Chirashé-zushi is stuff (usually fish and vegetables or pickles) scattered on top of a bowl of rice. This is a vegetarian version, served at room temperature. To make it you will need the following items (though you can substitute, of course).

What to do:

I made this for breakfast an hour ago for fifteen people, so it’s very fresh in my mind. Begin by beating eggs in a bowl, heat a skillet to medium-high and make very thin omelets using either canola or grapeseed oil (not butter). I used two eggs per person, cooked the first omelet, turned it onto a cutting board, lightly salted it and spread a very thin layer of wasabi paste on it. Don’t use too much wasabi or it will overpower the other ingredients. As I continued cooking omelets, I laid them one on top of the other, adding more salt and wasabi each time. When you have all of the omelets cooked, slice through the whole stack, cutting them into squares or strips. Use the back of your knife to push the omelet pieces into a large mixing bowl.

Next, cut takuan pickle and pickled ginger into small pieces. Quarter the English cucumber lengthwise and cut it into quarter-inch chunks. Cut the scallions into quarter inch slices, cutting on the diagonal. Set aside a little of the cut scallions for a garnish and add the rest to the mixing bowl along with the baby spinach or other tender greens. Now add in the rice, a little salt, white pepper and some rice vinegar. Mix well using your hands so that you don’t break the omelet into bits. Taste to see if it needs more vinegar or salt. You could also use some of the liquid that pickled ginger is packed in – a sweetened vinegar.

Garnish with the rest of the cut scallions and some togarashi.

The flavours are very bright, the contrast in textures from the rice, omelet, crunchy cucumber and pickles is really interesting. And since it is served at room temperature it can be made up several hours in advance. If you don't want to use eggs, a sprinkling of gomasio will provide some protein in combination with the rice, but the taste of the wasabi with strips of omelet is a lot of fun.

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