What is ChirashiZushi?
Japanese Rice Bowl made with a multitude of scattered ingredients.
Generally, Chirashi means scattered, hence the Chirashi rice bowl. Scattered food on top of rice. Zushi is akin to ‘sushi’, raw fish and vegetable on ‘sushi’ rice, which means that the steamed cooked rice is seasoned with rice vinegar or rice vinegar powder that is available at your Asian grocery.
Traditionally sushi rice is used, however, Chirashi rice has a bit more vinegar mix into the rice compared to regular sushi rice used in making sushi maki (rolls) or nigiri (balls of rice with fish or other topping). Also, Chirashi rice can be used warm, unlike sushi rice making rolls or nigiri is cooled rice.
You can use regular steamed rice without the rice vinegar/powder, but it will not have the “flavor” that makes this dish the “Chirashi bowl”.
This is a healthy, quick and ultimately forever dish, What I mean is that the toppings are limitless! Cooked, raw, meat, fish, vegetables, etc. in any combination thereof. A very versatile dish for any occasion. It’s like taking a pair of jeans and dressing it up or down. You can make it as elaborate or as casual as you want by how many toppings, what kind of toppings and of course, having an array of colorful topping are very aesthetic to the eye and palate!
If you are going to use raw fish, make sure to go to a quality and knowledgeable fishmonger or seafood store or ask the seafood department at the supermarket if they carry “sushi” grade fish and how long ago it came in. Try to buy it when it comes in fresh! It is important that is sushi grade and can be eaten raw.
Just for note, people think “any” salmon can be eaten raw…NOT the case, only sushi grade ‘deep sea-salt salmon’ is for sushi, NOT fresh water salmon! Be aware of this. If uncertain ask the fishmonger.
Tuna is just as important, there are different ‘grades’ of sushi quality, make sure if eating raw, get the right kind!