins in the stores and have always wondered why it costs so much, it it about $8 a pop in Japan as well. I have some friends who love it and use it in all of their Chinese cooking but I am not about to pay the price. I always thought it was just chicken stock granules, does it have anything else in it?

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Sorry, but what is nikuman?? All i know is that it is something beef... or is it not?

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