Japanese food you should try in Brazil

You may have heard that São Paulo has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. São Paulo, in fact, has some of the best Japanese restaurants in the world, so if you find yourself there during the World Cup don’t forget to try the Japanese food!

One Japanese dish popularized by the Brazilians is the Temaki. Even in Japan and in the US, you don’t find this particular dish to be as ubiquitous as it is here in Brazil.  It’s basically a seaweed “cone”, filled with rice on the bottom and a variety of toppings on top that include raw salmon, “philadelphia” (salmon, cream cheese, green onions), tuna, fish roe, etc. They sell this everywhere, even in night clubs …

Eating temakis in Sao Paulo
Eating temakis in Sao Paulo. Salmon, cheese, cream cheese, green onions, mmm!!!
Me and Rocio eating temakis at the Pacha Floripa nightclub
Me and Rocio eating temakis at the Pacha Floripa nightclub

Another popular rendition of Japanese dishes is “Hot” rolls – try the Hot Philadelphia, which is basically a Philadelphia Roll (Salmon, cream cheese) fried on the outside so that it’s crispy. Mmm!

My hot "filodelfia" roll, with a strawberry sakerinha
My hot “filodelfia” roll, with a strawberry sakerinha, at Sushi Brava, on Praia Brava, Itajai (Santa Catarina)

Sao Paulo has A TON of great Japanese restaurants, but one that I loved in particular was Naga. It is an expensive place, but the price was well worth it. They have a sushi that was salmon seared at the top, and drizzled generously with truffle oil… best sushi ever. Pair your meal with a Sakerinha, the Brazilian Japanese rendition of the capirinha cocktail!


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