Chirashizushi aka “Scattered Sushi”
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Chirashizushi aka “Scattered Sushi”

I hosted a dinner party this last weekend and, among other things generally grilled and cheese, I made sushi.  I love making sushi, particularly sashimi (without rice) and makizushi (rolled) because you can do so much with the presentation.  I also enjoy having the leftovers to make chirashizushi, seared tuna, baked salmon, etc. On the day of the party, I headed down the street at, as my mother would call it, “the buttcrack of dawn,” to visit Blue Moon Fish at the Ft. Greene Park Green Market and ended up picking out some fresh Boston mackerel (not pictured…too delicious, ate ALL the mackerel).  Later, I visited my favorite local fish monger Fish Tales and at their suggestion picked up salmon, yellow fin tuna, and large sea scallops (not pictured).  My best bit of advice, find a fish monger you like, ask him what’s fresh, or sushi grade, and always tell him how good the last suggestion he made was.  My second bit of advice, learn to make good sushi rice.

That’s tuna and salmon and love

Sushi Rice:

3 cups short-grain white rice
3 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt

Rinse the rice in a colander until the water runs clear and not foggy.  Let the rice drain for 45 minutes to an hour then transfer to a large heavy pot. Add cold water to the rice and turn on high.  Once the rice is boiling–watch the pot, it will boil–give it one last good gentle stir, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Wait 25 minutes.  In a separate small saucepan warm the vinegar and mix in the sugar and salt.  When the rice is done, scoop it on to a flat nonreactive surface and slowly pour on the vinegar mixture while fanning the rice.  Cut through the rice to mix with a wooden spatula, be gentle because you don’t want mushy rice, you want each grain to be it’s own little grain, don’t you?  You don’t want the grain growing up to think it has to smush in with all the other grains, that grain might decide it’s time to have pink hair, a nose ring, and baggy pants!  Nobody will eat pink-haired rebellious grains of rice! Get a job rice!!  Finally, top with leftover fish from your sushi party, hardboiled egg, avocado, fish roe, pickled vegetables, seaweed…whatever, I’m not telling you how to make it, I’m creating a framework, top it with cooked fish if you want (don’t).  Drizzle with some soy sauce and enjoy.  If it turns pink, reevaluate your life choices.

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