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Native Food V Adapted

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Quazi, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Whenever I have Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Indian food here my friends tell me it is not really the sorts of dishes that are available in the original country.

    How are some of the dishes different?
    What is added or taken away?
    Am I missing out on some amazing dishes or would it not sit well with a westerner? (in the mind at least)

    I've heard of chicken feet in China put not sure if they were pulling my leg.....
  2. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Chicken feet in China is a definite thing. Japan too.
    Things that are considered delicacies here in Japan: raw chicken, beef and horse; cow tongue; uni (urchin gonads); natto (fermented soy beans that are sticky and stringy); and sea cucumber. Oh, and how can I forget MSG?
    Where I'm from in America, these items wouldn't even be considered edible. Well, aside from uni, which Iron Chef America seems to rave about... >_>

    Other things that are different tend to be changes made to fit the palates of the country where the ethnic cooking is being made. For example, in America, putting mayonnaise on a pizza is unthinkable.
    In Japan, it's normal. On the flip side, the Japanese absolutely refuse the valid fact that peanut butter and jelly is delicious. Chinese food in America is heavier, I've found. There's more rice involved, and a lot less vegetables and spice. Japanese food in America leans less towards noodles and more towards tempura and multi-ingredient sushi rolls, some of which are completely off the wall here in Japan.
  3. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    From what I know, here are some of the differences between authentic Chinese dishes and Westernised Chinese dishes:
    • When it comes to beef and vegetables: Usually, Westernised Chinese dishes offer some kind of meat, with a side of vegetables. If you go to China, the vegetables are as important as the meat. The vegetables aren't just side dishes.
    • When it comes to the original ingredients: Chinese food have some "weird" ingredients like duck's blood, chicken feet and ears of the pig. It's not "weird" for the Chinese but these ingredients are weird for other countries so they're left out of the recipe.
    • When it comes to some foods: You won't even find them in authentic Chinese restaurants. For instance, Chinese restaurants here in my country always have beef and broccoli but you won't find that meal in authentic Chinese restaurants or menus. Beef is usually paired with potatoes or carrot in China.
    As far as Indian food goes:
    • When it comes to spices: Usually, Westernised versions of Indian foods use curry powder. But authentic Indian food use a ton of natural spices aside from curry powder. In fact, you won't find an Indian dish tasting exactly the same as another family's dish, simply because each family has their own recipe and combinations of spices.
    • When it comes to taste: Authentic Indian food might be a tad more spicy and tasty as compared to American Indian food.
    I hope this helps!
  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I definitely think that for me, the Asian countries I've been to with traditionally spicy foods have had much milder equivalents in my home country. I guess that people maybe just get frightened by spice here? I personally love it, and felt almost cheated when I had "real" Thai food, for instance - because I felt like back home I was getting a very safe version of Thai food. But I think that happens with a lot of cuisines when they're taken from their home country and replicated abroad - for instance, pizza here is not at all like pizza in Italy from what I have heard!
  5. Myrr

    Myrr Member

    Here in my country, if you want to eat those kinds of food, you have to go to restaurants that serve authentic dishes. But if you would go to fastfood restaurants that serve, say Japanese food or Chinese food, the flavors are adjusted to the palate of the majority. Even with Indian cuisine like Biryani, or Mediterranean food, like shawarma, it's less spicy here. But if you would go to a restaurant that serve authentic Indian food, you'll find that they're really spicy and hot.
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    When it comes to Indian dishes such as curry, here in the UK the dish is all about the hotness and the spices but in India it's more about the actual flavour of the dish itself.

    Buy a chicken Rogan Josh or Madras from a take away or restaurant, then have one traditionally made from an Indian recipe, and there's a massive difference in the taste.
  7. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Is raw chicken even safe to eat :S

    nice to know that the chicken feet are real too!

    I wonder if it's worth getting some from my local butchers and seeing if they're worth trying....
  8. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    @Coco I suppose cooking in ducks blood is too different from us Brits liking black pudding.
    It sounds odd but then we're used to it.

    I suppose any organ we eat is odd really, kidneys, liver.....just seems odd if you think about it.

    @pwarbi I am a wimp with strong spices and don't see the enjoyment in having something so hot you're uncomfortable. When I cook curries, they're mild and would contain a good mix of sweet veg like peppers and sweet corn, more about the flavour.

    I'm sure I read that the Vindaloo was invented in Britain? Might be mistaken though
    pwarbi likes this.
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    We were in Beijing last year. Due to the hectic schedule of our personal tour, we ordered noodles in a fast food outlet. In the Philippines, it is called Beef Mami to mean beef noodles as what the photo in the poster said. Eating it inside the hotel, it was pretty good. On the next day, we again went to the same fastfood outlet and ordered dry noodles and fried dumplings. My husband was looking at the poster and he noticed what we ordered the previous day, the menu had a picture of the donkey. When we clarified with the attendant (in sign language) yes, it was donkey meat indeed.
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I don't know if Vindaloo was actually invented in Britain, but I know it's now one the most popular dishes in the UK.

