So what is Nikkei cuisine? In a nutshell, it is the beautiful lovechild of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine but is that really it? or does the history of Nikkei cuisine dates back a few hundred years when Japanese immigrants roam the sea to land in South America?
To keep it light, both are very right, but this is not always the case. Nikkei is derived from the Japanese word ‘Nikkeijin’ which refers to Japanese people who migrated overseas and their descendants, therefore Nikkei is the cuisine of Japanese diaspora. The Japanese worked very hard by staying loyal to their native cuisine, and upon landing in Brazil and Peru in late 19th century (which maintains the largest Japanese immigrants number in the world), they would have to make local adaptations by embracing new country’s ingredients and assimilated these into their own cooking techniques.
The Nikkei has made a tremendous contribution to agriculture in Brazil producing a wide variety of Japanese fruit and vegetable stocks in Brazil. And even though South-America is known as a meat-worshipping continent, the Nikkei community have set-up artisan production of tofu, soy sauce, miso and many others that pay respect to the country’s rich culinary heritage.
Brazil and Peru share a coastline which predominantly makes their cuisine also rich in fish species. But to be more specific, Peru has played a larger role in the culture and tradition of Nikkei cuisine that is introduced through their use of aji peppers, lime, corn and yucca. And more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes.
In Peru, the Nikkei massively expanded the selection of Pacific fish used and improved methods for certain popular dishes. Right now we are going to delve deeper into two of the original Nikkei cuisine that jumpstarted a whole culture of Japanese-Peruvian cuisine culture that is now taking the world by storm, and Jakarta is also part of the global Nikkei expansion.We deciphered two of the original Nikkei cuisine that has made this type of cuisine a new favourite all over the world.
We deciphered two of the original Nikkei cuisine that has made this type of cuisine a new favourite all over the world.
This dish is often praised as the birth of Nikkei cuisine, and you can almost taste the difference in both worlds on this (actually) very simple dish. The basic ingredients that are used are Salmon (but you can also have Tuna and white fish), cucumber, soy sauce and sesame oil. The rich texture of thinly sliced raw fish blends beautifully with the exotic taste of Peruvian cuisine that creates a different persona than just (say) having salmon sashimi.
The perfect marriage of Peruvian Ceviche and Japanese Sashimi is perhaps the Tiradito. The dish captures the essence of Ceviche and distils it into a lighter, simpler dish. Seasoned with salt and pepper, some limes, jalapeno, habanero pepper gives the dish the right amount of heat, and for the perfect Nikkei addition, sesame oil is used to maintain the originality of the blending of two very rich cuisines.
Experience the rich culinary tradition of Nikkei cuisine at Fat Shogun, on the Retail Tower, Rooftop Level of Menara BTPN at Mega Kuningan. Book your seats by dialling (+62-21-2295 8196
Stay posted on our website for the second, third and fourth part of our very own “Nikkei Diary”, dedicated to the rich taste and heritage of the Nikkei cuisine…..
Text & Image: gs