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sergiogomez

Apr 2, 2010, 8:02 AM

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Fusion food

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Just found this article in El Universal. Who would have thought of blending Thai and Catalán food? Come to think of it, ginger and coconut milk would add a nice touch to a lot of Mexican dishes.

http://calidaddevida.eluniversal.com/...n-plan_1801267.shtml



Camille

Apr 2, 2010, 9:39 PM

Post #2 of 46 (13795 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Fusion food

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How could you not think of it? Same climate, same ingredients.... OK, slightly different chiles, but that's all the difference I see. Back when I thought I had another restaurant left in me, in Houston in the late nineties, and am I glad I snapped and my smarter twin said, "Give it up Girl! That boat has sailed....!" it was going to be exactly that fusion, and shamelessly called "ThaiMex" and I am so much happier just doing that menu for friends here in sunny Nayarit!
I love happy endings.....


Peter


Apr 3, 2010, 6:56 AM

Post #3 of 46 (13781 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Fusion food

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Interesting. The first fusion of Mexican/Asian food I recall from some decades ago was served in a Chula Vista, California Mexican and Chinese restaurant, the most successful combo being a sweet and sour chile relleno. This prompts me to see what I can come up with myself.

How about a taco dorado taipan made of a fried maiz tortilla shell filled with queso Oaxaca, shitake mushrooms, chopped onion, cilantro, water chestnut slices, and mung bean sprouts? Add a splash of soy sauce and some hot mustard sauce on the side. A little pedestrian, perhaps, but I'll have to experiment a bit to come up with something more complex.


nancyinpdx

Apr 3, 2010, 7:14 PM

Post #4 of 46 (13748 views)

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Re: [Camille] Fusion food

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I, too, have done SE Asian and Mexican fusion cooking. I made some for my ex Mex boyfriend in TJ and for friends from Oaxaca here in Portland and they loved it. As stated above, many of the ingredients are the same, so it made sense.


sergiogomez

Apr 14, 2010, 12:35 PM

Post #5 of 46 (13653 views)

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Re: [Camille] Fusion food

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How could you not think of it? Same climate, same ingredients.... OK, slightly different chiles, but that's all the difference I see. Back when I thought I had another restaurant left in me, in Houston in the late nineties, and am I glad I snapped and my smarter twin said, "Give it up Girl! That boat has sailed....!" it was going to be exactly that fusion, and shamelessly called "ThaiMex" and I am so much happier just doing that menu for friends here in sunny Nayarit!
I love happy endings.....

Exactly! Why cook and not enjoy it when you can cook and enjoy it?


Peter


Apr 14, 2010, 2:08 PM

Post #6 of 46 (13645 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Fusion food

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A lot of talk about doing it or it being a good idea, but how about sharing some of those recipes or ideas?


sergiogomez

Apr 15, 2010, 8:52 AM

Post #7 of 46 (13617 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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For me, at least, it's because I've been eating way too much takeout and fast food lately. I spend all day at work dreaming about great food, then I get home and don't make it. In fact, the only thing remotely Mexican I've made in ages was hot chocolate flavored with vanilla and Frangelico and stirred with a cinnamon stick. Incredibly good, but not exactly fusion food.


Judy in Ags


Apr 15, 2010, 9:17 AM

Post #8 of 46 (13606 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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If anyone posts some recipes, I'll be delighted. We always spend time with my sister in Waco when we go NOB. They spent time in Thailand and Indonesia, so they love Asian food. They also love Mexican, so it would be fun making some ThaiMex for them. Unless I've tasted something though, I have little imagination on how to put something together.


Peter


Apr 15, 2010, 12:05 PM

Post #9 of 46 (13587 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Fusion food

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I thought by throwing out those rather pedestrian ideas it would spur some more sophisticated concoctions. I know nothing of thai cuisine nor catalano just a few ideas I could generically label chinese or asian with a few taco stand ideas thrown in. Surely there must be some real international chefs among us. Truth is, what becomes popular are the simple foods, peasant-style dishes, and street corner specialties.

I like to cook and my friends here go nuts over some of the things I prepare, basic gringo fare like french toast and peach cobbler are favorites. My hamburgers and pizzas are always touted as the best, the magic is that I've re-simplified them from what form thay have taken here, hamburgers with pure ground meat, no filler, just the basic lettuce, tomato, and onion with a catsup-mayo dressing, and no-frills peperoni pizza, thin crust and well-done.