    And I mean out of all the cuisines, we have available over here, even the English dishes! People would rather have a vindaloo than a portion of traditional, English fish and chips!
  11. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    @Corzhens that is funny!
    But if it tasted good, and younow know what it consists off, would you have it again?

    There was a meat scandal in Britain a couple years ago where meats were found to contain some horse meat. I wouldn't mind trying some horse, I think the main issue waas the dishonesty of what was being sold being marketed incorreclty.

    Any eat horse?
  12. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Good thread, I often wonder about this myself since I've never had the pleasure of eating a lot of authentic asian foods. But yeah I think the main difference is that some ingredietns are left out in the west because they are considered "weird" and also different spices might be used. And a very real thing is, I don't know if you've noticed this, but the exact same ingredient can taste very different in different parts of the world. The mango I can get from the store here is VERY different to the mango I had in Kenya. I don't know if it's due to the storage during transport or something like that.
    pwarbi likes this.
  13. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Honestly, if we go back to Beijing I would probably not order that Donkey noodle. The taste is all right but I'm not used to eating that. You have mentioned horse meat. It is a delicacy here. Do you know that my father was a horse trainer? And a race horse has the best meat for steak - that is a saying in the race track. So you can guess that we were having horse meat once in a while when we were young. My brother is still a horse trainer until now and so is his son. When my husband's colleagues would come to our house, he would order horse meat from my brother so he can have a match for the beer.

    PS. There was this horseback-riding area in Baguio City, a tourist spot in the north of Manila. There were more than a hundred horses for hire. And by the side of the trotting track, there was that big poster that said - horse meat for sale.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    In regards to the same ingredients tasting different in different parts of the world, I think a lot of that might be because of the way it's preserved, transported and stored while it's making its way over to the destination country.

    While it might be the same, I think it's going to lose some of its freshness and that can't be helped.
  15. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    I have heard that bananas are different in different countries because of their type. Maybe it is the same with mango?

    I wouldn't mind trying horse steak, I bet it is a very lean meat.

    I think I would give any food a go as long as it didn't still look rude....
    pwarbi likes this.
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    You're a braver person than me then! Seriously, there are some foods in this world that I wouldn't even touch and I think in pretty broad minded.

    Fish head, and fish eye soups are the first dishes that spring to mind, and the soup part might be ok, but I just don't like the thought of biting into an eyeball!
  17. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    That's a good point actually, with a lot of fruits there are many many different varieties and the ones the locals are having could be different from the ones that are industrially produced for export.
    And I love trying different meats... and by that I mean GOOD parts (like a proper steak) of different animals, no organs or eyes or anything like that. :p
  18. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Ah yes, I don't want my food looking back at me either :p
    I'm not a fan of rare food either, no blood, I pay for food to be cooked and hot not still mooing :p
  19. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Ok, this'll give away where I'm from a little, but my county has a dish that include fish heads - eyes and all. It's called star gazer pie as the fishes heads are sticking out of the pie looking up to the stars.

    I've never had it though as not a fish fan :p
    pwarbi likes this.
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    Well I'm not a fan of fish anyway, so that a dish that I definitely won't be trying and even if I was I still wouldn't fancy it!

    It does just go to show I guess, what different countries and cultures are used to when it comes to food, and we can't all eat the same I suppose.
  21. integrity101

    integrity101 New Member

    Due to cultural differences, I'd be very choosy of the meats I eat in China. Snakes and dogs may be a native cuisine but where I come from those two Chinese delicacies are a no-no. I'm not being judgmental but it's a cultural thing and I guess I would be admitted to hospital with serious food poisoning symptoms if ate snake, or puppy.
    pwarbi likes this.
  22. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think that's how a lot of people will feel when it comes to food, and if they eat a certain thing in a certain region that's fine, but that doesn't mean to say you're going to want to eat it aswell.

    It's also a matter of what a person is used to aswell, and if you're not used to certain cuisines, then they can be too rich for your body if you give them a try and so can make you ill.
  23. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    It also shows how big of an influence we take from the things going on around us. If you have been eating insects, odd (well what I find odd) organs etc all your life... then it's completely normal to you. Everyone around you does it, you've done it all along... it's normal. Also, insects are considered by some to be the food of the future as insect farms have a superior efficiency compared to mammals such as cows and pigs.
    pwarbi likes this.
  24. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    It's hardly ever the same. I have tried some Serbian food abroad and what they sell is nothing like what we make here. I believe it has something to do with certain foods that each country uses and you cannot find everywhere. One original ingredient can make a dish taste different and imagine how all of them would make a dish taste? Peppers in Serbia are very unique for example and I wasn't able to find those anywhere because you can only buy them here. It is very simple.
  25. Phileas80

    Phileas80 Member

    Dishes are usually adapted to fit in with the tastes of the local people and with the ease of finding the correct ingredients. I have eaten Chinese food in the UK and found that it is almost completely different to Chinese food in the US and Australia. The variety was much greater in those countries and it is even greater in China itself. On the flip side I have yet to find a western country that has Indian restaurants as good as the ones in the UK. The level of competition here keeps the quality high and the British love for spicy dishes keeps the meals authentic.