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A sushi chef's dream rice: Satsuki rice, from Uruguay to L.A.
A sushi chef's dream rice: Satsuki rice, from Uruguay to L.A.

Morihiro "Mori" Onodera sold his beloved namesake sushi bar, Mori, in West L.A. nearly three years ago and has since devoted more time to one of his passion projects: rice. Not just cooking it but growing it. Though he formerly had grown rice -- a "fundamental element of Japanese food culture," he says -- for his own sushi bar in the California Delta, a couple of years ago Onodera teamed with Ichiro Tamaki to farm a Japanese cultivar in Uruguay. The rice is grown in Rocha, east of Montevideo, under the name Satsuki and is sold in partnership with International Marine Products Inc. Rice growing conditions in Uruguay are similar to those of Japan, Onodera says. But...

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