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Sushi Rice, Tatsu Nishino

We took a class with Tatsu Nishino - Executive Chef at Nishino in Madison Park, Seattle, Washington. He gave us these recipes, demonstrated how to do them, and coached us as we executed them ourselves.



  • 5 cups short grain rice - Tama Nishiki Short Grain Japonica Rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned) - Mitsukan Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Miring (sweet cooking saki) - Kikkoman Aji-Mirin
  • 1 3 inch square of Kombu (giant kelp) - Shirakiku Itame Dashi Kombu



  • Wash and rinse rice several times in cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Massage the rice with your hands while rinsing and remove any foreign material or dark hulls.
  • Let the rice sit in the water for 20 minutes for absorption
  • Cook rice in rice cooker


  • Put vinegar, sugar, salt, Mirin and kombu in sauycepan and stir over low heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Do not boil. Remove the Kombu.
  • Leave the Kombu in for at least 5 minutes.
  • The sauce keeps for 3 weeks. Two months in the fridge
  • Mix the rice with the vinegar mixture when the rice is very hot. Ok if it seems a little wet.
  • Cool the rice and vinegar as fast as possible. Place the rice in a wide flat bowl (hangiri tub) and toss with horizontal cutting strokes to keep the grains separated. A large shallow wooden bowl is good for mixing rice as it allows the moisture to escape and the rice to accept the vinegar dressing. While tossing, sprinkle vinegar dressing generously over the rice. You may not need it all so be careful not to add so much liquid that the rice becomes mushy. To speed cooling, it is helpful to have an assistant fan the rice while you aare tossing. The tossing and fanning take about 10 minutes. Taste to test whether the rice is cool enough. Sushi rice should be a little greater than body temperature. Break it up every few minutes while cooling.
  • If not using the sushi rice immediately, cover it with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out. Vinegared rice should be eaten the same day it is prepared, it does not keep more than 1 day. It should not be refrigerated.











Tastingmenu is focused on superlative restaurant experiences from two perspectives: behind the plate and behind the stove. Tastingmenu is written by Hillel (professional eater) and Dana (up-and-coming professional chef) in Seattle, Washington.

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  Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane. Today's major garlic suppliers include the United States (mainly California, Texas and Louisiana), France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: the white-skinned, strongly flavored American garlic; the Mexican and Italian garlic, both of which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the Paul Bunyanesque, white-skinned elephant garlic (which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek), the most mildly flavored of the three. Depending on the variety, cloves of American, Mexican and Italian garlic can range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Elephant garlic (grown mainly in California) has bulbs the size of a small grapefruit, with huge cloves averaging 1 ounce each. It can be purchased through mail order and in some gourmet markets. Green garlic, available occasionally in specialty produce markets, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves. It resembles a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb, sometimes tinged with pink. The flavor of a baby plant is much softer than that of mature garlic. Fresh garlic is available year-round. Purchase firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves, and those stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, though they will begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days. Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes. Among the exceptions are roasted garlic bulbs and the famous dish, "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," in which unpeeled garlic cloves are baked with chicken in a broth until they become sweet and butter-soft. Crushing, chopping, pressing or pureeing garlic releases more of its essential oils and provides a sharper, more assertive flavor than slicing or leaving it whole. Garlic is readily available in forms other than fresh. Dehydrated garlic flakes (sometimes referred to as instant garlic) are slices or bits of garlic that must be reconstituted before using (unless added to a liquid-based dish, such as soup or stew). When dehydrated garlic flakes are ground, the result is garlic powder. Garlic salt is garlic powder blended with salt and a moisture-absorbing agent. Garlic extract and garlic juice are derived from pressed garlic cloves. Though all of these products are convenient, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. One unfortunate side effect of garlic is that, because its essential oils permeate the lung tissue, it remains with the body long after it's been consumed, affecting breath and even skin odor. Chewing chlorophyll tablets or fresh parsley is helpful but, unfortunately, modern-day science has yet to find the perfect antidote for residual garlic odor.  

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