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Chirashizushi (aka Sushi for Dummies)

                    

I love sushi like it’s nobody’s business. A few simple ingredients combine to make one of the tastiest foods on earth. If you are a sushi fan, you already know about ‘the need’. The first time a friend convinced you to try sushi, you squirmed and then finally tasted a vegetable roll and were all “It’s ok. But I don’t see the big deal”.

And then it hits. A week later you’re in the middle of some benign task like washing the car, and you NEED sushi. Now.

I’m not sure if it’s the salt in the soy sauce, the kick in the sinus from the wasabi, or the combination of everything in this Japanese wonder – but sushi is as addictive as any substance known to man.

That said, it isn’t cheap to eat out, and it isn’t easy to make at home. There’s the rub. Simple ingredients. Cheap ingredients. But sushi chefs spend a lifetime honing their skills, and thus we pay the price. Rolling , molding, and forming the sushi are all refined skills truly better left to the experts.

So, I introduce to you the Chirashi Sushi Bowl (aka chirashizushi). Chirashi is a large bowl of sushi rice topped with your choice of toppings. It brilliantly removes the majority of the skill set that keeps you from making delicious sushi at home. No rolling. No molding. No forming.

There are a few key ingredients here. Properly made sushi rice; fresh fish; and sesame & seaweed flakes. The flakes can be found in most asian specialty stores. By sprinkling some on to your sushi rice you perfectly mimic the wonderful flavours that you get from the seaweed that envelopes standard sushi rolls.

The word chirashi means ‘scattered’, and this dish is exactly that. Rice mixed with fish, vegetables, and any other ingredients of your choice. It is filling, completely customizable, and has everything you love about sushi without the cost or fuss. There are almost no limits to what ingredients go in chirashi.

Traditionally sushi rice is used, and as with other sushi, mixed with rice vinegar. The rice needs to be made ahead and cooled before using. If you have trouble making this on your own – your local sushi shop will happily sell you it cooked for a low, low price.

Make sure your ingredients are fresh! It’s worth a trip to the fish market for this one.

                           

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Chirashi Bowl

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 cups of sushi rice
1 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Wasabi, to taste

Suggested toppings:

1 avocado, sliced
1/4 English cucumber, sliced
4 ounces fresh fish such as tuna and salmon, sliced thin
4 crab sticks, cut in to 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons sesame & seaweed flakes
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and marinated in ponzu sauce

Preparation:

  1. Cook the rice and let stand for 10 minutes. Add to a bowl with the rice vinegar and mix well.
  2. Add some rice to the bottom half of a wide, shallow bowl. Top with the seaweed flakes, and arrange your chirashi ingredients neatly to the edge of the bowl.
  3. Mix Chirashi Bowl before eating.
  4. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi, and eat with chopsticks.