Although simply referred to as “Chinese food” in Korea, Korean-Chinese food might be unrecognisable to a mainland Chinese person. While dishes like jjajangmyeon have roots in China, they can only be found in Korea. Hwagyos, Chinese immigrants in Korea, needed to “Koreanise” their cuisine with local ingredients and recipes in order to make it more palatable to their customers. In this mini-episode of Fork the System, Joi Lee and HyoJin Park look into the history of jjajangmyeon, one of the most beloved dishes in Korea.

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49 thoughts on “Don’t call it fusion: The story of Korean-Chinese cuisine| Fork the System”

  1. Al Jazeera has managed to wove divisive issues into a food story. Amazing. I am surprised there were no stories of rape or murder. You couldn't just talk about the noodle.

  2. My great-grandma’s family moved from Korea to China (Shandong province) back in 19th Century. I wonder if she ever felt alienated from either her Korean heritage or the Chinese society. I was very young when she passed so I never got to have meaningful conversations with her. In her final years she only spoke Korean despite spending her entire life in China.

  3. I'm korean and tasted both versions. Honestly, the basic taste of them is the same. It's just the Korean version is more saucy.

  4. ironically the ethnicity Korean people in China feel very much Chinese
    maybe its because South Korea is the most ethnically homogeneous society while China isn't

  5. We han Chinese are noble people we don't bring hates. That is why!!! We are growing stronger and stronger. Korean and Japanese people are bully Chinese but hates won't solved problems. But generation and next generations will remember because it already becomes history to world's Chinese generations. Can any history be erase????

  6. It is very common in Chinese daily life. it is called炸酱面(zhajiangmian), but I think it a little bit like another kind of noddles called 杂酱面(zajiangmian). And I am from Shandong, Her story touched me a lot, especially when she said she is huaqiao.

  7. Somehow the concept of a new breed is hard for people around the world to grasp. If Bob and Mary made a baby, that baby is neither Bob nor Mary, rather it's Jane (completely different with some roots to both). The concept is easier to understand if we bred a human with a sea turtle, then everyone understands what comes out is neither human nor sea turtle but something entirely different with some roots to both. Just as Jajangmyeon and Noodles with Blackbean sauce aren't the same; one is sweet the other salty, Chinese-Koreans are not Chinese nor are they Korean, they are a unique breed. Trying to fit into a box that wasn't made for you is a futile endeavor. And others trying to shove you in a box that wasn't made for you is ignorant.

  8. Did any other dongbei ren spot the guo bao rou on the dinner table too?? 😂 This definitely isn’t fusion. It’s just Chinese food with different ingredient proportions. You could blindfold a Chinese person from the northeast or Shandong and they’d still recognize these foods by taste.

  9. When you realise that Korean-ethnic chinese people are discriminated and not welcomed in S Korea, then you will know that han-ethnic people are unlikely to migrate to S Korea. If you want to know how the korean-ethnic chinese people are demonized, just watch any korean film featuring yanbian, they always describe yanbian as the hub of crime

  10. koreans gotta realize, theres a lot of shared history between them and chinese people. both countries were affected by imperial japan, for one. sure you have different identities, but there is a collective aspect of those identities which should be cherished. as members of all diaspora understand, the merging of two cultures creates not just new fushion, but a brand new identity. you can be both at the same time, and that just proves how flexible these identities truly are.

  11. Half of Korean history was founded by chinese immigrants.

    1. Gija was a chinese noble from the Shang dynasty, after it fell to the Zhou dynasty, gija left China with 5000 men and settled down in gojoseon and became the first king of korea.

    2.wiman was another chinese man from the state of yan, he left China and settled down in gojoseon.
    He took over the thrones from gijas descendants and become the king of korea.

    3.han empire went to war and invaded wiman joseon and gojoseon fell and the chinese set up 4 commentaries in north korea.(The main commandery, Lelang, existed for 400 years. That was in present day North Korea. (There is archeological and written evidence for the commanderies.).
    4.silla was founded by Qin Chinese immigrants.
    5.joseon was like the son to the ming dynasty of china

    Korea and Japan are all sons of China, Korea is a dutiful son, and Japan is a rebellious son. ———— "Records of the Joseon Dynasty"

  12. The people of jinhan claimed they were the descendants of Qin dynasty migrants who left China due to Qin's forced labor policies and moved to the Mahan confederacy. The confederacy was also called "Qinhan" (Hanja: 秦韓)

    As immigrants, the kings might be Mahan people according to most historical books of China and Korea.

