Adapting world cuisine to local taste buds feels like a modern way to cook, but it’s as old as immigration (and boredom with cooking the same old thing). It’s found wherever people landed to find work.
Take Chinese cuisine, for example.
Chinese laborers settling along the west coast of Mexico left their stamp in dishes such as fish zarandeado, which is marinated in soy sauce, butterflied and grilled. And border city Mexicali is known for its abundant Chinese restaurants that incorporate Mexican flavors; Mexico City had its cafes de chinos.
In Peru, the cuisine of Chinese workers led to what are now classics of Peruvian cuisine and some of the country’s best known dishes, such as lomo saltado — beef that’s seasoned with soy sauce and stir-fried with tomatoes and onion; it’s tossed with french fries and served with aji amarillo sauce and rice.
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Arroz chaufa, a Peruvian version of fried rice, is another example; it might be tossed with seafood.
Those dishes can be found at C-viche, 2165 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., c-viche.com, and at Chef Paz, 9039 W. National Ave., West Allis, chefpaz.com. (C-viche also has a Nikkei ceviche dish that’s influenced by the cuisine of Peru’s Japanese immigrants.)
In India, the food of Chinese immigrants launched an enduring love of Indo-Chinese cuisine.
Look under appetizers on Indian menus around Milwaukee to find some of those dishes. Gobi Manchurian, for instance, is cauliflower fried in a batter made with cornstarch and flour until crisp, then tossed in a chile sauce made tangy with vinegar, sweetened with sugar and typically flavored with garlic and ginger.
Entrees might include fried rice, seasoned with Indian spices, and Hakka noodles, noodles stir-fried with vegetables or meats.
Restaurants that prepare Indo-Chinese appetizers include Indian Village, 7640 W. Forest Home Ave., Greenfield, indianvillagegreenfield.com, and HAD’s Indian Cuisine, 2345 N. 124th St., Brookfield, hads-indian.com. Both restaurants also serve fried rice, and HAD’s has stir-fried noodle dishes, as well.
Contact Carol Deptolla at [email protected] or (414) 224-2841, or through the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Chinese influence on global cuisines; where to find dishes, Milwaukee
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