Nikkei cuisine; the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food that originated in Peru, is taking the UK foodie scene by storm.
If you’ve sampled some you won’t find this surprising as you’ll have experienced the fabulous freshness and flavours and tantalising textures and tastes that Nikkei is known for yourself.
For those who haven’t had this wondrous experience yet – Nikkei cuisine is bold, vibrant and lip-smackingly tasty. It’s fresh, raw, healthy and communal. It’s exotic yet has enough recognisable elements to be accessible. Also, as it’s so new, there is no prescribed set of Nikkei cooking rules, so it’s still wonderfully varied. But most of all…
Nikkei food is EXCITING!
We can’t tell you how ridiculously excited we are that this new on the scene cuisine is gaining more mainstream attention. There’s so much potential for gobsmackingly good event catering dishes that will blow the minds of your guests that we can’t wait to create them!
Nikkei’s focus on communal eating and sharing dishes make it ideal for all sorts of events. The food would be a super exciting feature on the day, bringing your guests together in fun foodie exploration. With plenty of Nikkei inspired options for canapés to add to the mix, we’re sure that Nikkei themed event catering would go down a storm.
Nikkei Cooking – Some History
‘Nikkei’ comes from the Japanese word ‘nikkeijin’; a term for Japanese people who migrated overseas. The term now refers to Japanese people born out of Japan and encapsulates them, their descendants, and most importantly to us – their food.
Over the centuries, Japanese migrants have settled in all sorts of cultures and countries around the world. They have often remained loyal to their native cuisine (can you blame them?!), yet of course they had to adapt their recipes to the local environment and ingredients.
So Nikkei cooking is found wherever in the world Japanese immigrants and their descendants are. For historical reasons, Brazil and Peru have more Japanese immigrants than the rest of the world, so these South American countries are particularly noted for their Nikkei cooking.
Nikkei cuisine typically bonds the ingredients of the nikkeijin’s new home with Japanese cooking techniques into ‘fusion’ food like no other.
[If you’d like to know more of the history and development of Nikkei cuisine over the centuries, grab a copy of Luiz Hara’s ‘Nikkei Cuisine: Japanese Food the South American Way’ which has a great section on it.]
Nikkei Cuisine in the UK
Back in 2012 Nikkei cuisine came to the UK (well… to London) with a host of Nikkei restaurants taking the city by storm between 2012 – 2015.
It started with two restaurants; Ceviche in Soho and Sushisamba atop the Heron Tower in Liverpool Street.
This was followed by Ceviche spin-offs Andina and Ceviche Old Street, the brilliantly successful Chotto Matte, UNI near Victoria, and most recently Mommi in Clapham and Amaru in St Katharine Docks.
[A couple of years ago we visited Sushisamba for lunch and were well and truly wowed. As we moseyed out in a delighted daze we didn’t even mind the bill packed more of a punch than planned due to us not being able to help ourselves and going for round 2 of starters – ordering everything all over again!]
Nikkei in the Mainstream
Mommi and Amura opened in 2015 and have put a more casual spin on Nikkei, putting it firmly in the hands (and mouths) of the mainstream. This came at the same time as Luiz Hara’s book release (October 2015), which won much acclaim (and publicity) and has brought Nikkei cuisine into the homes of many.
Nikkei Menu Ideas
We think it’s time to get you salivating, so below are some of our favourite Nikkei dishes for you to peruse.
A Nikkei take on Peru’s ceviches, where the fish is sliced like sashimi instead of cubed >>
Short-Rib Sliders (Boneless!)
Mixing the South American’s love of beef with a Japanese kimchi pickle and mayonnaise.
Salt and Sichuan Pepper Squid
Crispy fried squid with Sichuan standing in for the Japanese sansho pepper.
Slow Braised Pork Belly in Taiwanese Buns
Comes with a cucumber and chilli pickle, delish!
Triple Cooked Pork Belly with Spicy Sauce
Makes a wonderful canapé nibble >>
Fois gras, salmon and scallop with Japanese inspired sauces.
Lime Butter Salmon
Simple sushi with a soy and lime dip.
Aubergine Pork and Rice Noodle Salad
Great for the centre of the table.
Tuna Tataki with Truffle Ponzu and Toasted Hazlenuts
Simply “Yum!” >>
What do you think of Nikkei food? Have you tried it? Got any dishes you can’t get out of your head? Let us know in the comments!
Oh and if you’re tempted to have Nikkei themed catering at your next event, give us a call or pop us an email and we’ll talk through some options.