Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Three Way Salmon Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi sushi can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be, all depending on how much time you've got on your hands and pretty much what combination of ingredients appeals to you. I'm utterly crazy about salmon skin sushi, but the thought of preparing it can sometimes be a turn off. So why not just throw everything in a bowl, sprinkle a handful of roasted sesame seeds and drizzle with your favorite teriyaki sauce?

Here's my favorite way to do it.

Three Way Salmon Chirashi Sushi

Let's start with the basics. 

Sushi rice!

salmon chirashizushi with black sesameI hear a lot of people saying they can't get it right and the most common complaint is that the roll falls apart because the rice just won't stick. Here's my fail proof recipe and some tricks to turn out the perfect sushi rice!

This will make about 4 cups of cooked rice:

300 g of sushi rice (short grain)
400 ml of water

1. You need calrose rice or any Japanese rice meant for sushi. Don't try to cut corners and make it with basmati. Also, if you're new to this, don't be cocky, leave the brown rice for another time.
2. Wash your rice under cold running water and rub it gently between your fingers, without breaking the grains. Wash until the water nearly comes clean.

Wash gently to keep the grains intact...

3. Put the rice in a pan or in a rice cooker, add the water accordingly and let sit for 30 minutes. Start cooking and as soon as the water boils, cover your pan tightly, turn to minimum heat and let cook for 15 solid minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a thick towel and let it sit again for about 10 minutes. If you have a rice cooker, you don't have to worry about a thing, just don't remove the lid up to 10 minutes after the cooking is finished. 

4. Meanwhile, prepare the seasoned vinegar:

40 ml of rice vinegar
20 g of sugar
pinch of salt

Mix until dissolved.

5. Pour your rice into a large bowl. If you have a wooden bowl, it's even better, it will absorb some extra moisture left in the rice. But this isn't critical. Add the seasoned rice vinegar and with a wide wooden spoon, pick the rice from under and fold it gently. You just want to blend in the vinegar without breaking the grains. Fold until the vinegar is completely absorbed. Cover the rice until you are ready to use it or it will dry out.

Hard part is over!

On to the toppings!

(For 2 large servings)

500 g of sushi grade salmon, skin on (if you can't find that, don't eat it raw)

By the way, I call this Three Way Salmon Chirashi because I actually cook my salmon in three different ways (one one them, not being cooked at all actually!).

Roasted Salmon Skin
Start by cutting out the skin from the salmon, leaving a little less than 1 cm of flesh on it. Sprinkle with a little salt on both sides.

Lay it on a nonstick pan, skin side down, turn up the heat and let it roast gently. It should take about 10 minutes to get a nice golden color without actually burning it. If you feel the need, add just a tiny little bit of oil to the pan. My salmon was quite fatty, so I didn't need to do that.
Keep checking on it and adjust the heat accordingly. When it's done, turn off the heat and flip the salmon to the fleshy side. It will finish cooking all by itself and without drying out (3 to 4 minutes).
Remove the skin from the pan, set aside.

Crunch crunch crunch

Tempura and Panko fried Salmon

For the tempura, you will need:

1 whole egg
2 tablespoons of flour
Cold water
1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs (for dredging)

In a small bowl, beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of flour and add enough cold water to get a  smooth pancake-like batter.
In another bowl, pour the panko bread crumbs.

Cut the raw salmon you have in half and slice one half into thick strips, cover them in batter and dredge them in panko, then fry until nice and golden. Remove and let it drain on a paper towel.

 Crispy panko covered salmon. 
You can go ahead and do some quality control! ;-)

Sashimi Salmon
This is pretty easy, just take the remaining salmon and cut it in bite size pieces. I usually keep the fattiest pieces for the sashimi (feel free to skip this part if you don't like raw fish, it's alright!)

 Look at those pretty stripes of fat!

 Now, let's put everything together!

You will need:
2 cucumbers, chopped coarsely
2 stalks of green onion, chopped coarsely
1 avocado, sliced 
Roasted Sesame (or black sesame)
Teriyaki or whichever sauce you like best!

Take two large serving bowls, add about 1/4 of the rice you made into each.
Top each bowl with half of the salmon (I usually leave the tempura for last), cucumbers, green-onion and avocado (I found out at the last moment that mine wasn't ripe enough). Give it a good sprinkling of roasted sesame seeds, drizzle with teriyaki and serve with panko covered salmon sticks on top.




  1. That looks really, really tasty! I love salmon skin! Nice photos, too :)

  2. Oh wow. Three types of salmon in one bowl. That's amazing. I'll take a gallon-sized bowl, please. :-]

  3. I usually eat a bowl 3X that size. ;) Sometimes, I'll even make the tamago and shred it on top. Yum.

  4. Your pictures are soo stunning :D I'm seriously drooling - will definitely be following this blog :D

  5. I love Chirashizushi. It is my favorite sushi dish of all. Artful and light, with many flavors. Using salmon only is very western ^@^ but I love the idea to combine all cookings types to make it diverse.
    Very very beautiful photos, and good looking fish.

  6. Hehehe, I know, this is a very untraditional chirashi sushi! Its more like a deconstructed salmon skin sushi roll, but it's much faster to make! :D

  7. I'm definitely going to try this! The food looks great!

    I have a website about restaurants in Tel Aviv:

    would you like to do a link exchange?

  8. oh my I saw you already have us linked... THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!

  9. You're very welcome! :) Thanks for visiting my humble blog!

  10. I made this the other night and it was great! i live in Alaska and eat salmon a few times a week and will be eating this A LOT this winter! Thanks for sharing!

  11. You lucky you! I wish I could get my hands on some of that fresh Alaskan salmon! Yum!