Trying Japanese and Jewish Fusion Food

(upbeat music) – [Sawako] We’re not
trying to make everything half Jewish and half Japanese. (bell dings) It’d be easy to call it Jewish-Japanese, but it’s more than that. – [Aaron] It comes from
a very genuine place. I think our food is a lot
about building bridges, not about barriers between cultures. (upbeat music) (bright music) – [Sawako] My name is Sawako Okochi. I’m a chef owner of Shalom Japan. – My name is Aaron Isarael, and I’m also a chef and
owner of Shalom Japan. – So, we’ve been together for eight years.
– Eight years. – [Aaron] Shalom Japan is our restaurant. The food is a collaboration
between the two of us. – [Sawako] I grew up in Hiroshima, and I moved to New York
to go to culinary school. – [Aaron] I grew up in Great
Neck, New York, which is… – Jewish.
(both laughing) – So Jewish. We grew the restaurant
organically out of being dating, and then, living together
and sharing different foods. I really wanted to open my own restaurant, and so, I think we just decided
at one point, we’re like, “Hey, let’s just do it together.” (bright music) (metal door clattering) (quirky music) – [Sawako] Shalom Japan has
been open for six years. One of the first dishes
that we put on the menu is a lox bowl. – [Aaron] Our lox bowl is
our version of chirashi, which is a Japanese dish of
raw fish over sushi rice. We put our house-cured
lox over sushi rice, and then we put a whole bunch of traditional Japanese ingredients, and then also, some Jewish ingredients. So, Japanese pickles, fried
capers, avocado and cilantro. Our matzo ball ramen is our version of a great, classic Jewish soup. And then, has the ramen
noodles, matzo ball, has a little gyoza that we fill
with chicken and foie gras, and a little garlic-chili oil. Grandma didn’t put garlic chili oil in the matzo ball soup in my house. Sake kasu challah is a, challah’s
a traditonal Jewish bread, almost like a brioche, and we bake sake kasu into it. Sake kasu is the leftover
mash when you make sake, so kind of yeasty, kind of fermented, kind of a little funky. (quirky music) Our food seems like an
unlikely combination. It’s sort of who we are. It’s what we cook at home, with the experiences we’ve had together, how we kind of, take those and then express them at our restaurant. – I hear that people
are pleasantly surprised because people come in with
like, “What is this place? “A funny name, Shalom Japan.” And they have changed their
mind by the end of the meal. You know, that was delicious, never had anything like this, you know? Like, that’s the response we get a lot, and that’s what gets us going. – I think our food is not about putting up barriers between cultures but looking at how can we
relate to each other, like, through those ingredients. (bright music) (bell echoes)


  1. I love Jewish and Japanese cuisine, and I live in Brooklyn, so for my birthday next week I may go here instead of the American-French restaurant I was planning on (Minetta Tavern). I can get that food another time and another place, but this may be my only opportunity to try a Jewish-Japanese fusion cuisine. Except in my own home cooking, of course, since I love cooking Jewish food and Japanese food! This fusion seems like a good way to get my parents, who are comfortable with one cuisine but not the other, to try something new.

  2. Dang!! Seriously, one Grand Father was Jewish, the other Grand Father was Japanese – I was born in Australia … this actually sounds like my restaurant!

  3. I am not really into Jewish people's. Jewish people just sees me and act like I am the human being that doesn't exists.

  4. Ok I’ll b honest, I’m not into many interracial relationships, but this is ADORABLE n I love it! Bless u two. I will note this place. I’ll have to come here!

  5. Where is that restaurant located in America ? I wanna go there. But so far. I can't immigrant to America. Cuz. My emglish level in IELTS is only around 4. Which is pretty sad.

  6. Wow what a combination when different cultures get together and understand each other instead of hating! Magical 😍🥰
    Much love from Italy and I hope I get to come to New York and try this restaurant 🙏🏽🌸

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