By Andrew Kramer


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many of us enjoy eating sushi, but how about making it?

Classes are being offered as part of Philadelphia’s Cherry Blossom Festival this week, taught by a true master of the art.

Madame Saito — known locally as the “Queen of Sushi” — owns The HeadHouse on Lombard Street in South Philly. She’s been teaching sushi classes for nearly three decades, including some this week.

“They are learning how to make sushi rice and how to roll the rolls,” she tells KYW Newsradio. “After rolling it, how to cut the rolls, then they enjoy what they make.”

She says even for beginners, students usually pick it up quickly:

“All my students are very good. For the basic class, they get it right away.”

The 'Queen of Sushi' teaching about her trade. (Credit: Andrew Kramer)

The ‘Queen of Sushi’ teaching about her trade. (Credit: Andrew Kramer)

Before getting their hands in the rice, students like Matt Lilly get a lesson about what they are eating.

“We’re learning a lot more about the history of sushi,” he says, “and what we’re doing so we can sound educated about it when we eat sushi in the future, so that’s what I’m really liking.”

Students also learn about the instruments involved, before making the rolls.

“We made the skinny rolls,” Lilly says. “And the skinny rolls we have pickled radish as well as a cucumber. I’m getting excited to do the fish next.”

The fish rolls are California and Spicy Tuna.

Classes continue at The HeadHouse through Saturday night, all leading up to a Sushi of the Year competition taking place on Sunday.

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