Koo-Ki Sushi

Apricot Ikura, Hold the Soy Sauce

By Karen Solomon

Lots of people love sushi, and some just can't get enough dessert, but only Karen "Suedy" Sasaki and her late sister, Janice Murai, thought to combine the two. Suedy's Koo-Ki Sushi in San Jose is filled with confections that look like maguro, ebi, and tako but are actually made from Callebaut chocolate, fruit-flavored white chocolate, apricot gummy "roe," and green tea "wasabi," all on a rice-cereal cookie. "It's that little surprise of an unexpected combination that people like," says Sasaki, a former illustrator who was inspired to create sushi candy by a cookie contest in Better Homes and Gardens in 1993. Years of confection classes later, she now makes her edible art in painstaking detail, from shaping each gummy egg to hand-coloring each white chocolate shrimp pink. Pressed on whether some find the sushi-chocolate combination unappetizing, Sasaki says, "I've often wondered if my relatives in Japan understand what I'm doing," but adds that she's never received any negative feedback. She has heard, however, that many recipients find her sushi too pretty to eat. "I encourage them to go ahead. After all, it's not a display. It's food."

830 Jury Ct., Ste. 1, San Jose, (408) 947-8294.