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Food & Drink

Positively Philadelphia: "No Soy" Sushi

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lipton_lauren DL Lauren Lipton
Lauren Lipton, a fixture in Philadelphia journalism, is “at the...
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Philadelphia area restaurant chefs are always introducing new things, and one restaurant, Ooka, in Montgomeryville, Pa., has introduced “no-soy sushi.”

Executive chef Shuji Hiyakawa:

“I create sauce.  Each fish, different sauces.  I want to make customer surprised.”

Restaurant general manager Michael Wirzberger says if you want soy sauce, you can have it, but…

“By dipping every piece of fish in the same soy sauce, you’re kind of creating the same experience in your mouth.  Years of experience in traditional Japanese cuisine led his palate to detect which flavors would accentuate the flavors and textures of each fish.”

For example:

(Wirzberger:)  “We are doing the anago, which is sea eel, which he does with eel sauce and lime zest.  Or king salmon with a mustard, miso, and mint.”

(Hiyakawa:)  “So now, customers say, ‘Where’s my soy sauce?’  So I explain to them, ‘There’s no soy sauce.’ “

If you’re not a sushi eater, you may not realize that not automatically serving soy sauce is like not having salt and pepper at an American restaurant.

(Wirzberger:)  “This is maybe a first step in a direction of a new way to eat sushi.”

While the restaurant still serves regular sushi…

(Wirzberger:)  “We’re gonna continue with the sushi revolution!”

That’s Positively Philadelphia!


(Photo provided)