Categories
General

What is the difference between instant noodles in Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan?

I’m qualified to answer this since I’ve eaten a lot of instant noodle brands from all three countries.

They do tend to be quite different from each other, I can’t say that one is necessarily better than the other.

But in general

Japanese instant noodles (Nissin, Sapporo Ichiban, Maruchan, etc)

-the Noodles are normally wheat noodles and thin but not as thin as rice noodles.

-Reserved, traditional flavors. There is traditional japanese flavors such as shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt) and miso, the original ramen flavors. These might be considered quite plain flavors for Koreans and Chinese but they are traditional to Japanese and Japanese do not tend to experiment with any wild or unnecessary flavors, only on what has worked for them (Instant noodles were invented in Japan and has been largely the same for 7 decades in their country).

-there are rarely more than 1 seasoning packet. Again, Japanese noodles keep it simple.

Korean instant noodles (Samyang, Nong Shim, Paldo etc)

-Noodles are alot thicker than Chinese and Japanese noodles. Almost Udon-like.

-They tend to be spicy, like the famous Shin Ramyun or the recently trending Buldak Bokkeumyeon.

-Kimchi flavors are abundant. Some brands even add a packet of kimchi (either dehydrated or moisture sealed) to add.

-Korean noodles also keep the packets rather simple with usually 1–2 seasoning packets but they may add in gochujang or kimchi as I mentioned.

Chinese Instant Noodles (too many brands to list, I like Baijia though)

-Noodles tend to be thinner than both Japanese and Korean noodles. They use vermicelli or rice noodles a lot. Sometimes also thicker fried noodles are used.

-The flavor is varied, some can be spicy (or Mala, based on Sichuan peppers), and some can be sweet or sour or mild. Chinese noodle flavors run the whole gamut.

-The number of packets can be large, sometimes including giant packets of pickled vegetables and lots of packets of soy sauce or chili oil. Chinese noodles definitely give you bang for the buck.

I would also like to throw in Southeast Asian Instant Noodles (Monde Nissin, Mama, Indomie)

-The noodles are usually fried, and quite thin, maybe between Japanese and Chinese noodles in thin-ness.

-The packages are usually smaller than with Chinese/Japanese/Korean noodles. Not sure exactly the reason why, maybe Southeast Asians eat just a small portion at a time?

-Flavor of Southeast Asian noodles varies but they are regional. The famous Indomie Mi Goreng or Mama’s Tom Yum variants taste like the traditional SE Asian dishes they are based on with a hot and sour taste. They are spicy but not as much as either the Chinese Mala noodles or the Korean spicy noodles.

-The seasoning packets tend to include lots of spices and oils, like in the Chinese noodles, but usually do not include the big packets of vegetables.

-These noodles are also usually the cheapest, maybe due to their small size.

Happy instant noodle eating guys!

BTW I do have to give credit to Chinese instant noodles for some innovation. Some noodle bowls / boxes come with a heating packet so you don’t even need to boil water, you could literally just bring this box to a campsite and then take some water from a river and put it in here and start eating hot noodles. That’s just cool.

https://youtu.be/NyrCbjC9rnY

Categories
Asia

Is China the least sexist of the East Asian countries?

In general, yes China has better gender equality than Korea and Japan.

For example if you’re looking at the percentage of female CEOs (often a good measuring stick for breaking the glass ceiling) – China has the second highest proportion of female CEOs in the world List of female top executives – Wikipedia – this exceeds even the USA by quite a big margin. Compare this to Japan and Korea, where female CEOs only make up a mere 2% of the companies.

In general everyday life, Chinese women enjoy great career flexibility compared to Japanese and Korean women. There are a substantial portion of Chinese women who will say their dream career is to be an entrepreneur and starting their own business. In contrast, a large portion of Japanese and Korean women’s dream jobs is to be a flight attendant.

There are rarely pure housewives in China who stay home all day, whereas Korea and Japan have a substantial percentage of housewives who do nothing but stay home and take care of their babies.

