There's something suspicious about the way Japan and Korea differ so much in the taste and presentation of their foods, as if a kind of sibling rivalry were going on, some struggle for distinction and specialization.

"I like it spicy!" the Korean sibling seems to say. "I like it subtle!" retorts Japan. Korea announces: "I like my food all mashed together in a sizzling stoneware bowl!" Japan shakes its head: "Strictly compartmentalized in an array of delicate lukewarm plates for me!" Korea clinks her metal chopsticks, Japan clacks wooden ones.

But look beyond the stereotypes and you'll find overlap between the cuisines. Osaka has its okonomiyaki, a savory cabbage-filled pancake, Seoul serves ojingeo jeon, a squid-filled pancake.