Home-Style “Sushi” over Rice (Chirashizushi)

READY IN: 1hr 50mins




  • To prepare the toppings, in a bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. If using shrimp, fill a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, cook until pink and beginning to curl, about 3 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, slice each in half lengthwise. Add the shrimp to the vinegar mixture and marinate up to 1 hour. If using crabmeat and/or surimi, marinate in the vinegar mixture as well.
  • Cut the cucumber in half crosswise, then cut into paper-thin matchsticks 1–2 inches long. Cube the avocados, place in a bowl, and toss with rice vinegar to prevent browning. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Blanch the snow peas in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, immerse in the ice water, drain again, and slice diagonally into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • ln a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or chopsticks until well blended. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt and stir until the sugar dissolves. In a 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg mixture and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook, gently lifting the edges to let the uncooked egg flow underneath, until the bottom is set but not browned and the top is relatively dry, 4–5 minutes. Carefully slide the eggs out of the pan onto a flat plate and blot with a paper towel. Let cool, then cut into fine bite-sized shreds called kinshi tamago (shredded omelet topping). Set aside.
  • To prepare the mushrooms, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 2 cups water, the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced and the mushrooms are thoroughly flavored but not burned, 15–20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely in the liquid, then remove from the liquid and thinly slice them. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sushi rice: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the hot cooked rice in a large shallow bowl, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the warm vinegar mixture evenly over the hot rice and, using a wooden rice spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the vinegar, repeatedly cutting down into the rice, turning it over to season it evenly, and mixing until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the mushrooms into the cooled rice, distributing them evenly, and divide the rice mixture among 4 bowls. Divide evenly and decoratively arrange the seafood, omelet shreds, salmon (if using), cucumber, avocado, and snow pea toppings on the rice and garnish with yakinori and sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature (chilling hardens the rice) with small individual bowls for soy sauce and wasabi (if using) into which to dip the toppings.
  • Recipe courtesy of Let’s Cook Japanese Food by Amy Kaneko, buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Cook-Japanese-Food-Authentic/dp/1681881772.