Is Japanese “Chinese cuisine” really authentic Chinese food?
Hello, I’m a third-year undergraduate student at Kyushu University from Dalian, China. My name is Yuening, the representative of the Fukuoka International Student Association. I write this article to introduce Chinese food in Japan and authentic Chinese food.
Some people travel to a new place to see the beautiful scenery, but there are still some people who travel to try local food. Tourists who come to Japan may want to have a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine. Before I came to Japan, I didn’t really understand the difference between Japanese sushi and Korean seaweed rolls. People who have not been to a place or live there for a long time may not have a good understanding of the local food culture. As a Chinese who has lived in Japan for a long time, I would like to introduce the difference between Japanese Chinese cuisine and authentic Chinese cuisine.
The difference between Japanese food and Chinese food is that Japanese food pays more attention to the appearance, including the decoration around the food. I believe many people don’t know why there is “grass” decoration in Japanese bento. And Japanese food is very light. They don’t like to put sauces on their food too much, they enjoy the taste of the food itself. However, Chinese food pays more attention to taste and smell. Most of them are food that stimulates taste buds. Chinese unique soy sauce called dark soy sauce, which used for coloring, is to create attractive colors for food.
The comparison between Japanese Chinese cuisine and authentic Chinese cuisine are as follows.
Japanese like to eat small fried dumplings, and usually with Japanese ramen and rice. The amount is not too much. Japanese will dip in soy sauce, but in the north of China, Chinese people eat boiled dumplings, or fried dumplings, northern China will eat a kind of garlic sauce, which is a mixture of garlic and soy sauce dumplings dip. There will also be people dipped in mature vinegar, white vinegar, or chili oil. Also, there is a kind of Chinese fried dumpling that are more like Gyoza. Both ends of the dumplings are not stitched together. In China, people usually eat fried dumpling with porridge and pickles.
(Japanese fried dumplings, gyoza)
(Chinese fried dumplings)
Also, Japanese Ramen is very famous among all Japanese cuisine, but ramen originated from China. When you go to the Ramen restaurant, you can notice that the design of the Ramen bowl is a very Chinese style, and there are Chinese characters and dragon patterns on it.
Japan’s three big Ramen are Hokkaido Sapporo Ramen, Fukuoka Hakata Ramen, and Fukushima Kitakata Ramen. Japanese Ramen is probably made by machine. In Japan, people eat Ramen with takana pickles. (Hakata Ramen)
In China, there are hand-pulled noodles, but “pull” means that noodles are pulled out by hand. In the Haidilao hotpot restaurant, you will see the performance of noodle dance. In China, the more famous ramen is northwest Lanzhou Ramen, also known as Lanzhou beef noodles. The chef will stretch the dough to make noodles by hand, then cook it in the pot, add the beef soup, sprinkle with small pieces of beef, chili oil, coriander, and garlic sprouts. A bowl of delicious beef noodles has finished.
(Chinese hot pot)
According to the records of Wei Shu, during the Three Kingdoms Period and the reign of emperor Cao Pi in the Han Dynasty, the hot pot made of copper appeared. People used the hotpot to cook various kinds of meat, such as pig, cattle, sheep, chicken, and fish, but it was not popular at that time. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, dozens of different hotpots had been formed throughout the country. In the Muromachi era, hotpot was introduced to Japan from China in 1338.
Shrimps with sauce
(Japanese shrimps with chili sauce)
Shrimp in chili sauce used to be a dish from Sichuan and Shanghai, China, but when it spread to Japan, the soybean sauce was too hot for the Japanese. So, they added special tomato sauce, broth and eggs to reduce the spiciness. It is very popular in Japan because it is sour and sweet, so it is not too spicy and perfectly suited to the Japanese palate.
(Chinese Braised prawn in soy sauce)
Braised shrimp is a specialty of Jia Dong City, Shandong Province. It is made with shrimp, sugar and chicken broth. It is reddish in color, oily and the shrimp meat is tender and delicious.
Tantan-men noodles (Spicy noodles)
(Chinese Tantan noodles)
In the home province of Sichuan, China, Tantan-men noodles are equivalent to what is called “Somen” in Japan.
Originally, people with shoulder sticks sold noodles around town, but it was hard to carry large amounts of soup at the time. As a result, “soupless Tantan-men” became the mainstream.
Of course, Japan also has noodles without soup, but the taste is different from Sichuan’s noodles.
(Japanese Tantan noodles)
Like Mabo-Tofu, Tantan noodles were introduced by Sichuan chef Chen Jianmin, a chef from Sichuan Province, who introduced a modified recipe for the Japanese, which has since spread throughout the region. It is also made by mixing a flavored broth of chili oil and sesame sauce to reduce the spiciness.
Local Chinese cuisine.
In fact, what do Chinese people usually eat? In the morning, I will eat porridge with pickles, Tofu pudding, steamed bread, steamed buns. In China, for example, the meals in the school cafeteria are several home-cooked dishes plus a soup, such as stir-fried tomato and scrambled eggs, pork with vegetables, fried rice, hot and sour soup.
(In China, families share dishes, instead of having a lunch box for each person as in Japan)
Tenshin-han (Not from China)
Tenshin-han(rice) began to be made in 1910. One day, a chef at a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo was asked by a customer to make something quickly, so he made an omelet with crab and served it on rice. He later named it Tenshin-han but it has nothing related to Tianjin, China.
I believe you have a general understanding of Chinese food and Japanese Chinese food.
Would you like to come to Japan and try Chinese food?
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