Fusion Cooking

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Head Chef
Sep 2, 2004
I really like to mix and match flavors from various cuisines. Does anyone know if there is a good site or books I can consult on this.

I am not into Ming Tsai (East meets West) but others if anyone has any suggestions. I would also appreciate any fusion recipes that people can share.

Thanks very much in advance for sharing.
I immediately thought of Blue Ginger, but you say no Ming ...

What cusines, specifically, interest you and/or what turns you off from Ming?
Thanks PABaker for the site I will check it out. Jennyema, I have gone through Ming's recipes and most of them are focused more on Asian.

Are there any that mix other cuisines together Latin and Italian for example, Italian, French and Latin. Carribean and Western influences, East European with Asian flavors.

It seems like I don't see much in the fusion area other than Ming. I just wanted to see if there is anything else out there that I may have overlooked. .
Yakuta, if you look at geographical areas, you can almost always find 'fusions' of cuisine; Basque cooking, for example, is often a fusion of Italian and Spanish cooking, with its own little twists that have been added in over the centuries. Very northern Italian cooking has elements of Germanic foods; French 'provincial' foods often have more in common with their mediterranean neighbors than what we consider traditional 'french cuisine'.

For other examples, look to the Creole cuisine of the southern US - a fusion of the French and Caribbean ancestory. There's a wonderful cookbook author, Jessica Harris, who puts in amazing perspective the cooking of the Americas; from the 'slave' cuisine as it developed in the southern states, to all of the wonderful food of all the Caribbean countries, and where it came from and how it developed.

Look also to the 'fusion' of the Hawaiian foods; what a wealth of culture they've drawn on - Chinese, Japanese, Polynesion, Portuguese - to make some of the most delicious food in the world!

If you look at a map of Asia, with its countries and cuisine, you can see how foods have travelled from one country to another, with each country adapting and adopting to make it their own - take Japanese 'curry', for example!
I don't know the exact titles of their books, but you should be able to find one online from the following chefs:

Roy Yamaguchi
Alan Wong
Sam Choy
Gary Danko
Thomas Keller
Rob Feenie

The first three on the list lean more towards the Asian side and the last three on the list lean more towards the European side, but all six incorpate "Eurasian" recipes in their books and menus.

The two main types of fusion cooking include the following:

Latin Fusion (Mexican, Cuban, and Caribbean mostly)
Asian Fusion

There are other smaller branches of fusion cooking, but they usually include one or both of the above, and almost always include ingredients from one or both of the above.
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Marmalady, ironchef and jennyema thank you for all the wonderful information. I have a lot to sift through now. In addition to Ming the only other familiar name in the list is Roy. I believe he has a restaurant chain called Roy's. The one that I visited in San Francisco was packed and the food was very creative. I will check all of these out. thanks again.
For great fusion foods, look to the Phillipinnes. They were ruled for many, many years by the Spanish, who left their mark on the already wonderful tropical cuisine.

If you want a very good, Americanized version of the classic egg-roll, let me know and I'll post my modified recipe, with the pineapple sweet and sour sauce to go with it. It is not like any egg roll you have had, and is definetly not filled with American ingredients. It just has a better texture, and flavor than what is traditionally presented in the restaurants. I haven't yet found anyone who doesn't love them.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Yes Goodweed please share your recipe. I don't eat pork but I always find ways of substituting that meat with others.

Thank you for sharing your cherished recipe I am sure it will be good as all the others you have shared.
Question: Is it true that Asians have a physical intolerance to dairy products? :unsure: Or is it something else? I ask because I'm curious!

I know that it seems like an ignorant question, but I honestly do not know. I'm not trying to offend anyone here. :rolleyes:
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It is true that the majority of the human population has a problem with lactose intollerance. The only people that have good talerance to dairy (except cheese, where the lactose is consumed by the bacteria) are generally from Northern climates, especially of European descent. It seems that people in warmer climates had little need for dairy, as their bodies had sufficient sunlight to manufacture their daily requirement of vitamin-D. In Northern climates, people had to keep most of their skin covered by clothing and so needed the nutrients found in fresh dairy products to make up for less available sunlight.

Happily, I have Northern European blood in me, as well as the Native American and other nationalities. "Cause I really love the flavor of milk. And I tolerate it very well.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
During my visits to Australia, I have enjoyed many dishes at restaurants whose cuisine is billed as Fusion or Pacific Rim. Good Ozzie meat and fish with spices and herbs and veggies from other Pacific rim countries like Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, etc.Most of the chefs are European Ozzies, but their cooking is much influenced by their nearest neighbours.

The only complaint I have with restaurants in Oz is those that say they are 'Indian' cuisine.... For some reason, I have yet to discover one that has food to compare to even back-street 'Indian' restaurants in Birmingham or Bradford. A few years ago I went to a new Indian restaurant in Darling Harbour, Sydney - the surroundings were stunning, very minimalist and modern (no flock wallpaper here) the food was billed as 'nouvelle' Indian/fusion... it was not nice at all, a few bits of meat/fish and/or veg beautifully presented on the plate, but the spices hadn't even been cooked-out before presenting the dish to the customer.... My sister, a real Indian food afficionado, actually left everything... At least I tried to finish a couple of the dishes!

PS - the reason I put 'Indian' in quote marks is because here in the UK, the majority of 'Indian' restaurants are actually Bangladeshi, not Indian. :mrgreen:
Jennyma, Norman van Aiken does amaaaazing things with flavors! Do try and get his book - I've seen it on sale at Jessica's Biscuit and Amazon.
Goodweed of the North said:
For great fusion foods, look to the Phillipinnes. They were ruled for many, many years by the Spanish, who left their mark on the already wonderful tropical cuisine.

However, Filipino food is not considered fusion cuisine, just like Vietnamese Food is not considered fusion cuisine even though there is a lot of French influence in there. Although both cuisines have been intertwined with others, the same can be said for almost every single cuisine on the planet.

Adobo (Spanish) and Lumpia (Chinese) are just two examples of Filipino dishes that were learned from other cultures, but it is not thought of as fusion. Now if you were to take say, smoked salmon and cream cheese and called it a lumpia, then that would be fusion.
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Ya just gotta love Adobo and Lumpia. But then again, I ate at the Pag Sahn Jon River resort (Spelling is obviously off here, but I don't know the correct version) and had an amazing feast of tropical fruit sauces served over pork, poultry, with an incredible clam broth and more tropical fruits than I could eat in one sitting. The meal was almost cantonese in flavor, but with the addition of the wonderful varieties of seafood and tropical fruits available to the island. Good stuff indeed. And who could forget the squid, cooked in its own ink and served over a bed of steamed rice.

You had to get out of Alongapo (Spelling again) to find the good stuff. But you can keep the banana ketchup, and the local pizza made from American cheese slices spread over a sauce that tasted susiciously like Campbell's Tomato Soup.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
I have to laugh ... sometimes you think you've got an original idea and poof! I was going to suggest looking up Roy Yamaguchi. Hawaii, as others have noted, was the real start of east-meets-west, along, of course, with California. Hawaii is just more ... well east (well, actually, further west?). But all of the Asian food meeting the European-based food ... it is the first place where I ran into it smoothly operating together. The main thing that can be difficult is sometimes a mixture really works, and you have fusion (actually I think the word is pan-Asian or Pacific Rim). But sometimes you have what I call mish-mash cuisine. The flavors aren't bad, but they simply aren't great either. Like someone went into the kitchen and couldn't make up their mind, so emptied all the leftovers into a dish. Hey, great stuff has started from that, and when it isn't great, it's still pretty darned good.

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