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Jul 6, 2006 01:52 AM

the role of corn and squash and related products in eastern cusine

i am interested in how these new world crops were gradually incorporated into the cusines of asia. in specific...the far east: korea, china and japan.

do you know of any dishes were these ingredients are highlighted? i know of only the simmered kabocha squash dish and oksusucha (korean corn tea)...any other renditions?

i have heard of use of potato in chinese but not all that familiar.

i am trying to picture the portuguese and spanish and asian exchange of the first seeds....i wonder how it occured initially.

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  1. The Chinese looooooooooove canned corn on their pizza. Go to any Pizza Hut in Taiwan or China, and you can get canned corn as a topping and corn chowder on the side.

    Most Chinese bakeries in California have little rolls with corn incorporated throughout. Sometimes corn and chunks of hot dogs, like some kind of Chinese pig in a blanket--with corn.

    My mom once started using grated zucchini in dumplings during a zucchini glut in our garden. It's actually not a bad substitute for the usual leeks or cabbage. I don't think that's a prevalent trend, though.

    1. Good question. Most corn I've run into into in Chinese food is baby corn, especially adapted to stir fry uses.

      In Americanized Chinese, I've seen squash used as an extender in dishes like kung-pao, especially at all-you-eat buffets or neighborhood inexpensive places.

      What fascinates me more is what Korean food was like before the introduction of chilies. In Szechuan, the people had Szechuan peppercorns and some proximity to black pepper sources. But Korean food is so intertwined with chilies, it is hard for me to imagine it before New World crops.


      1. My wife (Shanghainese) occasionally puts a little cut corn in dishes with a mild saucy preparation but I saw it a lot more in Hong Kong than in mainland China.

        Chinese use a number of squashes and gourds that are unfamiliar here in the US, and also will use pumpkin. The picture below is of an interesting dish I had at a restaurant featuring "country style" cuisine from the Shanghai region. It features pre-cooked pork cutlet slices interspersed with pumpkin slices and steamed.