Hanh Tran shares her 'labor of love' with Rochester in her sushi cooking classes

Learning to make sushi can be a challenge, but Hanh Tran provides a fun, sociable course on how to make sushi with great instruction with her Sushi Ninja cooking course.

Hahn Tran, far right, with her most recent Sushi Ninja class consisting of seven attendees learning how to make sushi rolls.
Contributed / Hahn Tran

ROCHESTER — If bringing a new skill — and a new style of cuisine into your kitchen — is something you'd like to try, Hanh Tran teaches a class that is both fun and tasty.

For the last three years, Tran has taught people from across Rochester in her Sushi Ninja courses.

“My class offers the ability to learn where to get materials to make sushi, how to make and prepare the dishes, and making rolling sushi along with giving a little history of sushi,” Tran said. “ My husband calls it my labor of love. For me, it's really about sharing the knowledge and having everybody use that and share it back with me.”

Each course usually takes two to three hours and has at least six people for each session. Tran’s most recent course included Jas Caffery and his wife among the seven attendees.

“We both have had culinary training, and have explored many cuisines, but neither of us had tried making sushi before," Caffery said. "After my initial inquiry, Hanh shared what the class was about, and she really seemed to love teaching it. It seemed like it would be a wonderful experience, which it absolutely proved to be.”


The joy of learning such a unique culinary art has students going home and sharing photos of their sushi work with Tran after the classes are done.

“They send me photos and they're like, ‘Look, I did this for Christmas with this as our Christmas dinner.’" Tran said. "They are getting their family involved in making it. Just recently, one former student, she was going to do a burger sushi, and I thought that was really unique.”

The overall experience of the Sushi Ninja is more than just a cooking class. Tran works hard to make it an enjoyable sociable time as well.

“I love that there was green tea, photos were taken for us, and we all worked around a huge kitchen island,” said Amanda Brevda. “That really made it fun to have a large group conversation and to see not only what the instructor did but what the peers were making. There was a great deal of comradery and lots of laughs, also, Hahn goes the extra mile by explaining where to source everything you need.”

Tran sees 2023 as a year for more growth with Sushi Ninja as cooking courses for kids are on the agenda for expansion. Tran also provides cooking courses for bachelor and bachelorette parties with a bottle of champagne included.

“I just love sharing, and I'm a people person. So it's fun for me to see people enjoy their time and experience it through food,” Tran said.

Sushi Ninja


Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or
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