I cook generic chinese here but do not find mung bean sprouts, soy sprouts don't work so well, so just use more shredded cabbage and onion strips. Again I stay very basic but reserve a particular spice to each individual dish, like cinnamon and star anise for my egg rolls, ginger in the fried and steamed dumplings and sauce, raspberry preserves or respberry vinegar in the agridulce - sweet and sour, or a lemon or orange chicken, tempura crispness comes from adding corn starch to the batter and keeping the sauce off till the last. Then some other dish that is straight-forward with a meat stock and garlic flavor. Everything will have a very distinct and individual flavor by the spice or flavor I use so I can vary the recipe to what vegetables and meat I have on hand. The dishes combined I'm looking to counterpoint and balance sweet and salt.

I'm a little stuck for ideas to fuse mexican and asian styles. Perhaps a mole with coconut milk and curry would be decidedly thai-mex. What else?


Camille

Apr 15, 2010, 8:49 PM

Post #10 of 46 (13562 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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How about a salad of grated green papaya, cilantro, chiles, and local shrimp topped with crushed peanuts? How about using taco al pastor meat in some serious spring rolls with a jalapeno dipping sauce? A huachinango poached in coconut milk and fresh ginger? Chicken fajitas in a tamarindo sauce over rice stick noodle?
Lemme noodle some more.


Papirex


Apr 15, 2010, 9:52 PM

Post #11 of 46 (13554 views)

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Re: [Camille] Fusion food

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Look at some of the menu items here. http://www.paneenvia.com.mx/


No recipes, but I have had some interesting dishes and salads at the Pane in Cuernavaca, the menu lists many of the ingredients. I will add that the postre Gelatina de Cajeta is particularly delicious, the flavor kills the calories, and the Gelatina neutralizes the cholesterol, but everybody knows that.


They don't use a dessert cart, but a waitperson will usually bring a very large dessert tray to your table to tempt you into ordering one. It always works with me.


They also have valet parking, you can see where they park your car if you don't enter the dining rooms right away.


If you ever order a hamburger at Pane, you won't have room for anything else. (Forget about the finger food they serve at Burger King.) Their only shortcoming is that they never have any Gin in their bar to mix a true dry Martini.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Peter


Apr 16, 2010, 12:18 AM

Post #12 of 46 (13546 views)

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Re: [Camille] Fusion food

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Thanks, Camille. That's what I was looking for, a few ideas to try at home. The restaurants here that feature only straight chinese dishes are really missing the mid-pacific boat. It may only be upscale places that would try these fusions but none of it has to be expensive, if you are geared to do asian these are things already on hand. I miss the early 60's polynesian craze just after Hawaii's statehood. Some of your ideas kind of went in that direction a bit.


Anonimo

Apr 16, 2010, 5:59 AM

Post #13 of 46 (13539 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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Quote
I cook generic chinese here but do not find mung bean sprouts, soy sprouts don't work so well, so just use more shredded cabbage and onion strips. Again I stay very basic but reserve a particular spice to each individual dish, like cinnamon and star anise for my egg rolls, ginger in the fried and steamed dumplings and sauce, raspberry preserves or respberry vinegar in the agridulce - sweet and sour, or a lemon or orange chicken, tempura crispness comes from adding corn starch to the batter and keeping the sauce off till the last. Then some other dish that is straight-forward with a meat stock and garlic flavor. Everything will have a very distinct and individual flavor by the spice or flavor I use so I can vary the recipe to what vegetables and meat I have on hand. The dishes combined I'm looking to counterpoint and balance sweet and salt.


When can we come to your place for lunch or dinner, Peter? :-)

I'm very liberal in creating fusion dishes in my home kitchen, but I prefer not to pay dearly for a chef's experiments when I dine out.

Recently, I made Milanesas de Cerdo with an Asian-Mexican Pico de Gallo.
You can read more here.
http://mexkitchen.blogspot.com/...th-asian-fusion.html

Yesterday, using some leftover "Camarones para Pelar" from Mariscos La Güera Campestre, om the Morelia-Pátzcuaro highway, I made a shrimp salad with diced mango, sweet red pepper, avocado, jícama and cucumber. Also some minced chile perón. The dressing was composed of lime juice, pineapple vinegar, brown sugar, Asian fish sauce and a dash of Asian sesame oil.
We had it on leaves of lechuga orejona (romaine lettuce), so we could either eat it with a knife and fork or roll it up like a lettuce wrap.

