Asian fusion has long but interesting history in the UK. Asian descendants contribute nearly 5% of the UK's total population. So, it is no surprise that Asian foods have been fused into British cuisine.
The Arrival Of Asian Food In The UK
The tale of Asian fusion begins in the years 1907 and 1908. According to the historical record, the first Chinese restaurant was established in London.
A few years earlier, in the early 1880s, Chinese food products as well as and eating houses emerged in London and Liverpool. Chinese seamen and students frequented these establishments. In 1884, Chinese food was produced in a restaurant in the International Health Exhibition in South Kensington, London.
Influx Of Asian Restaurants
In the 1950s, migrants came to the UK from Asia due to economic reasons. The Second World War created a lack of workers in the steel factories and factories in both north and southern regions.
One of these migrants was Wing yip. Taking a risk and moving England from Hong Kong in the later years of the 1950s, Wing was one of the first people to open a Chinese restaurant. As you can imagine, many migrants went into the restaurant industry. They set up establishments across the UK and sent a significant portion of their earnings back to their family in Hong Kong.
These restaurants quickly adjusted their offerings to cater to their British patrons by serving bread slathered with butter, pies, and chips in addition to Asian dishes. More people began to crave the restaurant experience in the subsequent decade, so they began to eat out more often. They even found the courage to try different cuisines.
British Chinese Food Culture Project
In modern times Asian food has carved out a special spot in the British diet. It is seen in convenience foods, restaurants, and takeaways. They have even graduated to winning Michelin stars and receiving 5-star reviews. In 2011, the Ming-Ai (London) Institute began the British Chinese Food Culture project. Awarded with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project examined the evolution of Chinese food in the United Kingdom. Additionally, it looked at how original recipes were modified by environmental modifications, ingredient substitutions, and how the original ingredients were restored.
The Influence of Asian Cuisine On British Cuisine
Chinese food is regarded as a significant element of British cuisine. Research conducted in 2017 uncovered more than 80% of Londoners have dined in a Chinese restaurant. Some Asian restaurants have even created their own unique recipes. Some of these dishes include jar jow, a stir-fried dish of sliced char siu or bamboo shoots, onions, and green pepper seasoned with chili powder and tomato paste.
However, in the latter portion of 2010, these dishes became less popular and were replaced by Americanized dishes. These dishes include chop suey and American-style chow mein. However, there are still many Asian restaurants that serve authentic Asian Dishes.
One thing is sure the Asian contribution to British cuisine is definitely a substantial one. Thanks to Asian culture, we get to consume the best of both worlds