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FUJIAN (FUKIEN) STYLE CHINESE RESTAURANT IN NEW JERSEY

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  • Zabar Apr 9, 2011 12:32 PM
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Hi:
I love Fujian (Fukien) style chinese cuisine.
Many moons ago, there was only one Fukienese restaurant in NYC's Chinatown (FOO JOY) that specialized in cuisine from the Fukien Province in China. Sadly, it was closed down in the late 70s by the gendarmes because of gambling activities. My very favorite dish at Foo Joy was "Fukienese Pork Chops" (very thin pork chops marinated in a red wine sediment paste, then deep-fried and served with a spicy dark soy-based sauce). These pork chops were seriously delicious!
I have posted this same topic on "The Best" and also the "Manhattan" forums of CH but no one seems to be aware of any Chinese restaurant that specializes in Fukien style cuisine.
Does it exist in New Jersey? Thanks. Zabar

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  1. I've never seen any Fukien restaurants in NJ, but I know a lot of takeout joints are run by them. Maybe you can ask for a special request?

    1. If it doesn't exist in NYC, it sure ain't gonna be found in NJ...

      1. Interesting post.
        Being Chinese and have a few friends of Fujian/Fukien descent, it has never crossed my mind to sample Fujian food. It was never suggested from any of my fujianese friends either. I could be completely wrong but this kind of suggest to me that there is nothing special about Fujian cusine. Large section of Manhattan Chinatown is occupied by Fujianese and yet there is no well-known Fujian restaurant.

        The only Fujian food i know is a type pork dumpling and also a stuff fishball that is the size of a ping pong ball. Other than that, I know nothing about Fujian food.

        Like joon says, most of the takeout place is run by Fujianese. The weird thing is none of them would even put one or two "traditional" dishes on the menu.

        I would like to know what are some of the good Fujianese dishes out there (other than the pork chop described by the OP) if anyone has that knowledge. My Fujianese friends just happen to have the worst taste in food in terms of all the people I know so I wouldn't even bother to ask them :-)

        3 Replies
        1. re: yCf

          Dear "yCf":

          If my memory is still serving me well, I believe that a friend of mine used to regularly order the "Pork Livers" at the old "Foo Joy" restaurant in Chinatown. How these livers were prepared, I cannot tell you. I only know that my friend loved them. Zabar

          1. re: Zabar

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian_c...

            Suppose one also thought about it in a different way - as food that is prepared by Hakka and Hokkien folks*, all of whom are geographical inhabitants of Fujian (not the only place, especially with the Hakka). Then the question becomes "what is Hakka food, Hokkien food", etc, especially as it applied to the descendants of those folks amongst the Overseas Chinese in SE Asia particularly in Malaysia and Singapore?

            Sample of some links (you can easily search for more):
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokkien
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/147138
            http://blog.omy.sg/ellenaguan/2010/07...
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/camember...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_pe...
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_cu...
            http://hakkafood.blogspot.com/
            http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.co...
            http://www.chow.com/search?query=hakk...

            * Primarily; there may be some overlap with Western Fujian/Guangdong [Fukien/Kwangtung] and Teochew [Chiuchow] folks with their own (but related) cuisine

          2. re: yCf

            Fujian Cuisine is considered one of the Eight Great Cuisines of China. Most Fujianese are Min. The Hakka influence in Fujian is felt in one patch of the southwestern corner of the province. According to the ancient Book of Rites, there were seven Min tribes and today there are about 30 million Min living in the province, which is about the size of England.

            Their cuisine is marked by how the ingredients are cut, prepared and uniquely seasoned. They use more than 200 different kinds of fish, shellfish, turtles and frogs which are commonly stewed, braised, steamed or stir-fried. Very little sugar is used but coriander and sesame oil are popular.

            Soups and stews are hallmarks – no Fujian banquet would be complete without three to five soups. Other important foodstuffs are ground dry pork, five-spice powder and red rice wine lees.

            Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is a classic Fujianese dish. Fish Balls are well known as are noodles and dumplings. They also like to put meat and fish in the same dish, as in Buddha Jumps Over the Wall.

            Fujian Cuisine is further divided into three sub-regions:
            Fuzhou Style – lightly seasoned, less salt, elegant soups & stews
            Xiamen/Quanzhou – aromatic, light and tender; sweeter
            Minxi – salty and piquant, more Hakka flavors

            In Manhattan, Best Fuzhou and Double Dragon on Manhattan are probably the best known.

            Slideshow of some of Best Fuzhou's Greatest Hits:
            https://picasaweb.google.com/roswellh...

          3. "scoopG"... I've been reading some of your responses to threads that go back several years. I must say that your knowledge of all things pertaining to Asian cuisine is really impressive.
            I used to think of myself as being well-informed on this topic, but, after reading CH message boards, I've changed my opinion of myself.
            To digress for a moment, I never thought that there could be a half-way decent Chinese restaurant in New Jersey. Chowhound set me straight with comments and a review of "Petite Soo Chow" in Cliffside Park, of all places. I dug a little further and came up with the following New York Times review of this restaurant. I've provided all interested parties with a link to the NYT review.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/nyr...
            It certainly appears that all "hounds" living nearby to the GW Bridge should take note, and make a beeline to this Shanghainese surprise.
            Since I cannot seem to find those elusive Fukienese Pork Chops, I'm going to visit "PSC" in the very near future to sample their highly touted "Salt & Pepper Pork Chops", and, the a couple of orders of their "Xiao Long Bao" (pronounced shee-OW lun bow). Zabar

            8 Replies
            1. re: Zabar

              It's "siew loong pow" in Cantonese.

              1. re: Zabar

                Thanks Zabar for your kind words!

                I have eaten at Petite Soo Chow - once, earlier this year. It's good, but for Manhattanhites, it is not a destination restaurant. In NYC we have Shanghai Cafe Deluxe and now 456 for more Shanghainese fare. They also have a good number of Taiwanese dishes on the menu. Go early if you do so on a weekend, the place is not that large and it gets packed!

                -----
                Petite Soo Chow
                607 Gorge Rd, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

                1. re: scoopG

                  "scoopG", being the foodie that I am, I rushed over to Petite Soo Chow (PSC) tonight, in the middle of a rainstorm I might add, to bring home take-out for my wife (she was not in the mood to dine out tonight) and myself. I ordered the Xaio Long Bao (with pork), squash with golden mushrooms, snow-pea leaves (delicious), and, since I've been so transfixed about pork chops lately, I could not resist PSC's highly touted Salt & Pepper Pork Chops.
                  Scoop, I agree with your impressions of PSC, although I must say, if you live in northern New Jersey, and you do not want to trek to NYC's CT or Flushing, the food at PSC is really the best New Jersey Chinese that I've had in recent memory.
                  And, by the way, although the pork chops tonight were really very good, I think that I'll be stubborn and hold out for a cyberspace savior who's going to come to my rescue, and direct me to a place that's got those Fukien chops that have my name written all over them. Zabar

                  -----
                  Petite Soo Chow
                  607 Gorge Rd, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

                  1. re: Zabar

                    That was fast! Glad you liked it. I think there is enough on their menu to warrant return trips!

                    1. re: Zabar

                      Were the meat dishes at Petite Soo Chow "organic", zabar?

                      1. re: menton1

                        Dear "memtion1":
                        I trust that you're just taking a "stab" at humor today.
                        My organic meat purchases are strictly for my wife.
                        My wife enjoyed the non-organic squash and the non-organic snow-pea shoots. She does permit herself the luxury of consuming non-organic produce every now and then.
                        I enjoyed the non-organic pork chops and the non-organic Xiao Long Bao for dinner. Zabar

                        1. re: Zabar

                          I have posted this article on two other boards,; however, for those Chowhounders who do not read the "Manhattan"or "The Best" board, the following is a link to a August 03, 1972 review of Foo Joy Restaurant and (can you believe it) recipes for the Fukienese Pork Chops and Fried Fish Balls. Unbelievable. Zabar
                          http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/...

