Philadelphia's 'Queen of Sushi' proudly teaching art of sushi rolling for nearly 40 years

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In Madame Saito's class, get ready to let the good times roll while learning the art of rolling sushi at Tokio HeadHouse.

"I love to teach sushi classes," said Saito. "I create so many rolls."

Madame Saito is proud to be known as Philadelphia's "Queen of Sushi." She says she had formal training with sushi chefs back in Japan.

"Philadelphia didn't know anything about sushi when I came from Tokyo to this country," she explained.

She says she opened a restaurant here with the hope of providing her three sons with a good education. For 38 years, she's been running her business in the Headhouse Square location and over that time, all three of her sons have achieved successful careers.

"They became doctors and they have a good family," said Saito.

Saito says she always taught classes through the years, but has refocused on those efforts.

"I don't want to be retired," she said. Saito says she wants to continue to make sushi and teach others the art of sushi because that is what she loves.

"My sushi is a tradition," she said.

She's even credited with creating the Philly roll.

"I do reverse roll - the rice outside, inside with the smoked salmon and cream cheese," said Saito. "Because a lot of people by that time, that's years ago, they still didn't want to eat raw fish."

Private classes are offered at different levels from basic to more advanced.

"You make sushi and you eat what you make," said Saito.

Students are taught how to roll and how to properly eat sushi. "Dip one touch and eat whole thing," she said.

She also teaches presentation. "This type of roll is 8 pieces," explained Saito. "You can make anything you want, that is the fun part."

Madame Saito says it makes her feel happy to share her love of sushi with others.

"I love that people love sushi now," she said. "I'm very proud."

For more information:

Madame Saito Sushi Classes
Tokio HeadHouse
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.