Yoshi's Chef Rolls with Soy Crêpes, Non-Fishy Alternatives to Nori

Categories: Roll Play

C. Alburger
The Caliente roll at Yoshi's: If you're from Japan, avert your eyes.
​Sho Kamio -- chef of Yoshi's San Francisco (1330 Fillmore at Eddy) -- is firmly grounded in Japanese training, but he's not afraid of roll play. Exhibit A: one of Sho's ongoing dalliances, the paperlike soy crêpes he sometimes uses instead of nori to tie up sushi rolls. They're made from soybeans, vegetable starch, and ichimi tougarashi, or Japanese red pepper. Sho's supplier, Japanese fish company True World Foods, sells them only to the U.S., China, and Europe because, apparently the Japanese won't touch the stuff. As Sho put it, "Japanese not trust U.S. sushi. Only trust and love sashimi and nigiri."

Frankly, we can't resist the earthiness and mild heat soy crêpes add to sushi, especially Yoshi's Caliente roll, which contains albacore and tempura jalapeño. Sho removes the pepper's seeds before rendering it crunchy in the tempura fryer, seasons the fish with a touch of sesame oil and red miso, then wraps both in sushi rice with a studied touch and our beloved crêpe.

"I use this wrap because many Americans don't like the taste of seaweed," Sho told us. "And it makes the roll look fancy and new, don't you think?"

Yes Sho, we won't mess.

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