The first stateside sushi restaurant opened in California in the late 1960s, and within 10 years a new sushi restaurant popped up in a far less likely location: Santa Fe, New Mexico. Shohko Fukuda and her husband Hiro opened Shohko Cafe in 1975 — it’s proudly the city’s first Japanese restaurant. The Fukudas — an admittedly hippie family — arrived in New Mexico with their three daughters after spending time in California.
Today their eldest daughter Ayame is running the day-to-day at Shohko, and she’s showing host Sheldon Simeon around the restaurant in this episode of Cooking in America. Perhaps one of the most iconic dishes at the almost 45-year-old restaurant is green chile tempura. The idea first came to Shohko when a neighbor was teaching her to make chile rellenos and the process reminded her of traditional Japanese tempura.