“We met at a restaurant when I was 16,” Gabriela Delgadillo said, talking about the moment she met her partner, Jesus Oleta.
Delgadillo and Oleta worked their way up at sushi kitchens across Tucson, practicing the meticulous method it takes to make this Japanese favorite. “A lot of people would always tell us, ‘Your food is good’. We just had this vision we should do this on our own.”
With the money they saved and a dream fueling their drive, they bought the truck that became Samurai Sombrero.
“We just said, ‘Let’s go’. That’s why we’re so grateful that people turned out like this,” Delgadillo said. “…They love our food and they see past the truck because they like what we’re cooking.” Delgadillo told KGUN9 many of their ideas come from casual but meaningful conversation with customers.
She also said she loves it when people share that their sushi is the first roll they’ve ever tasted. “They want something different,” Delgadillo said. “Food already makes people happy, so they want to try something and be like, ‘Oh my God! This is so good!’ and it makes you happy.”
For this Tasting Tucson visit, Oleta walked us through what they call the ‘Death Free Foodie’ roll. A hollowed out jalapeno fried in tempura batter is the star of the show. “A lot of people like spicy tempura,” Oleta said.
We wait two minutes for the jalapenos to fry, while Jesus breaks out the seaweed paper, or ‘nori,’ and lays out the bed of rice.
He then laid down three avocado slices and added with some sticks of cucumber. Here is where the Good Morning Tucson team marveled at Oleta’s precision and speed with the makisu, or sushi mat. “I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years,” he said.
Time to drizzle on the vegan mayo, slice it into rolls and put it in the oven for around two minutes, but we’re not done yet.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had sweet potato fried like this,” we said. Oleta replied, “You’re going to try it today!” He took a whole sweet potato and sliced it. The pieces went into the tempura batter, then the fryer.
For this roll, Oleta sliced the avocado in the filling super thin. To top the roll off, he sprinkled a nice amount of black sesame seeds.