Sushi School 101

July 16, 2012 (CHICAGO)


  • Rice cooker& bamboo mat can be found in Department Stores (like Target) or Asian Groceries
  • All Asian ingredients can be found in Specialty food markets (like Whole Foods) or Asian Groceries…Some American Grocery Stores will also carry Asian Ingredients in specific sections of the store (Domenic's or Jewel)
  • Perfect timing tip= Add Rice Vinegar after the rice cools for 40 minutes

An introduction to basic sushi skills

(Schaumburg, IL)-Shaw's Sushi Chef Naoki Nakashima, an authority on Japanese cuisine, will lead an interactive Japanese sushi demonstration in Shaw's Oyster Bar on Saturday, July 21, 2012. At Shaw's Sushi School, participants will learn how to make sushi basics such as sushi rice, hand-rolled maki, and how to use Japanese spices. Check-in is at 12:00 noon. The price is $39.99 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Reservations are required and can be made by calling Shaw's Schaumburg at 847.517.2722.

At Shaw's Sushi School, guests will be greeted with warm towels, steamed edamame and cold Sapporo. Chef Nakashima will demo the making of one of Shaw's most popular rolls, the Classic Rainbow Roll. Then under the watchful eyes of the expert chef, guests will be trained in making their own tuna and yellowtail nigiri. Chef Nakashima will then present his Grand Sushi Plate which includes ten varieties of rolls that are made daily at Shaw's sushi counter. Each roll will be described, discussed and served to guests with a taste of traditional Japanese sake. Finally, guest will have their choice of hot or chilled green tea, and indulge in a Japanese dessert classic, refreshing Mochi! All guests will leave the class with content bellies, soothed souls, recipes from the day and their own small bag of rice with detailed instructions on how to turn it into the perfect sushi rice—Nakashima style!

Shaw's Crab House, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, features a 1940s-style take on the seafood dining experience, with retro leather banquettes, polished wood floors and art deco touches. The Oyster Bar provides a more casual setting for diners and serves up live music three nights a week at the Chicago location. Shaw's – The King of Crab! For more info, call 312.527.2722 (Chicago) or 847.517.2722 (Schaumburg), visit the website at, tweet with The Shaw's Mermaid at or on Facebook at

Naoki Nakashima, Sushi Chef-Shaw's Crab House

Born & raised in Fukuoka, Japan, Naoki's interest in the culinary arts began early. By age 16, he had his first job, working in a noodle shop. At 19, he was working in a local fish market, laying the groundwork for a lifelong love of seafood. At 21, he traveled to America through an overseas study program, landing in California at a busy Japanese restaurant. He started as a dishwasher and worked his way up through the ranks, to the Sushi Counter. His teacher there, Mr. Masa, soon left to open his own Sushi restaurant and took Naoki along with him. His work with Masa-san taught him the classic proportion and attention to detail that are crucial to elegant sushi presentations.

When Naoki was 25, a Malaysian friend from America returned home to Kuala Lumpur to find that Japanese cuisine was all the rage there. The friend decided to open his own restaurant and coaxed Naoki to make the journey to become his Chef, where he spent the next year and a half. Naoki continued his journey when a loyal Guest of his restaurant opened a restaurant in Hong Kong, and again Naoki was enticed to be the Chef. In this place, a Japanese-style Izakaya, Naoki executed the Sushi menu & traditional Japanese small plates, similar to tapas.

Eventually, the allure of American life called him back to our shores. He bounced around a few less cosmopolitan locales before landing in Chicago, whose metropolitan charms kept him entertained and countless dining opportunities kept him inspired. In his time at NoMi, in the Park Hyatt, his sushi maintained its classical roots, but the rest of the menu opened his imagination to American and European ingredients. After 3 years, he was discovered by Lettuce Entertain You's CEO Kevin Brown, who persuaded him to join the Shaw's Crab House family. He has since elevated Shaw's sushi program with solid execution and innovative flavor combinations.

In addition to making his mark with Shaw's discerning clientele, Naoki has also developed Sushi programs at several Lettuce restaurants. Chef Naoki also participates in many Chicago charitable events, including the annual Green Tie Ball. Most recently, Naoki has turned his attention to tokio pub, our newest concept, in Schaumburg. There his unique Sushi rolls & creative Crispy Rice steal the show. We are fortunate to have him as a part of the team!

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