"This is an old school item and has been on the menu since the beginning. It's not going anywhere."
That's Jin Soo Yang, corporate executive chef at Bamboo Sushi, talking about the Green Machine, a vegetarian sushi roll. The company has four locations in Portland and a new spot in Avanti Food and Beverage here in Denver. Plans for a brick and mortar are in the works for later this year.
At Avanti, the Green Machine is picking up steam. "The sauce is the boss. And it's got everything—it's crunchy, savory, and fatty," explains Jin.
Chef begins with nori paper and rice, creating the outer layer of the roll. Then he tempura fries long bean and green onion. Each roll is cooked to order, so it's fresh and crispy. After rolling, he recommends adding the albacore tuna. "Oregon albacore has a higher oil content and makes the whole dish a little richer. It has a nice cooling effect on this roll."
To finish, chef tops it with perfectly sliced avocado and the boss sauce: a sweet chili cilantro concoction that adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
"This dish came from us simply needing a vegetarian option. The original chefs were playing with ideas and one night they came up with this. And we sell thousands of these each month. This roll literally keeps the lights on in Portland," says Jin.
"Denver can be the judge of it and we'll see if it's as popular here. But people should come and try it."