Here's a photo:


Breakfast today is unusually hearty. Fried potatoes with chorizo, salsa verde optional, huevos de la granja.



Saludos,
Anonimo


esperanza

Apr 16, 2010, 10:21 AM

Post #14 of 46 (13524 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Fusion food

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And black sesame seeds in your shrimp salad, Anónimo?

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Anonimo

Apr 16, 2010, 10:25 AM

Post #15 of 46 (13522 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Fusion food

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Correct, Esperanza.



Saludos,
Anonimo


esperanza

Apr 16, 2010, 10:35 AM

Post #16 of 46 (13519 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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I recently prepared a seven-course 'straight Chinese' meal for very special friends. The menu:

--Chicken stock with watercress, roast pork, and poached quail eggs
--Sweet and sour jícama pickles
--Braised spicy anise beef
--Szechuan chicken with tangerine peel
--Pan-fried shrimp patties with spinach in light sweet and sour sauce
--Steamed rice
--Almond gelatin and fresh blackberries

Everything was made from scratch, including the almond gelatin. I also dried the tangerine peels last year for use this year.

It looks like there are several of us in the vicinity of Morelia who prepare Chinese food. I was a Chinese chef in a restaurant in New York for several years, specializing in Szechuan and Hunan provincial cooking.

Peter, although there are a zillion 'Chinese' restaurants in Morelia, I haven't found one that serves even barely acceptable Chinese food. One of them has even invited me to give some cooking classes to its chefs! If you know of ONE really good Chinese restaurant in the city, please tell me which it is!

Most of the people of Chinese descent in Morelia (and in all of Mexico) are several generations removed from their origins and traditional recipes are long lost, and traditional ingredients can be hard to find. Jícama, while an authentic Chinese ingredient for pickles, isn't often used as a vegetable in Chinese dishes. Here in Morelia, it's ubiquitous.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Anonimo

Apr 16, 2010, 2:07 PM

Post #17 of 46 (13502 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Fusion food

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Quote
I recently prepared a seven-course 'straight Chinese' meal for very special friends. The menu:

--Chicken stock with watercress, roast pork, and poached quail eggs
--Sweet and sour jícama pickles
--Braised spicy anise beef
--Szechuan chicken with tangerine peel
--Pan-fried shrimp patties with spinach in light sweet and sour sauce
--Steamed rice
--Almond gelatin and fresh blackberries


Sounds wonderful. Many more courses than I would be willing to prepare.
By the way, I think I bought the black sesame seeds in Kam Man Fods in East Hanover, NJ.

I imagine that they are also available in Mexico City.

This morning, I started another batch of spicy daikon radish kimchee. The last was excellent, but this one uses a "rice flour porridge" thickener. At the moment, it looks fairly disgusting. But I have hopes for it being ready in about 3 days.



Saludos,
Anonimo


Hound Dog

Apr 16, 2010, 4:26 PM

Post #18 of 46 (13494 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Fusion food

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....I think I bought the black sesame seeds in Kam Man Fods in East Hanover, NJ.

I imagine that they are also available in Mexico City.

This morning, I started another batch of spicy daikon radish kimchee. The last was excellent, but this one uses a "rice flour porridge" thickener. At the moment, it looks fairly disgusting. But I have hopes for it being ready in about 3 days.


I like the way you think, Anonimo so here are a couple of thoughts:

I have bought black sesame seeds at Super Lake in San Antonio Tlayacapan on Lake Chapala.

There is an excellent Korean grocery in Guadalajara run by a Korean family which we stumbled upon accidentally when we went to that city with Korean friends for lab work. The place is called The Asian Grocery or something like that and their inventory of authentic Korean groceries is extensive and excellent. They make their own kim chi in several varieties and I can tell you as a kim chi freak that the kim chi they sell in all varieties is outstanding and uncompromising. At present we are in Chiapas and have been for months so I can´t be more specific than this but if you go to Guadalajara look for this place on the Avenida de Las Americas near its intersection with Lopez Mateos. There are also a couple of Korean restaurants in that area the owners of this establishment recommend but we have not had an opportunity to eat in either of them. Their kim chi is so good I had to stop buying the stuff or have an apoplectic salt seizure. We went home and our Korean friend made us a kim chi soup that was to die over.

