Japanese recipes: Chirashi sushi (scattered sushi)

Ingredients and preparation.

A serving of chirashi sushi and soup.A serving of chirashi sushi and soup.

Ingredients: Rice (2 x 180ml cups of rice cooked in 324ml of water) seasoned with vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, Shiitake mushrooms boiled in soy sauce and sugar, shredded egg crepe (omelette) garnish, pickled cucumber and carrot, boiled shrimps and grilled eel.

Sushi rice: Prepare the sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, sugar and salt in the ratio 5:3:1 until the sugar and salt dissolve completely. Place hot steamed rice in a large bowl and sprinkle the vinegar mixture over it, gently folding it into the rice using a wooden spoon or rice spatula. Toss the rice with horizontal, cutting strokes. Use approximately 20ml of vinegar for 150g of rice.

Shiitake mushrooms: Take four shiitake mushrooms, 150ml of fish broth, 150ml of shiitake mushroom broth, 15g of sugar, 30ml of mirin (sweet rice wine) and 45ml of soy sauce. Wash the mushrooms carefully in running water and soak them in water for 60 minutes, then change the water and soak in fresh water for a further 5 hours. After 5 hours, remove the mushrooms and strain the water through a fine sieve (strainer) into a clean bowl. Cut off the mushroom stems and boil the mushrooms in the water on high heat for 20 minutes. Add 150ml of the water to rehydrate the shiitake, sugar and mirin. Simmer the mushrooms on low heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add soy sauce and mix until the liquid is almost gone. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces.

Shredded egg crepe garnish: Use 4 eggs, 15g of sugar, a pinch of salt and 30ml of potato starch mixed in water. Beat 4 eggs in a bowl and add a pinch of salt, 15g of sugar and 30ml (2 tablespoons) of potato starch. After adding the potato starch, the mixture should become firm. Pour it into a frying pan and turn over until the surface of the omelette is dry on both sides. Cut into thin strips.

Put cleaned cucumber and carrot into a bowl and sprinkle with salt in order to draw water out of the vegetables, thereby enabling them to absorb other flavours. Then mix the salt, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and add the vegetables. Leave for 30 minutes.

Using toothpicks, put 8 rolled shrimps into 1 litre of boiling water and 30g of salt. Remove the shrimps from the boiling water and put them into a bowl of iced water. Remove the toothpicks and cut the shrimps in half.

For the grilled eel in soy sauce and sugar buy a semi-finished product; then spread the eel with sake, wrap and microwave for 90 seconds before cutting into slices.

Mix the rice with roasted sesame seeds and small pieces of shiitake mushrooms. Cover the rice completely with the shredded egg crepe garnish, then arrange the cucumber, carrot, shrimps and eel on the top, paying particular attention to the resulting mix of colours.

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