I can’t speak for Japan on this but since I lived in Korea, I know that Koreans have traditional ceremonies on Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Thanksgiving) where the women have to traditionally prepare all the food for the guests and relatives. The men don’t have to do anything. I don’t think such a tradition still exists in China.

There are a lot of female-only occupations in Korea and Japan (for example most hairdressers are female, airline attendants are almost always female, etc) whereas in China, most jobs can be performed by both genders.

Women’s rights in China is far better than Korea as well. Abortion was only legalized last year in Korea, whereas abortion had been legal for over 3 decades in China. The punishment for sexual assault/rape in Korea is a mere few years in prison. The operator of the sex trafficking hub Soranet for example only got a few years and the 200k+ males who were in the Nth telegram scandal (Nth room case – Wikipedia) are not going to be punished at all. This is not even mentioning the spy camera epidemic in Korea (Hundreds of South Korean motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online). In China, such crimes would have much more severe punishment.

In addition, women in China get significant other advantages over Korean/Japanese women. They are not under as much pressure to put on makeup or dress up as much. They don’t have as much financial burden – In Korea/Japan, the women will still have to pay for some costs of dating and marriage and buying a house, but in China the men bear almost 100% of those costs. There is a dowry in China where the men have to pay a substantial amount of money to marry, but it does not exist in Korea/Japan. These are more negatives for Chinese men then they are positives for Chinese women, but I feel like I should still mention them.

Also from what I’ve seen, meeting Chinese women, Korean women and Japanese women and traveling in their countries, Chinese women have much more freedom with regards to how they can express themselves. A tomboy in Korea or Japan (especially Korea), is not very welcomed by their society, but in China tomboys exist everywhere. This is related to what I said about them not being under as much pressure to dress or do makeup or behave a certain way, whereas especially in Korea you will find almost all women dress or do makeup in a feminine manner and are expected to behave in a ‘softer, gentler’ way.

Korean women are often shocked when they travel to China and see how strong Chinese women are there. For example, you will see women physically abusing men in China. This is unheard of in Korea and I have never seen it there. There is more pressure on Korean and Japanese women to be traditionally feminine in their society compared to Chinese women.

Categories
Asia

Are Japan and Korea really colonies/puppet-states of the USA like so many Chinese users say?

No, Chinese netizens just have an unfortunate inferiority complex so they feel the need to put down other countries to make themselves feel better about their country. What does US Puppet state even mean anyways?

Usually when Chinese netizens say this, it means that the US military has some control over that country therefore it’s a ‘puppet’ state. Well how many countries does the US military have a presence in?

Where in the World Is the U.S. Military?

Over 70+ countries. So I guess that’s a lot of US ‘puppet’ states eh?

In day to day life, this doesn’t really matter or have an effect on the lives of normal people. Yes, Korea shares joint command of their military with the USA and Japan’s constitution was written by the USA, but that doesn’t mean either country just bows down (as Chinese people like to say ‘like a dog’) to the US’s demands.

In fact, Korea can and has turned down demands from the US before: South Korea refuses to pay US$5 billion to cover cost of US troops

In every other way, Korea/Japan elects their own president, runs their own politics, and the USA has no influence in that.

I think China often uses this putdown to Korea/Japan because they are jealous that Korea/Japan developed much earlier than they did and still have higher GDP/capita so per person, Koreans/Japanese are still generally more well off than Chinese are. Plus, their soft power is far more recognized globally than Chinese soft power (Chinese wuxi isn’t exactly in high demand like kpop concerts or Japanese anime are).

So what can a Chinese do to make themselves feel better? Well, accuse those countries of not being independent, that’s what. And especially since USA is China’s enemy right?

Well, actually USA is China’s biggest trading partner – so much for being independent from the USA. It’s kind of a moot point to accuse other countries of being too dependent on America when your own country imports $150B worth of goods from America every year.