Author, food writer and supperclub host Luiz Hara talks us through 10 things you need to know about Nikkei cuisine – the merging of Japanese cooking techniques with South American ingredients that is particular to Peru and Brazil.


Check back next week to hear olive's drinks writer Hannah Guinness chat about alternative spirits to try, including Axia, derived from the resin of Greek mastic trees, and Baijiu, China's national drink and one of the most widely drunk spirits in the world.

Try Luiz Hara's recipes here:

Nikkei aguachile

Try this Nikkei version of a Mexican classic. Luiz Hara's prawn aguachile is aromatic with yuzu juice, with punchy, zingy notes from the green dressing. Serve with lotus root crisps for an impressive starter.

A blue bowl filled with a prawn ceviche with lotus root crisps on the side

Beef picanha yakiniku

This classic Brazilian-Nikkei dish combines 'Yakiniku', which are Japanese grilled meats, with 'picanha', Brazil’s most loved cut of beef. The rich meat balances perfectly with an umami soy sauce, garlic and lime dressing.

A slate platter topped with slices of beef and topped with chilli and sesame seeds

Daigaku imo and black sesame caramel ice cream

Daigaku imo are deep-fried sweet potatoes coated in a sticky caramel sauce made of sugar, honey, soy sauce and a little butter. I like serving it with black sesame caramel ice cream for the contrast in temperature, texture and flavour. You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

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A blue bowl filled with sesame ice cream and chunks of cooked sweet potato


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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