                          1. re: Zabar

                            I might just murmur that if you posted the pdf of the articles here you could be said to be skirting the law and also possibly depriving the NYT of revenue that they may need to stave off the day when they might have to cease publication...

                2. It seems as those I could not cut and paste the webpage from the other postings. Okay, if at 1st you.... Zabar
                  http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Zabar

                    Dear "huiray":
                    I did NOT notice anything on the NYT website that prohibitedmy re-using this information for my enjoyment. Since there is absolutely no avarice or personal profit involved in my posting this article, and due to the likelihood that many Chowhounders cannot afford the $35 per month fee that is being charged for access to this information, I guess you might want to call me "Robin Hood" instead of concerning yourself about the minimal (and I do mean minimal) loss of revenues that would be enjoyed by the New York Times from readers who are interested in reading an articles about a restaurant that closed its doors more than 30 years ago. Zabar

                    1. re: Zabar

                      Hi Zabar, I would love to see the article but cannot view it. Without a NY Times login I can only see a few sentences. If you're able to share it please be in touch. My email is fun@kimbwei.com. Thanks!

                      1. re: kimijye

                        The Times allows 20 views/month for free. You should be able to see it, or if you are over your quota, May 1 is next Mon.

                        1. re: kimijye

                          "kimijye"... if you use the link that I posted on April 17th at 9:45 PM you should be able to view this article. Zabar

                          1. re: Zabar

                            Perhaps you are referring to views of new articles, menton1; or the NYT pay model may have changed. Although I am logged into my free NYT account Zabar's link displays this message:

                            Thank you for visiting The New York Times Archive.
                            Purchase this article individually for $3.95 and download
                            a high-resolution PDF with all of the images.
                            You can also sign up for a Digital Subscription for as low as
                            $3.75 a week and enjoy 100 Archive articles every four weeks.

                            Zabar, of course I did try your link before posting here, asking for help.

                            1. re: kimijye

                              The Public Library system has free access to the Times on their computers; stop in at your local branch, I know Bergen County has about 75 local library branches.

                              1. re: kimijye

                                Sorry about that. I joined the NYT article service at a cost of 99 cents for a one month trial period. This trial subscription is cancellable at any time within the 1st month. I guess that the reason that I'm able to view it directly from my Chowhound link is because my computer's "IP" number is being recognized by the NYT. Zabar

                      2. Boy, a blast from the past indeed! In the early 70s I often went to the Foo Joy, and precisely for the pork chops and some of the clay pot dishes. At that time, it was the only Fukien restaurant in NYC. Ah well...those days are gone but not forgotten.

                        Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cristina

                          :-)

                          Yet Fukien cuisine (per the OP's complaint) is not a mysterious thing. It is largely the same as Hokkien (or even Hakka/Hokkien) food. You just have to realize that "Fujian" or "Fukien" is the northern dialect pronunciation for what the folks in those southern parts say as "Hokkien", by-and-large. Folks in many places around the world in the Chinese diaspora (e.g. Singapore, Malaysia, Toronto, etc etc) have no difficulty recognizing the term "Hokkien food".

                        2. Seeing this post reminded me of the many great meals I had a Foo Joy when I still worked within walking distance of Chinatown. Since it has been so long since then I don't remember most of the dishes, however I do recall a nice pig's ear dish, as well as bean curd with preserved eggs. I think that the years that I was able to eat lunch in Chinatown very often (1969-1976) had some of the best eating that I have every done. That was when Szechuan cooking seemed to first arrive, with Szechuan Taste opening. That was before Szechuan Taste became a chain and the quality declined.