Chirashizushi Recipe

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Photo courtesy: flickr-creative commons

Hinamatsuri celebrates the girls of Japan, much in the way Mother’s Day celebrates moms here. Many of the holiday’s dishes are delicate and stunning sweets. Chirashizushi, a Hinamatsuri main-course staple, translates to “scattered sushi”, which describes it well. I was limited by what I could “scatter” based on the fact the closest Asian market is 70 miles away, however Japanese girls often get served dishes with fish cakes pressed into cool graphics, such as Hello Kitty. My girls adore ikura, a standard chirashizushi topper, but at $17 a jar, we omitted it! Regardless, the dish was easy to make, and they enjoyed adorning (and eating!) their dishes.

Ingredients:
2 cups sushi rice
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 lb sushi grade tuna
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy salt
1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 eggs
1/2 pound sea legs (imitation crab — if you can find it died pink, even better)
1/2 cucumber
1 small jar ikura (salmon roe) — optional
1 pack roasted seaweed

Instructions:
1. Add 3 cups water and the rice to a saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons sugar,2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Mix thoroughly. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
2. Slice tuna into small strips. Marinate with 1 tablespoon soy and wasabi powder.
3. Beat 2 eggs with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour into a 10-inch, nonstick skillet (f you do not have nonstick, add oil or butter). Cook without mixing over medium heat until just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Flip, and cook other side for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool, slide omelette onto a cutting board, and slice into thin strips.
4. Chop cucumber, with skin on, into a small dice.
5. Slice roasted seaweed into small strips.
6. Put rice into individual bowls. Present all toppings in small serving dishes. Let children sprinkle on the toppings they choose.

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Lauren Capitani was an early foodie. While her friends were busy watching Family Ties , she was tuned into Graham Kerr and Yan Can Cook, and served her friends and family dishes such as beef wellington and baked alaska while still a teen. After college, Lauren received Masters' degrees in both journalism and business and worked in both subsequent fields. At 29, she decided to rewrite her life and became an assistant teacher. For the first time, her vocation became her avocation. She now has certification in both both elementary and early childhood education and has taught at seven schools on both coasts (and in between). Lauren has lived summers in France, England, Spain, Japan, and Thailand, and has visited more than a dozen other countries. When her own children start limiting their food choices, Lauren turned it into a teaching moment and created One World Whisk, a global cooking initiative for children. The project garnered more than 200 followers before its one-month charter was complete.

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