If there is a dish that represents spring, it is Chirashizushi for me: so festive and full of colors. It is a type of sushi where sushi rice is topped with colorful toppings of salmon, shrimp, eggs, and spring greens. The word zushi comes from the word sushi, and chirashi means to sprinkle.
In Japan, March 3 is a celebration of girls, and families decorate their homes with Hina-dolls, often a family heirloom and eat special meals to wish for the health and success of their girl children. It is also a celebration of the spring thus the plate should reflect the colorful hillside and mountains full of flowers and buds of greens.
Did you know?
Each ingredient eaten during the Hina celebration has a different meaning. So keep it in mind when making Chirashizushi.
- Red color->repel bad luck
- Beans->to work hard
Other food enjoyed during Hina celebrations are:
- Clear soup with clams
- Hinaarare (toasted soybeans)
- Sweet sake
- 1 rice cooker
- 1 hanger Japanese wooden vessel used for sushi making
For sushi rice
- 2 cups sushi rice medium or short Japonica rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sushi vinegar see recipe below*
- 6 oz hot smoked salmon broke up into pieces
- 4 sheets kinshi tamago 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch salt. See recipe below*
- 8 cocktail shrimp sliced
- 4 florets rapini or broccolini remove stems and blanch in salted water
- 4 caps dried shiitake mushroom Reconstitute then slow cook in 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons soy and mirin. Cool before using.
For the garnish
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger Julienned. For recipe, click here.
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 sheet nori thinly sliced
*For sushi vinegar
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
- Gather ingredients.
To make sushi vinegar
- Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a pot over low heat. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside to cool. Sushi vinegar will stay in the refrigerator for several months.
Prepare sushi rice
- Rinse rice in a bowl with a stream of fresh water until the water is moderately clear. You want to remove some of the excess starch on the outside of the rice. Drain water completely, put the rice in the rice cooker, and add water. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cooking. Cook rice according to the rice cooker. When rice is finished cooking, remove it from the cooker and place it in a pre-soaked Hangiri. Rapidly mix cooked rice with ½ cups of sushi vinegar while using the fan to cool the rice. Add more vinegar if needed.
*How to make Kinshi tamago
- Mix 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
- Heat a small non-stick frying pan and drizzle ½ teaspoon of cooking oil. Pour a quarter of the egg mixture into the pan and spread it around to cover the pan. When the egg is about to set, flip the sheet . As soon as the egg is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board. Make three more sheets.
- To Chiffonade Tamago: Stack the sheets of Tamago on top of each other and roll them into a cigar, then using a sharp knife slice them into thin ribbons.
- To the sushi rice, mix the slow cooked and sliced shiitake, sliced pickled ginger, and some toasted sesame seeds.
- On a serving platter, place the sushi rice flat then, place the smoked salmon, kinshi-tamago, shrimp and rapini. Garnish with pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and thinly sliced nori. Enjoy.