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Monday, June 17, 2024

Chirashi: A Colourful and Flavorful Delight from Japan

With its rainbow of elements and harmonious steadiness of flavours, this chirashi sushi, or ‘chirashizushi’, is a scrumptious explosion of colors and tastes that delights all of the senses. This Japanese dish interprets to “scattered sushi” as a result of it’s made by tossing all of the sushi elements collectively in a bowl slightly than rolling. The top result’s a vibrant culinary creation with a wide range of contemporary toppings fantastically organized on a mattress of seasoned sushi rice with every chew showcasing the harmonious medley of tastes and textures within the bowl. It’s so easy to make and such a straightforward approach to take pleasure in sushi with out the necessity for any rolling. It’s sometimes eaten in Japan when having fun with particular events and celebrations so it’s excellent for any gatherings and events!

chirashi sushi served in a large ceramic bowl

What’s Chirashi?

Chirashi is a sort of sushi that consists of a bowl stuffed with sushi rice and numerous toppings. The identify comes from the Japanese verb “chirasu” which implies “to scatter” in English and refers back to the approach the elements are scattered on high of the rice.

Typical chirashizushi, which is eaten to have fun particular events, is made by mixing the elements along with the rice and serving in a big wood tub known as a hangiri. Nevertheless, there’s one other kind of chirashi which began within the early 1900s in Edo (Tokyo) wherein an assortment of contemporary sashimi (uncooked fish/uncooked seafood) is served artistically over a mattress of sushi rice in a lacquer field.

That is additionally known as Edomae chirashi sushi or kaisen (seafood) chirashi and differs from typical chirashizushi which is blended collectively and normally makes use of solely cooked seafood or none in any respect.  

There are different variations on chirashi sushi together with how it’s introduced and the way it’s named relying on the areas. Different names embody “bara zushi” (deconstructed or disassembled sushi), “maze sushi” (blended sushi), or if 5 completely different elements (gomoku) are used to combine into the sushi rice then it’s known as “gomoku chirashi” or “gomoku sushi”.

Not like nigiri sushi or maki sushi, chirashi bowls don’t require any ability, handwork, or rolling so it’s a handy possibility for having fun with sushi. It’s additionally a flexible and customisable dish since you may select your favorite toppings primarily based on private preferences. Chirashi is a well-liked selection throughout celebrations like New 12 months’s Day and Hinamatsuri Ladies day in Japan.

chirashi sushi in a large ceramic bowl with a wooden scoop and a small bowl of chirashi sushi

Chirashi for Particular Events

Chirashi is a go-to dish for a lot of Japanese festivals and particular events. It’s sometimes served for Lady’s Competition (Hinamatsuri) on the third of March. However why is Chirashi typically eaten at Hinamatsuri? It’s mentioned that the Japanese used to eat Narezushi which is a preserved meals made by soaking fish in rice and fermenting it within the Heian interval. Individuals ate the Narezushi round March because the fermenting course of finishes round that point. Over the time, the looks of the sushi turns into eye-catching and beautiful from simply plain fermented fish and rice. Reference: Hinamatsuri (in Japanese language). This dish is ideal to your personal particular events too due to its lovely presentation and skill to feed many. You’ll be able to put together a big bowl of chirashizushi for everybody to serve themselves from at your subsequent household gathering, picnic, or ceremonial dinner!

chirashi is served in a large ceramic bowl that two hands holding it

Elements utilized in Chirashi

This pleasant dish affords a vibrant combine of colors, textures, and flavours that come collectively to create one tasty bowl of sushi. Listed below are some widespread elements utilized in chirashi:

Sushi rice 

Chirashi begins with the inspiration of completely cooked vinegared sushi rice. Quick-grain rice, particularly Japanese rice, is usually used for its stickiness and skill to carry collectively when mixed with different elements.  