    In Volume 30 of the Book of Wei, Biographies of Jinhan, and the Records of the Three Kingdoms, there is a description "名國為邦" (referring to Guo "國" as Bang "邦").
    It is said that people of Jinhan came from the Qin dynasty. The first Han dynasty emperor Liu Bang (Hanja: 劉邦) was hesitant to use same Chinese character "Bang" (Hanja: 邦) to refer to "country", so he changed "Bang" (Hanja: 邦) to "Guo" (Hanja: 國).
    Thus, after the Han dynasty, people use "Guo" (Hanja: 國) instead of "Bang" (Hanja: 邦). However, people of Jinhan used the character "Bang" (Hanja: 邦), thus preserving elements of the Qin dynasty Chinese language.

    Record of the Three
    Kingdoms Book of Wei, Volume 30, History of Jinhan
    Classical Chinese
    Jinhan confederacy is located in the east of Mahan confederacy. In old saying of that area, people of Jinhan was an old refugee who came to Korea to avoid the hardship of Qin dynasty, and Mahan gave them their east land. They set a castle fence and the language they speak is not the same as Mahan’s. At there, they call Guo (Hanja: 国) as Bang (Hanja: 邦), Gong (弓) as Hu (Hanja: 弧)、Zei (Hanja: 賊) as Kou (Hanja: 寇), and Xingjiu (Hanja: 行酒) as Xingshang (Hanja: 行觴).
    — 三國志 魏書卷30辰韓伝

    The Samguk Sagi and History of the Northern Dynasties state that the original Lelang Commandery which later became the Jinhan confederacy (辰韓) was the origin of Silla.

    the people claimed they were descendants of Chinese Qin dynasty (秦, also pronounced as "Jin" in Korean) migrants who, fleeing Qin's forced labour policies, moved to the Mahan confederacy, which gave them land to the east.

    辰韩在马韩之东,其耆老传世,自言古之亡人避秦役来适韩国,马韩割其东界地与之。有城栅。其言语不与马韩同,名国为邦,弓为弧,贼为寇,行酒为行觞。相呼皆为徒,有似秦人,非但燕、齐之名物也。名乐浪人为阿残;东方人名我为阿,谓乐浪人本其残馀人。今有名之为秦韩者。始有六国,稍分为十二国。《三国志魏书卷三十 乌丸鲜卑传》
    It says that the jinhan people spoke a language that is different from the mahans and its people came to jinhan as immigrants and the language they spoke was a mixed of qin Chinese and native jinhan korean

  13. When i realised korean food very similar to dongbei food, i know our cultures very similar. However, nothing wrong to be patriots but dun be misled n used by the west.

  14. The thing is…these two nations are practically the same people if you go back into the history.

    Just occupying different land.

  15. Thanks to president Park Chung hee of S.Korea(who was president in 1960s and 1970s), Chinese Hwagyos couldn't buy house as she mentioned. If he didn't do that, S.Korea might be like South East Asian countries where Chinese Hwagyos have major economic power. I as Korean thanks to president Park Chung hee.

  16. Chinese food is the universal foreign food found in almost every country in the world. Different country, different flavor adapted to local taste but in general they are usually cheap and good.

  17. han chinese discriminate against other asians, ie. uygurs, mongols, north and south Koreans. they even built a border wall thousands of miles long to prove their racism

  18. I’ve had the Chinese version in flushing. Honestly it was good, but I’m so used to the korean version. Cuz it has more vegetables and it’s a more sweet. The Chinese versions a lot more pungent, strong, and salty. I guess that’s why they don’t give a lot of sauce with it. But overall it wasn’t bad. I think they do have their differences but obviously the origin doesn’t matter, as long as it tastes good

  19. China Had been Manchurized and Mongolized for centuries as their colonies and still can't understand why either Manchurian or Mongolian foods have to be altered to meet chinese people's tastes. Influenced by all that Manchurian or Mongolian fasion, hairstyle, language, architecture, writing system. Yet modern so called chinese people claim it's CHINESE history.

  20. Koreans: Chinese-style name, Chinese-style architecture, Chinese-influenced language, Chinese-influenced cuisine, Chinese-influenced culture.

    Also Koreans: Let’s look down on ethnic Chinese people! The same people that we copied everything from!

    Worms for brains

  21. 그 중국식당 주인 아줌아 중국 조선교포 아니가요???? 중국 조선족 교포 아닌지????? 국내 화교 는 없어요. 대만 아니면 중국갔어요 1980년 좀. 현재 대한민국 99.9% 조선 족 /중국 교포!!!!!!!!!

  22. didn't know this and I'm chinese lol. I don't think we have anything like it in our daily cuisine (the flavors) so it makes sense

  23. I read one article before that why there are so many Korean-Chinese open a restaurant and selling the noodle in Korea, as the Korea don't allow they to have the same society standard as the Korean which the lady in the video saying they had to pay more taxes than the usual, and there will be more such as no-voting right, limit job opportunity and the list go on.

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