As for Chinese food, if any such thing as even remotely decent Chinese food exists in any restaurant in Mexico we sure as hell haven´t run across it. We were excited if skeptical when we recently visited the Soconusco towns of Tapachula and Huixtla, both places noted in guidebooks as centers of Chinese cooking since there was a large Cantonese community there in the 19th Century who were brought in to build the railroad from the Guatemala border north to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Sure enough, there are a large (relatively speaking) number people in both Huixtla and Tapachula who are of Chinese ancestry and there are also a large number of Chinese restaurants in those cities. We were otherwise occupied so had no chance to try any of the numerous Chinese restaurants in those towns but suspect that none would please us anyway since most of them specialize in Chinese buffet style old fashioned Cantonese cooking and one has to be a masochist top eat Cantonese Chinese buffet anywhere on the planet.

Of course, as noted by Esperanza, the Chinese cooking one will get just about anywhere in Mexico is the old fashioned Cantonese food modified for North American tastes and, by definition, bland and uninteresting. If anyone tells you they have had really good Chinese food at any restaurant in Mexico and invites you to join them there, I suggest you plead a filled calendar for the next decade and beat a fast exit.

By the way, since this thread is supposedly about "fusion" food, then the discussion of Cantonese cooking in North America is quite appropriate. The first "fusion" cooks in North American serving Asian food were the Cantonese men who came to the continent to work on dangerous projects such as railroad building. They figured out quickly how to "fuse" Cantonese and California cookjng and created a new discipline for the kitchen. Too bad the result was so dreadful.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 16, 2010, 4:34 PM)


Papirex


Apr 16, 2010, 8:08 PM

Post #19 of 46 (13473 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Fusion food

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Yes Bob, eating in any Chinese restaurant in México is always an adventure. You never know for sure what you will get when ordering from the same menu in the same restaurant until it arrives on your table.


There are two pretty good Chinese restaurants here. The one everybody raves about is hard to find, a very elegant setting, no garden, and it is kind of like dining in a mausoleum, everyone is talking in a hushed tone. The food is good, but nothing to write home about.


The one we like has a large garden, covered by a high fabric cover. It is nice to be seated in the garden when it is raining. We can hear the rain pounding down on the fabric roof while we are dry as a bone. We can also watch the fish in a pond.


Not only are the entrees different, but the menus are in Spanish and it takes a while to know what the items are. Even my Mexican wife and suegra have trouble figuring them out. Nothing is ever prepared the same way twice. We have ordered lobster that was served in the shell. Other times it was served on a platter with a sauce. Another time it was served plain on a platter with sliced limons to squeeze the juice on them, good, but different.


Everything has always been delicious, but we never know how it will be prepared until we get it. When I have eaten in Chinese restaurants in several states in The US, the recipes were modified to be Americanized, but they were fairly uniform from state to state. Not so here. Not for the faint of heart, but usually delicious.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Anonimo

Apr 17, 2010, 4:31 AM

Post #20 of 46 (13454 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Fusion food

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Dawg, someday, we'll have to visit Guadalajara, because (other than the Camionera Central Nueva) we've never been there.

There is a Korean area in Mexico City's Zona Rosa. Althogh we have stayed nearby, we never have gone to any of the Korean stores or restaurants there. Some day...
Tanta comida, poco tiempo.



Saludos,
Anonimo


Manuel Dexterity

Apr 17, 2010, 6:30 AM

Post #21 of 46 (13446 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Fusion food

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By the way, since this thread is supposedly about "fusion" food, then the discussion of Cantonese cooking in North America is quite appropriate. The first "fusion" cooks in North American serving Asian food were the Cantonese men who came to the continent to work on dangerous projects such as railroad building. They figured out quickly how to "fuse" Cantonese and California cookjng and created a new discipline for the kitchen. Too bad the result was so dreadful.


Of course, the first fusion food in America took place nearly 300 years earlier when the Spaniards arrived. Cooking oil, domesticated livestock, alcohol distillation amongst other contributions fused with the "new" ingredients of preHispanic Mexico.


mazbook1


Apr 17, 2010, 4:41 PM

Post #22 of 46 (13411 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] Fusion food

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I have to agree with Manuel Dexterity, and I'll go a bit further. Very nearly ALL Mexican dishes are "fusion" food. Now I didn't say all, but the large majority are. Offhand, I can't think of any Mexican dishes that are made with 100% pre-Conquest ingredients, but I certainly haven't sampled all the myriads of types of cocina mexicana, not even close! However, I AM an inveterate recipe reader, since I'm always on the lookout for new, tasty, reasonably quick dishes to add to my repertoire, and I don't THINK that I've ever seen a Mexican recipe that didn't have at least one (and usually more) ingredient of either European, mideastern or asian origen.