sushi rice in a wooden tub hangiri and sweet rice vinegar poured over

Frequent toppings

  • Seafood: Typical chirashizushi doesn’t at all times use fish/seafood and is most frequently vegetarian, but when seafood is used, it’s cooked. Some seafood topping choices embody cooked shrimp, crab, octopus, squid, unagi (bbq eel), grilled salmon, or salmon roe. Nevertheless edomae chirashi sushi, one other kind of chirashi, options an assortment of sashimi grade fish like salmon, tuna, yellowtail (hamachi), or snapper (hirame). 
  • Greens: So as to add shade and crunch, chirashi generally contains an array of greens equivalent to cucumber slices, avocado chunks, renkon lotus roots, shredded or julienned carrots, radish sprouts (kaiware daikon), shiitake mushrooms, kanpyo, edamame beans, or thinly sliced seaweed salad. 
  • Tamagoyaki or Kinshi Tamago (Japanese Omelet): this provides sweetness and softness to the chirashi bowl. It’s made by whisking eggs with sugar and cooking them in skinny layers earlier than rolling them into omelet type and slicing into skinny strips. 
  • Pickled Elements: Varied pickled gadgets like pickled ginger slices (gari) or pickled daikon radish will be present in chirashi bowls too. They supply acidity and steadiness out the richness of the opposite elements.
shiso, myoga, sugar snap peas, diced tamagoyaki, and rencon slices on a round bamboo tray and a small bowl of sakura denbu


  • Sesame Seeds
  • Myoga : Also referred to as myoga ginger or Japanese ginger. Its flower buds are edible and has a novel aroma and spiciness and used for garnishing condiment for a lot of Japanese dishes.
  • Shiso (and different contemporary herbs):  is a sort of Japanese herb which has a cross between mint and cinnamon with a touch of clove flavour. It’s possible you’ll discover this particular herb in your native market or Japanese grocery shops. You too can simply develop this herb which I do.
  • Tobiko or Masago: These small orange-colored fish roe varieties are sometimes sprinkled on high of chirashi to boost each the style and visible attraction. Tobiko has a barely crunchy texture, whereas masago has a smoother mouthfeel.
  • Shredded nori

Particular Elements Observe

Sakura denbu – is a pink cod flake. It is rather finely flaked cod that’s colored pink. Extra data on sakura denbu is in my Sushi Cake publish.

a small of sakura denbu and a packet of sakura denbu

Kanpyo – is dried strips of dried gourd fruit which is a sort of melon. You should purchase this dry or cooked and seasoned to be prepared to make use of immediately. Additionally talked about within the Futomaki Sushi rolls publish.

one ready made packet of kanpyo and a packet of dry kanpyo

Tools required : Picket Tub (hangiri)

A hangiri is a wood tub that’s used for making sushi rice in Japan. It has a shallow and flat backside. You could moist it earlier than use in order that the rice won’t keep on with the bathtub and so that it’s going to not absorb the vinegar for the rice. For those who don’t have one, it’s a good funding for those who love sushi and make sushi typically. In any other case you should utilize a big bowl. By no means use the rice cooker bowl for mixing the vinegar in. The acidity of the vinegar will injury the rice cooker bowl.

chirashi sushi being made in a wooden tub called hangiri

Tips on how to Make Chirashi Step by Step

1. Cooking the sushi rice   

Observe your rice cooker instructions to make the rice and observe my excellent sushi rice recipe. 

2.Getting ready the elements

Whereas the rice is being cooked, make sushi vinegar and prep the opposite elements. I selected to make use of renkon lotus root, snow peas, sakura denbu and tamagoyaki (Japanese egg omelette) reduce into dices.

3. Assembling the bowl with greens and garnishes 

As soon as all of the elements are prepared, it’s time to assemble your chirashi bowl: Take particular person serving bowls or one giant sharing platter if most popular. Divide the cooked sushi rice equally among the many bowls/platter ensuring it covers the underside. Combine within the elements by slicing by way of the rice slightly than mushing it collectively. Scatter some toppings creatively on high of the rice and garnish.

cutting chirashi ingredients in 4 images
cooking cut ingredients and mixing with sushi rice in 4 images collages
assembling all ingredients of chirashi in 4 images collaged

Ideas for Making Chirashi

  • Tricks to serve Chirashi fantastically – Selected vibrant toppings and scatter topping elements evenly contemplating color distribution.
  • Use the water from soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms to prepare dinner the opposite mixing elements (like carrots and the mushrooms) as it’s filled with Umami and offers the Chirashi depth of flavour.
  • Preserve all elements besides sushi rice within the fridge earlier than assembling.

