Chirashi Sushi Salad

How come the idea never came to my mind? It's so good! It tastes exactly like sushi but is a healthier option. I've made this four times since last week!!! The wasabi dressing might be my new favorite, too.

Chirashi sushi is "home sushi": sushi rice on a bowl and neta (=sushi toppings) arranged on top of the rice. This is like 3-tiered chirashi sushi: salad leaves, rice and neta.

Chirashi sushi salad

serves 2-3

150 ml Japanese rice (or other short-grain variety), washed and drained properly
165 ml water

Sushi vinegar:
1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt

iceberg lettuce or other or mix, shredded & divided to three plates (I used gem salad and rucola this time, iceberg is ok too)
15 cm cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped away, cut into half-moons
1 small avocado, cut to slices
150 g salmon (either sashimi quality or salt-cured or smoked, I used salt-cured), cut to thin slices
1 Tbsp grated ginger > squeeze the juice onto salmon (discard the pulp)

Wasabi dressing
1-2 tsp wasabi paste (or to taste)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

Soak the rice for 15-30 min in cooking water. Cook it: (Just Hungry has superb instructions, I use the "frying pan" -method. I have an electric stove, so if you have a gas or induction one, those might behave differently. Again, Just Hungry has superb instructions). Bring the rice to boil on high heat (the lid on). Then turn the heat off (or to lowest setting) and let the rice cook under the lid (don't open it!). If it starts to boil over, remove the pan from heat for some minutes. 10 minutes after the boiling started, put the heat back on high for 30 sec to 1 min, (you will hear soon some cooking noise) then turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 10-15 minutes. Once again, do not open the lid at any point! (If you have a rice cooker, you can just omit this part and use your cooker ^^ )

Meanwhile, prepare the sushi vinegar (mix all together) and wasabi dressing (mix wasabi with soy sauce and vinegar, add oil). Prepare the ingredients for the salad.

When the rice is ready, sprinkle the sushi vinegar on it and with "cutting movements" mix it to the rice while fanning with a fan, newspaper etc... (you can ask someone to help, it's quite difficult at first by yourself). The rice will be better if cooled down quickly. Don't put it in fridge. If you have to store it for some time, put a wet tea towel on the bowl and leave it on room-temperature.

Sprinkle some dressing on salad leaves. When the rice is room-temperature or slightly warmer, divide on top of salad leaves. Arrange the salmon, cucumber and avocado. Serve the rest of the dressing on side.

adapted from Pirkka.

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