Friday, February 17, 2012

Ebi Chirashizushi - Shrimp Sushi Bowls

Oh sushi, how I love thee.

Vince does not really share my love for sushi but I have a friend who does. We used to go out to dinner with this particular couple at least once a week. It was almost always to our favorite sushi restaurant. Kim and I could easily eat our weight in sushi, and considering how much I weigh that is NOT a good thing. I am partial to Maki, or sushi rolls but I could gobble up some Unagi (eel) or Sake (salmon) Nigiri, the traditional fish placed on top of rice. Going out to eat can be expensive and eating sushi can be even more so. It was pretty easy for us to spend $75 just sitting chatting and eating for a couple of hours.

Chirashizushi, or scattered rice, is another common dish in Japan and the ingredients vary regionally. It is the dish traditionally served at Hinamatsuri, the Japanese Doll Festival held on March 3. You can make this dish either as Edomae, which uses sashimi (raw fish) placed on top of the rice, or as Gomokuzushi, which uses cooked fish mixed in to the rice with other ingredients. I opted for the latter simply because I've never made anything with sashimi and it made me a little nervous.

I will still go out for the occasional sushi dinner but in an effort to curb our dining out budget, I decided to try making sushi at home. My first attempts at making Maki did not pan out well at all. I'm sure with some practice I could get the hang of it but really, it is very time consuming and when I want sushi, I want it now! Then I came across a recipe for "Sushi Bowls". The basic idea was brilliant. All of the sushi flavors with none of the headache of rolling. What resulted was the perfect dinner for those nights that you just need a little taste of sushi.

Ebi Chirashizushi - Shrimp Sushi Bowls
Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

1 1/3 Cup Brown Rice
1 1/3 Cup Water
1/8 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Wasabi to Taste
4 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
4 teaspoons White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Sheets Nori, cut into small strips (or pre-shredded Nori)
1 Avocado, cut into small chunks
1 Japanese Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 Green Onions, cut into strips
12 oz Shrimp, tail off
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds

  1. Cook rice and water according to package directions (either stove-top or microwave).
  2. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and wasabi.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  5. Microwave the vinegar/sugar mixture on high for 30-45 seconds, until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Transfer the rice to a large non-metal bowl.
  7. Add the vinegar mixture to the rice.
  8. Fold and cut through the rice with a wooden spoon to coat each grain with the vinegar mixture.
  9. Let the rice come to room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
  10. Add the soy sauce and vegetables to the rice and mix thoroughly.
  11. Spray a small pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  12. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  13. Saute the shrimp until cooked through.
  14. Top the rice with cooked shrimp and sesame seeds.

Yields 4 servings

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