Variations & Solutions

Relying on the area of Japan and households, there are lots of varieties of chirashi that exist equivalent to gomoku chirashi, kaisen chirashi (or kaisen don if common rice is used), and others as talked about above. Different variations of chirashi embody Poke bowls and Sushi Cake.

A whole sushi cake on the right and a piece cut out sushi cake on the left.

Quick Reduce

Chirashi is straightforward sushi to make although slightly time consuming as a result of you could make sushi rice, make the elements to combine in, and making ready topping elements individually. So in Japan, you should purchase ready-made Chirashi Sushi Combine in packages. You prepare dinner rice, and open the packet and blend it into the cooked rice. High together with your chosen toppings.

ready made sushi mix in a packet

What to Serve With Your Chirashi?

Chirashi is kind of filling so I normally I serve with miso soup or Japanese clear soup and pickled gingerrice bran picklesdaikon picklespickled daikon and carrotcucumber sunomono, or Asian cucumber salad.

Tips on how to Retailer Chirashi?

It’s best served freshly made as a result of in any other case any sushi must be saved beneath 50°F (10°C) and the standard goes down. Nevertheless, it’s straightforward to make an excessive amount of greater than you could serve, so it may be saved within the fridge and likewise freezer.

Fridge – The standard of cooked rice begins to deteriorate at 35-37°F(2-3°C) and it turns into dry. It’s troublesome to retailer sushi within the situation it’s made. We have to separate sushi rice and topping elements and wrap them with plastic wrap, then wrap round with newspaper. Retailer it within the vegetable and fruit compartment in your fridge. It should preserve for a number of days. The chilled chirashi will be loved once more, by steaming or microwave the sushi rice then high with separated toppings.

chirashi in a large ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon and a small bowl of chirashi


Q : What’s the distinction between Chirashi bowl and poke bowl?

A : Whereas each the Chirashi bowl and poke bowl are related, there are some variations that set them aside. Typical chirashi sushi doesn’t use uncooked seafood/fish (until it’s a specific kind of chirashi). The presentation additionally differs and poke bowls typically function some sauces or seasonings.

Q : What’s the distinction between sashimi and chirashi?

A : Sashimi is a dish comprised solely of thinly sliced uncooked fish, served with soy sauce and wasabi on the facet. Alternatively, chirashi is a bowl of sushi rice topped with numerous varieties of sashimi (or none in any respect) and extra elements equivalent to greens.

Q: Is Chirashi gluten free?

A: This recipe shouldn’t be as soy sauce is used to flavour some elements. You can also make gluten-free chirashi for those who use gluten-free soy sauce to season some elements.

Keep Related

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Chirashi bowl up close image

Chirashi Sushi

Scrumptious and exquisite Chirashi sushi recipe that may be loved for a lot of particular events.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Foremost Course, Rice dish

Delicacies: Japanese

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook dinner Time 30 minutes

Servings: 4 serve

Energy: 430kcal

Charge this recipe



Sushi Rice

  • Wash the rice a number of instances until the water turns into clear.

  • Drain the water and place the rice in a rice cooker. Add 10% much less quantity of water than rice and the piece of kombu kelp in case you have.

  • Set the rice to prepare dinner as per your rice cooker.

  • Whereas the rice is cooking, in a small pot, warmth the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt collectively to make the sushi vinegar on medium warmth till the sugar dissolves.

  • Moisten the wood tub with water and wipe extra water off with a material.

  • As soon as the rice is cooked, take away the kelp strip (for those who used a kelp strip)  from the rice and place the rice into the wood tub. Pour the sushi vinegar over it and blend with a wood spatula to flavour the rice whereas fanning it to chill it down.

