Chirashizushi

When I was a child, my mom always made this Chirashi zushi for my birthday or Girl’s Day which is March 3rd, and she still makes this when I visit her. This is a very special dish for me and I make it for my sons on special occasions.

“Chirashi Zushi” means ‘scattered sushi’ because all the delicious toppings are scattered or strewn over the rice just before serving.

What you need;4 servings

Rice

  • 2 cups Japanese style short grain sushi rice (500ml)
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 small piece of Kombu (dried kelp), (optional)

Sushi Vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Other Ingredients

  • 2 pcs Koya Tofu (freeze dried tofu)
  • 2 Carrots about 150g
  • 1 ½ cup Konbu Dashi
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon low sodium soysauce
  • ½ tsp salt

Pickled Renkon (for topping)

  • 100 g of Renkon – Lotus root
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar

50g blanched snow peas or green beans (for topping)

Making Sushi Rice;

  1. Put the rice in a large bowl, fill with cold water and mix gently. Pour off the first water immediately.
  2. Wash the rice like you are rubbing grains with your hand.
  3.  Thoroughly rinse the rice with several changes of water until it runs clear.
  4.  If you are using a rice cooker, put the 2 cups rice and 2 cups water in the rice cooker and cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using kombu for flavour, place it on top of the rice just before closing the lid and pressing start.
  5.  If you are not using a rice cooker, pour the 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water (and the kombu if you are using it) into a deep saucepan and let stand 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom. Immediately after coming to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer without stirring for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to stand with the lid still in place for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.
  6. Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl or a jar and stir until dissolved.
  7. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, preferably a wooden one, and remove the piece of Kombu if you are using it. Pour the sushi vinegar slowly over the rice using the back of your rice paddle or spatula to broaden and gentle the stream. Mix the rice to distribute the sushi vinegar thoroughly. To prevent breaking the grains and avoid mashing them together, use a “cutting” or “slicing” motion to mix with the rice paddle or spatula. Throughout the vinegaring and mixing process, fan the rice with your other hand using a Japanese fan or a piece of cardboard.

Preparing the other ingredients;

  1. Soak koyadofu in water for 5-10 minutes, then gently squeeze the excess water from koyadofu. Slice them into small pieces.
  2. Cut carrots about same pieces as koyadofu and set aside.
  3.  In a medium pot, combine dashi, sugar, soy sauce and salt and bring to boil. Add koyadofu and bring the heat down to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes till the koyadofu softens. Add the carrots and cook another 2 minutes. Let cool.

Pickled Renkon;

  1. Peel renkon and slice into thin slices about 2 mm thickness. If the slices are still quite large, cut them into halves or quarters. In a small pot, bring water to boil. Add sliced renkon and blanch for just 3 or 4 minutes so they retain some crunchiness.
  2. Mix sugar and vinegar in a small bowl.
  3.  Soak the blanched renkon slices in sugar and vinegar mixture and let stand for 15 minutes.

Mixing rice and other ingredients;

  1.  Mix sushi rice and the other ingredients (except renkon and green beans or snow peas). Plate the rice mixture and to finish it off scatter pickled renkon and sliced snow peas or green beans over top.

Tips: Use gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free version. This is also another vegan recipe.

Avocado Rolls

Everybody loves Avocado rolls and they are much easier than you think. If you follow my simple steps, you can make and enjoy all kinds of sushi at home!

Kimiko’s Basic Sushi Rice

Rice

  • 2 cups Japanese style short grain sushi rice (500ml)
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 small piece of Kombu (dried kelp), (optional)

Sushi Vinegar Mixture

  • 5 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  1.  Put the rice in a large bowl, fill with cold water and mix gently. Pour off the first water immediately. (This is very important for best flavour, as it flushes away dust and debris before it infiltrates the rice itself)
  2.  Wash the rice like you are rubbing grains with your hand.
  3.  Thoroughly rinse the rice with several changes of water until it runs clear. This is the step my husband always gets wrong – he doesn’t wash quite long or thoroughly enough, and the rice never quite tastes the way it should!
  4.  If you are using a rice cooker, put the 2 cups rice and 2 cups water in the rice cooker and cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using kombu for flavour, place it on top of the rice just before closing the lid and pressing start.
  5. If you are not using a rice cooker, pour the 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water (and the kombu if you are using it) into a deep saucepan and let stand 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom. Immediately after coming to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer without stirring for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to stand with the lid still in place for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.
  6. Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl or a jar and stir until dissolved.
  7.  Transfer the rice to a large bowl, preferably a wooden one, and remove the piece of Kombu if you are using it. Pour the sushi vinegar slowly over the rice using the back of your rice paddle or spatula to broaden and gentle the stream. Mix the rice to distribute the sushi vinegar thoroughly. To prevent breaking the grains and avoid mashing them together, use a “cutting” or “slicing” motion to mix with the rice paddle or spatula. Throughout the vinegaring and mixing process, fan the rice with your other hand using a Japanese fan or a piece of cardboard. Fanning will cool the rice to the right temperature and is critical to evaporating excess moisture.
  8. Cover the bowl of freshly prepared rice with a damp cloth until you are ready to make sushi (ie: start “rolling” with other ingredients, just before serving). Do not store fresh sushi rice in the refrigerator as it will harden the rice. It’s best to use the rice up completely within a few hours, but if you do have leftover sushi rice, it can be stored in the refrigerator in a well sealed container and warmed up in a microwave for later use.

Kimiko’s Avocado Inside-out rolls (makes about 10 rolls)

  • 1 Avocado 20 pcs of 4 inch long avocado
  • 1 Kimiko’s Basic sushi rice (recipe above)
  • 5 sheets of nori, halved
  1. Cover a rolling mat with plastic wrap.
  2. Place a half-sheet of nori, shiny side down, rough side up on a rolling mat. The long edge of the nori sheet should be towards you.
  3. Spread the rice in a thin layer on the nori, covering whole area of nori. Carefully flip over rice covered nori sheet onto the plastic wrap covered rolling mat.
  4. Arrange two pieces of avocado in a line along the middle of the nori. Lift the edge of the mat closest to you and start rolling up the sushi away from you, tightening the mat as you roll. Put a little water-vinegar mixture along the far edge to seal it.

Suggested fillings;

Cucumber, avocado, bell pepper, asparagus, egg omelets, mushroom, pickles, salmon, tuna, canned tuna etc and any of mixture.

_DSC1810

 

Chicken Yakitori marinated with Herb Koji

Shiokoji (Salted Koji) is a fermented mixture of Koji, (rice inoculated with the special — and safe — mold Aspergillus oryzae), shio (sea salt) and water and it’s used as a seasoning in place of salt.  It’s packed with Umami and bring out of more flavor of any meat.

I used Herb koji from Misoya Nagomi for this recipe, but regular shiokoji makes chicken so delicious too!

What you need; Makes about 15 skewers

  • 1 lb. (425g) of Chicken breast or thigh chopped into ½” cubes
  • 2 ½ tbsp. of Herb Koji
  • Bamboo skewers

How to;

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken and Herb koji and marinate for 4-5 hours.
  2. Thread chicken onto skewers about 5 pcs each.
  3. Grilling or BBQ Grill until charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side._DSC1802 _DSC1801