Fermentation Master Class 1 | Chirashi Sushi
For the rice:
2 ¼ cups Japanese short grain rice
5 ounces Japanese rice vinegar
3 tablespoons plus 1 scant teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
For the toppings (use whatever combination of toppings you wish, allowing 1-2 ounces each per serving):
Fresh Red Snapper (or Red Sea Bream), sliced ½-inch thick
Fresh yellowtail, sliced ½-inch thick
Fresh tuna, sliced ½-inch thick
Cooked anago (salt-water eel), cut into 2-inch pieces
Steamed rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 2-inch pieces
Tamago-yaki (Japanese egg omelette, recipe below)
Optional marinade for the sashimi:
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup dashi broth
Seasoned Dashi broth
1 cup water
2 tablespoons usukuchi (light colored) soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
1/5-inch square piece kombu seaweed
Handful of bonito flakes
Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, then strain and discard solids.
Optional Topping: Tamago-yaki
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dashi broth
1 tablespoon koikuchi soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until well-mixed. Add the dashi broth, soy sauce and sugar, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the egg mixture to a glass measuring cup with a handle for easy pouring.
Near your cooktop, place the oil in a small bowl with a small folded 1” square of paper towel on the side. The paper towel will be grasped with tongs or chopsticks, dipped in the oil and used to grease your pan between layers of egg.
Heat a small, nonstick pan over medium heat with a light coating of oil on the bottom. Pour a thin layer of the egg mixture into the heated pan to cook. When the egg mixture is just set, slide chopsticks or a spatula under one edge and gently roll it two or three times over itself, from one edge of the pan to the other. Push the rolled egg back across the pan to where you started, and add more oil to the pan with the paper towel. Pour in another thin layer of the egg mixture, and pull up the edge of the already-rolled omelet as you tilt the pan to spread the egg mixture thinly and evenly across the bottom of the pan and under the roll. Cook until the egg is set, then roll the omelet over the cooked egg to add the newly-cooked layer.
Repeat the process in multiple thin layers, adding oil between each layer to avoid sticking to the pan, and continuing until all the egg mixture is utilized and the cooked tamago-yaki looks like a log.
Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, then dice and use as topping on chirashi sushi.
Step 1 | Preparing the Rice
In a strainer, thoroughly rinse the rice in cool water to rid it of excess starch. Place the rice and 2 ¼ cups of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce the temperature to low and steam for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid. After 20 minutes, take the rice off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered, then fluff and proceed. (Rice may also be prepared in a rice cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions).
Step 2 | Making the Rice Vinegar
While the rice is cooking, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat the mixture just until the sugar and salt dissolve, being careful not to let it boil, as the aroma and acidity may evaporate when boiled. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Step 3 | Marinating with Fermented Soy Broth
If you wish to marinate the sashimi, while the rice is cooking, combine the soy sauce and dashi broth in a bowl and add the fresh fish. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then drain the fish lightly on paper towels and proceed.
Step 4 | Mixing the Rice and Fermented Vinegar
Place the cooked rice in a wide-bottomed dish or bowl. Sprinkle the rice vinegar mixture over the cooked rice, and using a shamoji (rice paddle), gently cut or slice the vinegar into the rice, taking care not to overmix. The finished rice should look glossy and smell fragrant.
Step 5 | Finishing Touches
Divide the prepared rice into small bowls and decorate with your choice of sashimi and vegetables. Serve immediately.
We recommend red snapper, yellowtail, tuna and salt-water eel for our chirashi recipe. It is worth noting that scallops, shrimp, octopus, crab and many other favorites also go very well with chirashi sushi.