My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch!

Bento Recipe: Chirashi-zushi


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Two Winged ShrimpUnlike the other sushi recipes I've posted to date, this one does not involve nice neat blocks or rolls of rice with stuff in or on them. This one could be described as salad-like, I suppose. It's a bit of a production to make, but so worth it!

The amount of each item is changeable. If you like more shrimp or cucumber, or less egg, or whatever, feel free to tweak the proportions.

What you need:

    3 cups su-meshi (sushi rice) - or regular sticky rice
    4 shiitake mushrooms, soaked for at least 1/2 hour in water, stems removed
    3/4 cup of dashi stock
    Box #21 tbsp of soy sauce
    2 tbsps of mirin
    2 tsps of sugar
    2 eggs
    1 inch of cucumber
    raw tuna/salmon slices, or smoked salmon
    2-4 decent-sized raw shrimp
    2-4 6" bamboo skewers
    kizami nori or regular nori
    more soy sauce
    other garnishes and/or pickled ginger, as preferred

Cook the rice. You can just use the instructions on the package, or you can make su-meshi. Because of the other flavors in this dish, I prefer su-meshi.

Mix the dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar well and heat it in a small pan. Simmer the shiitake mushrooms in this liquid until a) the liquid is gone or b) most of the liquid is gone, the caps are plump, and you're hungry. Let the mushrooms cool, then slice them thinly.

Beat the eggs well, then make paper-thin omelets, using one scoop of egg at a time. Make several sheets. Roll them up, then cut them into thin, noodle-like strips.

Shell the shrimp, then run a bamboo skewer through the body, straightening it out so it won't curl during cooking. Boil them in salted water for 2 minutes. Take them out, let them cool, remove the skewers, then cut them almost all the way through from the belly side so you can open them butterfly-style.

More flying shrimpPeel the cucumber, then cut it into thin strips. If you don't have kizami-nori, cut the nori into small pieces.

For each serving (2-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are) put a thin layer of rice in a plate or small bowl. Add a thin layer of nori, then sprinkle on some soy sauce. Add another layer of rice to cover the nori. Cover the rice completely with the egg strips. Then arrange the shrimp, fish, mushrooms, cucumber, and whatever else artistically on top of the eggs. Serve the pickled ginger, if you have it, on the side.