Burmese sushi chefs hand roll authentic fare

Haley Otman

Kyaw Min Lwin serves a variety of sushi to Grand Valley State University students, including his favorite eel roll, classic California roll, yellowfin tuna, salmon and more.

Lwin hails from a southeast Asian country called Burma, as does his co-worker Lorraine Win. They can be heard conversing in Burmese as they hand roll varieties of sushi each day for the students in Lower Kirkhof Center, where the sushi then waits in coolers for students to pick up near pizza, burgers, submarine sandwiches and more.

Lwin said he hopes students unfamiliar with the type of food he prepares will take a chance on it.

“(If) you don’t try, you never know,” he said.

Lwin suggests students trying sushi for the first time begin with a California roll, which has imitation crab and no raw fish.

In fact, a main misconception Americans have about sushi, he said, is it always has raw fish. The word “sushi” means vinegared rice and has nothing to do with fish, he said. Lwin does serve raw seafood varieties, but he also serves California rolls, various vegetable rolls and smoked salmon rolls.

Lwin is a franchisee from the company Southern Tsunami, which creates all of the sushi varieties and sends him his materials. He said students should be on the lookout for a strawberry California roll and a mango smoked salmon roll arriving soon.

Win said she greatly enjoys serving sushi to American students as she has been doing since 2008. Win and Lwin said the sushi they make is authentic, and they eat the same type at home.

Eel rolls are also Win’s favorite, but they both occasionally partake in classic American cuisine as well as their Burmese fare.

Lwin said they enjoy pizza, Subway and McDonald’s, but they usually make their own Burmese food. He said every meal involves rice, and one of his favorites is curry chicken.

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