- Raw vs cooked – Traditionally Chinese distinguished themselves from other cultures by saying they had mastered fire, and thus had quite a taboo on raw food for most of Chinese history. Japanese clearly like raw foods.
- Role of visual aesthetic – While both cultures care about color and appearance, Japanese will consider a dish good sometimes almost solely based on how visually pleasing it is.
- Rice – Japanese rice is shorter grain and stickier. Northern Chinese rice is also short grain, but in general Chinese use longer less sticky grains.
- Spice – China has some very spicy cuisines such as Sichuan and Hunan. There are few very spicy dishes in Japan.
- Influences – China was a huge part of Silk Road and had lots of influences from other countries. There is still a lot of Muslim influence in many parts of Chinese cooking. Japan has incorporated more modern gourmet food from the West in recent history.
- Tea – Japanese green tea tends to be steamed while Chinese green is often roasted in the production process so they have very different flavors sometimes.
- Alcohol – Japanese sake tends to be less strong then Chinese rice wines. Chinese rice wines fill up the whole room with a strong odor and are as high as 90 proof. [continues]
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