March 24, 2011

chirashi zushi (scattered rice salad)


Chirashi zushi is a type of sushi (vinegared rice) either served with toppings such as raw fish or mixed with various ingredients such as dried shiitake, bamboo shoots, and lotus root. I mostly grew up eating the latter, but my mother would make it using the instant stuff that came in a bottle of pre-seasoned vegetables along with a mysterious packet of powdered seasoning. In addition to looking so colorful, it tasted sweet, salty and sour and had a nice crunchy texture from the vegetables. I loved it! This recipe reminds me of the instant chirashi zushi I grew up on, although it has no mysterious ingredients and tastes so much better.

Ingredients

4 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 package of ginger pickles
(*Ginger pickles usually are made with A LOT of sugar. Look for brands like Eden that use natural sweeteners like barley malt.)
2 TBS ume vinegar
1 TBS brown rice vinegar

1 large carrot, minced
4 pieces dried shiitake, soaked in water until soft and minced (reserve soaking water)
1 cup dried daikon, soaked in water for 5 minutes and minced (reserve soaking water)
1 cup frozen corn
1 TBS shoyu

1 cup frozen edamame, boiled for 3-5 minutes until soft

Lotus root, thinly sliced, cooked for 3 minutes and seasoned with a splash of ume vinegar (optional)

Directions
  1. Place the cooked rice into a bowl and add sliced ginger pickles along with 2 TBS of the brine, ume vinegar and brown rice vinegar while the rice is still warm. Turn the rice occasionally with a wooden spatula to cool.
  2. Place some soaking water from dried daikon or dried shiitake in a pan to barely cover and water sauté the carrots. Layer the dried shiitake and dried daikon on top of the carrots, add 1/2 cup of soaking water and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add corn, cover and cook for a few minutes. (Add more soaking water if needed.) 
  4. Season with shoyu and stir. Cook away the water. 
  5. Add the vegetable mixture to seasoned rice. Mix well. 
  6. Stir in cooked edamame. Plate and decorate with seasoned lotus root.

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