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Fukienese food

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I've searched the site and found nothing, yet my father (with whom I'll be having dinner) swears that Manhattan's Chinatown has at least one mini-neighborhood of Fukienese food.
Is he raving?
Thanks!

Hedda

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  1. I think you'd probably have better luck searching for Fuzhounese food. The places I know of feature food from Fuzhou, the big city in the northern part of Fujian province (using the Pinyin transliteration that's standard in Mainland China). There are several Fuzhounese places on Eldridge St. starting just north of Division.

    Here's a thread I found by searching for "Fuzhou*" in the Manhattan board:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322988

    1. I thought something like that would be the problem! Thanks!

      1. Fujian or Fujianese would also work. You're probably using the Wade-Giles spelling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade-Giles Which I sometimes do too... Peking will always be Peking to me. The main Fujianese area runs along East Broadway from Chatham to Allen, then along Eldridge north to Grand. I remember the shocked stares the Taiwanese October 10 parade got as it moved through there, because the people had just come from the People's Republic.

        Here's something from my "Guide to Chinatown" post:
        "The newest immigrants to Chinatown are from the coastal province of Fujian. Traditionally the most outward-looking province, its immigrants went to Manila and Bangkok centuries ago.In New York, though, they are the most recent arrivals and the poorest in Chinatown. They use wine a lot in their cooking, and make a bright red sauce from the lees. Most of their restaurants are concentrated around East Broadway and nearby Eldridge St. For a description of a very unusual one, see this post. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... Some of their shops on Eldridge St serve superb handmade noodles in soup. You can watch the chef kneading the dough and making the noodles. Here's a description: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... "

        1. Can somebody provide a list of dishes that would change my mind about Fujianese food? I've never been able to get it.

          1. Actually the entirety of Chinatown east of Bowery has been referred at times as "Little Fuzhou." This is to distinguish it from the original Chinatown core from Bowery and west which is Cantonese/Toishanese in origin going back to the 19th century. As Chinatown has expanded past its original core into formerly non-Chinese areas of the Lower East Side, this expansion has been fueled by immigrants from Fuzhou as opposed to the historic immigration from the area formerly known as Canton. Keep in mind that this Fujianese immigration largely represents lower end working class migrants. As such, we're not talking about much in the way of gourmet dining, but rather food that is affordable and reasonably tasty. Personally, the only Fujian dish that I find noteworthy is their fish balls. Also the fact that there isn't much Fujianese food in the U.S. outside of Manhattan and maybe Philadelphia probably confirms that we're not talking about a particularly notable cuisine.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl

              Yeah, in a blog item I made the comment that in culinary terms Fuzhou is to Canton as Bratislava is to Paris.

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                Yes I saw that and wanted to reply, but now I can. I think Fujian cuisine may be more sophisticated than we know. That secretive little restaurant I wrote about in the link above has a menu of about 200 items, all in Chinese, and I recognize only five. http://www.china.org.cn/english/imper...

              2. re: Chandavkl

                I hope your last comment doesn't mean, if New York has the best Fujianese food in the US, then it can't be a notable cuisine. Fujianese food is found where there are Fujianese people.

                1. re: Brian S

                  Not at all. There isn't much Fujianese food elsewhere since there aren't any concentrations of Fujian residents outside of New York City, though the Fujianese people certainly have spread out in small numbers throughout the east, midwest and south. And the cuisine isn't so compelling to encourage anybody to introduce it to the other Chinese communities in the U.S. I think there's one Fujian restaurant in Los Angeles, and its primary claim to fame is that Jackie Chan's Rush Hour movie was filmed there.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    I've put this question on the General board. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355834 I think it will interest chowhounds everywhere, not just New York.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      It's also interesting that every hole in the wall chinese takeout place, chinese/taco place that I've been in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn have been run by fukienese people. A couple of sushi places in Manhattan too.

                      1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                        Actually you will find that many of the Chinese restaurants located throughout the eastern half of the United States in communities that do not have a significant local Chinese population are owned and staffed by people from Fujian. In addition, many of these restaurants use employment agencies in Manhattan Chinatown to obtain their cooks and waiters. Prospective workers come to these agencies from out of town, stay for a day or two in Manhattan Chinatown, then leave with a new job in some far flung area code (area codes are used rather than city/state names to identify the locations of these jobs).

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          One of the busiest days in the Fujian part of Chinatown is Monday, because that's the day when most waiters who are given a day off get their day off.