MIDTOWN, Manhattan - Sushi with a South American twist sounds like a unique dish, but it's the source of this edition of Neighborhood Eats.
We see a lot of fusion cooking in New York, but Sen Sakana -- located at 28 West 44th Street in the heart of Midtown -- reflects a cuisine that came out of Japanese and Peruvian cultures growing together centuries ago.
Chef Mina Newman has brought something called nikkei food to the Big Apple, collaborating with Chef Taku Nagai, who is from Osaka, and sushi Chef Hyun Lee.
Owner Allan Wartski opened his first ramen restaurant in 1980, nearby in Times Square. He went on a field trip to Peru before deciding to open Sen Sakana.
"We literally ate our way through Peru," he said. "Every kind of nikkei restaurant you can imagine."
You'll be able to try chicken nanban, which is deep fried chicken with aji tartar sauce, or oyakodon chicken, a Peruvian staple. There's chursashi, which looks like a painting, and nikkei ceviche. For this dish, Chef Newman mixes yuzu juice with ginger, salmon and yuzo kosho, which is a chili paste, that becomes the leche de tigre.
That's poured over raw salmon, which is plated on shiso leaves with two kinds of Peruvian corn.
For many New Yorkers, the food is different but also familiar, and the folks behind Sen Sakana think they're onto something.
Recipe for Nikkei Ceviche:
Yuzu leche d'tigre ingredients:
--Yuzu juice, 5 oz
--Soy sauce, 1 oz
--Yuzu kosho, 1 oz
--Sugar, 1 oz
--Garlic, 1 clove
--Ginger, 1 oz
--Salmon, 4 oz
--Shiso leaves, 2 pieces
--Peruvian choclo, 2 Tbsp
--Peruvian cancha, 2 Tbsp
--Shio knobu, 1 Tbsp
--Peruvian aji limo, 1 tsp
--Cilantro, 1 tsp
--Crispy sweet potato, 1 oz
--Red onions, thinly sliced, 1/2 piece
Combine all ingredients for leche d' tigre in the blender puree
Cut salmon into large chunks. Add cilantro and aji limo
Pour half of leche d' tigre over the salmon and allow to marinate for 5 minutes
Lay shiso leaves in plate
Remove salmon from the mixing bowl and place on top
Toss onions into the same bowl
Mix in the remaining leche d' tigre
Place seasoned onions over the top of salmon
Garnish with choclo, cancha and shio konbu around
Top with crispy sweet potato threads