MIxing-in Elements

  • Whereas the rice is being cooked, put together “mixing in” elements. Squeeze extra water out of shiitake mushrooms. Do not discard the water as a result of it’s “shiitake dashi” and will probably be used to prepare dinner different elements.

  • Take away the stem off the soaked mushrooms and slice mushrooms thinly.

  • Place shiitake dashi, sliced shiitake mushrooms, carrot, kanpyo and all seasonings in a saucepan.

  • Carry it to boil, then simmer till many of the liquid evaporates.

  • Flip the warmth off, Drain any extra liquid left with a sieve.


  • Make tamagoyaki. Crack the eggs right into a small mixing bowl and add all seasonings for tamagoyaki, and whisk all collectively.

  • Pressure the egg combination with a sieve twice.

  • Warmth the oil in an oblong frying pan over medium warmth.

  • Pour 1/3 of the egg combination into the pan. Break any bubbles fashioned with a pair of chopsticks and scramble gently.

  • When the floor is solidified slightly, fold and push the egg to 1 finish of the pan with chopsticks 

  • Wipe the empty facet of the pan with oil-soaked kitchen paper and pour one other 1/3 of the egg combination into the empty house of the pan.

  • Raise the folded egg as much as let the egg combination run beneath it.

  • Fold and roll the egg from one facet of the pan and wipe the empty house of the pan with the oil-soaked kitchen paper.

  • Pour the final 1/3 of egg combination and repeat fold and roll. 

  • Flip the warmth off and take away the tamagoyaki egg roll from the pan. When it’s cooled down, reduce it into small cubes and put aside.

  • Defrost frozen lotus roots and string snow peas and parboil them and put aside.

Assemble Chirashi

  • Combine the cooked and drained extra liquid mixing-in elements into the sushi rice. Don’t mush it, slightly by slicing movement. *10

  • Scatter tamagoyaki cubes, snow peas, renkon lotus roots and sakura denbu over the sushi rice.

  • Garnish with chopped shiso leaves and thinly sliced myoga Japanese ginger.

  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds.


*1 See the detailed instruction and rationalization in Make Sushi Rice Completely publish. Additionally, there’s a sushi rice ingredient calculator to regulate the quantity. You want equal to 4 sushi rolls for this recipe. 
*2 You’ll be able to omit Kombu kelp for those who don’t have entry to this ingredient, nonetheless, in case you have it, positively use it because it offers additional umami kick to the sushi rice. 
*3 Don’t discard the soaking water. It’s shiitake mushroom dashi filled with umami and will probably be used for cooking mixing in elements. 
*4 I used ready-made Kanpyo packet from an area Japanese grocery retailer. If you cannot entry Kanpyo, you might substitute this with a-ge deep-fried tofu or koya dofu or konjac 
*5 Use the water used for soaking dried shiitake mushrooms (Shiitake Dashi). 
*6 I used already sliced and frozen Renkon that I purchased from a Japanese grocery retailer. 
*7 You should purchase from Japanese grocery shops or on-line. For those who can not entry this ingredient, you may exchange with one thing that provides a pinkish color like salmon roe, cod roe, or radish or cooked carrot reduce out into flower form. 
*8  Myoga is rising in my yard. Myoga is in season in Summer time and Autumn, you might discover contemporary myoga at Japanese/Asian grocery. If you cannot entry, you may omit this ingredient, or substitute with match stick like reduce ginger. 
*9 I develop Shiso leaves in my yard too as I like this Japanese herb. For those who can’t get shiso leaves, exchange with chopped scallions or cilantro for inexperienced color. 
*10 You should use the hangiri wood tub to serve, but when you’re going to serve in a unique bowl, you could take away blended sushi rice right into a bowl to serve at this level. 


Energy: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 7g | Fats: 3g | Saturated Fats: 1g | Trans Fats: 1g | Sodium: 1474mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1286IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 5mg

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