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kevinHelena sushi bar owner says the Japanese food gets a raw deal from people who think it’s all about raw fish.

Chef Kevin Pigman says there is a bad misconception that sushi is just raw fish, when the true definition of what sushi consist of is vinegar, rice and fish (not raw).

Sashimi on the other hand, is indeed raw fish.

Both are available at the Wok-N-Roll on Euclid, just west of town.

Pigman, and wife, Sunny, are pleased to offer Helena residents a healthy choice when dining out.

Pigman says people are more health conscious than they used to be and because of that eating more fish to get omega fatty acids in their diets.

“Montana is catching up with the rest of the world,” he said.

He says some of his customers actually say they feel energized after eating sushi.

Pigman says many people don’t really know if they like sushi or sashimi because they have never tried it.

“If we can get them to try it, they realize they do like it — 90 percent of the people will like it if they try it,” he said.

The Pigmans pride themselves on serving the very freshest of fish and have a well-rounded selection for under $20. Some of the menu items include coconut pecan shrimp, broiled tuna wasabi, sesame ginger salmon and tempura halibut.

Everything on the menu is made fresh to order and guaranteed to stimulate patrons’ senses, Kevin says.

For beverages, Wok-N-Roll serves sake, a Japanese wine with a high alcohol content usually served warm. There is also a broad selection of wine and beer on tap including the Japanese beer Sapporo and Bonzai a beer with a ginger orange flavor.

Pigman, a Helena native, says he has “pretty much been cooking most of his life.”

He is certified by the American Culinary Federation as an executive chef and spends his days preparing meals for the Montana National Guard. He has served 17 years in food service for the U.S. Army. Sunny is Chinese and moved to Montana with her husband after they were married in 2004.

This is the second time Pigman has opened a sushi bar in Helena. The first time was in 2004. However, he was deployed to Iraq and closed the business during his time overseas.

So, upon his return 16 months later, he worked to reopen his establishment.

The business has grown steadily busier since the re-opening last July, Kevin says.

Wok-N-Roll doesn’t only serve Asian food. It also offers a selection of American food, including a marbled rib-eye, flamed broiled top sirloin, and teriyaki chicken. Another popular dish is chicken satay, which are marinated strips of chicken breasts wrapped on skewers served with a spicy peanut sauce.

Kevin and Sunny welcome those curious about sushi or sashimi to come in and they’ll be happy to offer them a sample.

Takeout, catering, delivery and sushi parties are available.

Article written by Alana Listoe with the Helena Independent Record

Photo by Jon Ebelt IR Staff Photographer