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Watch: Making Green Chile Shrimp Tempura at Santa Fe’s First Japanese Restaurant

Inspired by chile rellenos, Shohko Cafe serves up the iconic dish daily

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.

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