I almost started to say that some tamales might qualify until I realized that today's tamales always have lard or cooking oi1 mixed with the raw masa, so they too are fusion food. The only other thing I can think of off-hand would be a very plain sopa de frijoles with no added ingredients except native-to-México verduras y especias and maybe some carne, pescado o mariscos that were available pre-Conquest, although I've never seen those in a recipe.

Prove me wrong! With recipes, naturally.



(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Apr 17, 2010, 4:44 PM)


Hound Dog

Apr 18, 2010, 10:04 AM

Post #23 of 46 (13378 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] Fusion food

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Of course, the first fusion food in America took place nearly 300 years earlier when the Spaniards arrived. Cooking oil, domesticated livestock, alcohol distillation amongst other contributions fused with the "new" ingredients of preHispanic Mexico.

Perhaps, but the Spanish were not "Asians" and it was the Cantonese men who introduced "Asian Fusion" cooking to the Americas when they came here to build those various railroads from the Soconusco to Canada. It´s a damn shame, really, as Cantonese food is among the great cuisines of the world; sophisticated, complex, with cosmopolitan roots and these guys building the railroads just dumbed Cantonese food down to suit the unsophisticated palates of North Americans from Tapachula to Vancouver. Today folks think that certain less sophisticated regional cuisines from China are superior to Cantonese cooking when those folks are actually running in the "chop suey" circuit.

As for acohol distillation, we all know the Spaniards stole that from their former colonial masters the Arabs, who invented alcohol distillation and brought most of the indigenous of what is today´s Spain out of the caves over hundreds of years.


Peter


Apr 18, 2010, 12:13 PM

Post #24 of 46 (13365 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Fusion food

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I am reluctant to refer to any food as "fusion" that has already stood the test of time, as it has then become its own genre and no longer a fusion. I'll reserve that label for foods that are crossing and fusing new boundaries.

It probably could be correctly stated that all of today's foods are a type of fusion. I doubt there are many, if any, foods from 500 years ago that have not now undergone some changes due to the way foods are stored, gathered, grown, prepared, seasoned, spiced, even evolved through selective breeding, cross-breeding, fertilization, and cultivation techniques.

Fusion foods for me are those still somewhat in the experimental stage and the critics are still debating its merits. Once a food has been widely accepted and sold on the street corners of larger cities for any time I don't fully believe it merits that distinction any longer, however accurate it may actually be.

I'm glad you lightened your stance on the merits of cantonese cuisine. Myself, I know no traditional, authentic, Cantonese dishes, or of any other regional label for that matter. I will claim that I do asian-style cooking prepared for my own North American palate, and for lack of imagination might label a particular dish as Chop Suey. A problem with preparing asian-style foods, particulary for a buffet spread, is that the ingredients lose their individuality and blend into a mush lacking distinction or proper melding of flavor. However, with attention to preparation and presentation I believe anyone with reasonble culinary skill could make any of it a pleasantly memorable meal.

I stated in so many words earlier in this thread that those foods that have assumed a place in our popular culture are those of relative simplicity. They originated with an enticing balance of flavors and texture, regardless how their current presentation may have deteriorated. I know you are one who can appreciate a good hamburger but I doubt you typically prefer them with all of avacado, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, ham, bacon, american cheese, white cheese, potatoes, mayo, ketchup, mustard, sour cream, worscestershire sauce, and roasted serrano peppers. At least not all together at once.


Anonimo

Apr 18, 2010, 1:14 PM

Post #25 of 46 (13360 views)

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Re: [Peter] Fusion food

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I know you are one who can appreciate a good hamburger but I doubt you typically prefer them with all of avacado, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, ham, bacon, american cheese, white cheese, potatoes, mayo, ketchup, mustard, sour cream, worscestershire sauce, and roasted serrano peppers. At least not all together at once.


Where can I get one like that?

Just kidding.



Saludos,
Anonimo
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