Today I got it together enough to finally make my first chirashizushi, “scattered sushi.” While fancy rolls, cones, and boxed molds are prevalent on the restaurant scene, in the home people tend to opt for this more rustic version. I received such advice from the wonderful owner of the local Japanese market, who also was concerned for my time and encouraged me to simply buy the prepackaged, dehydrated rice mix rather than cook everything myself. Being hard headed, I chose a (slightly) more difficult route, purchasing instead some pre-boiled bamboo shoots and lotus roots, and a package of umeboshi (tiny, rosy pickled plums.)
I prepared my sushi rice and cooked the bamboo with some mirin, sesame, and soy. I stir fried the lotus with dashi-infused soy sauce, mainly because I have no idea how to correctly use dashi but knew that umami, being one of the five flavors, had to be present (it kind of worked.) I arranged my sushi as prettily as possible.
While tasty, it was a bit underwhelming. I am looking forward to making new and more adventurous dishes- the goal being more colors, textures, and flavors. Different roes will help, along with tamago and the leaves from my shiso plant that hopefully rebound in the spring. Until then, I will leave you with a picture of my dream sushi: