As a sushi chef with more than 20 years’ experience in the craft, Ei Hiroyoshi, an alum of Beverly Hills’ acclaimed Sasabune, never expected that he’d be making rolls with a rice substitute. He didn’t even like it when calorie-conscious patrons asked for slightly less rice in their rolls and nigiri. “I’m Japanese. I’m all about rice,” says Hiroyoshi, who is in his 40s. “I had a hard time understanding the customer’s side of this story.”
But after getting requests from friends and sushi-counter regulars on the ketogenic diet, he relented. He spent nearly a year developing a special cauliflower “rice” suitable for sushi before launching Skinny Fish in April.
The delivery-only concept offers toro rolls, salmon sashimi bowls, and the like, made with an ersatz rice that, remarkably, is nearly as satisfying as the genuine article. Hiroyoshi cuts and then boils the cauliflower in small batches to get the perfect texture, then seasons it with rice vinegar and salt just as he would with sushi rice—minus the usual sugar.
The chef, once unfamiliar with the keto diet, is now a low-carb convert. “I ended up loving this cauliflower rice,” he says.
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