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Washoku in Indonesia

From the producer

Spring in Japan is famous for cherry blossoms, while autumn brings with it ko-yo, the brilliant yellow and red of the trees covering Japan’s mountains. The colors of autumn mark the last bit of warmer weather before winter. Whether going outside to enjoy the beautiful scenery, or eating the many delicious foods coming into season, autumn is a season of busy weekends for many in Japan!

On Dining with the Chef, we plan on visiting a number of new destinations for our Cook Around Japan series. We hope you’ll look forward to joining us as we travel around the country.

And speaking of travel, our Chef Rika Yukimasa will be visiting Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia! She’ll be exploring the washoku, or Japanese cuisine, available there, and finding out how it has been adopted by the people of Indonesia. Join us for our November 9 episode, “Washoku in Indonesia,” to see what she found!

Back when Chef Rika worked at an advertising agency, she would often travel to Jakarta on business — this is her first trip back in some twenty years. The sophisticated capital city of Jakarta features many traditional restaurants representative of the country’s incredibly diverse population, comprising many ethnic groups from many islands. The popular young local chef Yuda Bustara will be serving as Chef Rika’s guide to a number of these restaurants, as well as the newest Japanese-style izakaya pubs.

Nowadays, you can find Japanese restaurants all around the world, but Indonesia has long had a close relationship with Japan, particularly due to business ties established by Japanese companies. As a result, Indonesia has developed its own unique version of Japanese cuisine. When Japanese people visit Japanese restaurants overseas, it’s not an uncommon experience to find that the rice isn’t cooked quite right, or that the seasonings are just a little off, but Indonesia’s Japanese cuisine is full of fun ideas that even Japanese people love, and clever tricks that really surprised Chef Rika.

Incidentally, Japan has quite a few Indonesian restaurants, but our trip made it clear that Indonesia, with its many islands and many ethnic groups, is full of different unique local food cultures. Chef Rika loves spicy food, so visiting Jakarta was like a dream come true for her!

We’re excited to bring you Chef Rika’s and Chef Yuda’s great traditional recipes, and share our trip to Indonesia with you! We hope you’ll join us for it.

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