For those unfamiliar with the concept, chirashi is basically “stuff on sushi rice”, and it’s a fantastic way to take your sushi out of the roll and into the bowl. For people who don’t like seaweed, it’s a great way to make this kind of combination more accessible. This particular recipe is also incredibly easy to make, assuming your sushi rice doesn’t have some kind of really interesting science-experiment-level reaction with your rice cooker, as mine did, forcing a delay while you make MORE rice on the stove. Yeah, some days are like that. At least it all turned out tasty.
As a note, I’ll point out that you don’t have to use the specific items that I recommend; there are other ways around. It’s easy enough to substitute with items that better fit your particular bend or that are easier for you to find (for example, swap the scallops for firm tofu to make it vegetarian). To that end, I’ve broken things up a little, and I’m offering up a couple of solutions to the matter at hand.
Lastly, and very importantly, if using items out of a box or a bag, such as sushi rice, please do follow whatever directions exist on the packaging so that you’re cooking the items properly. That may mean adjusting the timing of the different pieces, but a little preparation can make everything ready right at the same time. Substituting regular long-grain white rice for the short-grain sushi rice may not work as well when it comes to the rice wine vinegar/sugar mixture and it won’t have the stickiness of its short-grain cousin, so your mileage may vary depending upon where/how you employ alternate options. Even so, if you taste the combinations as you put them together, you can adjust on the fly and truly make this dish something unique for you.
Prep Time: 15 minutes, some of which is concurrent with the rice cooking
Cooking Time: 30-75 minutes, depending upon rice cooking method
1 cup sushi rice, uncooked
2 cups water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tb white sugar
3/4 – 1lb fresh sea scallops
1/4-1/2 cup sherry or white cooking wine
2 Tb olive oil
4 Tb Japanese mayonnaise or (any brand) full-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp Sriracha OR (2 tsp Tabasco sauce + 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 oz peeled & cut mango
Make it Happen
1. Prepare according to instructions on the package, noting that rice cooker cooking time may be longer than if you cook it on the stove. Best to get the rice going FIRST, since that will be the longest of the items that needs to be made.
2. When the rice is done cooking, measure out the rice wine vinegar into a glass (or other form of microwave-safe) measuring cup; add the sugar and stir to combine. Heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
3. Stir the heated mixture well, until the sugar dissolves, then sprinkle/gently pour it on the rice as you stir to coat the rice with the mixture. [Note that typically, when making sushi, you want to cool the rice somewhat before this particular step. For chirashi, some of the pressure is off, since stickiness and consistency are fine in a bowl; if you are making the rice for sushi in rolled form, definitely fan the rice before and while you do this step.]
Scallops and Mayo:
1. When the rice has approximately 20-25 minutes left to cook, add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and heat on medium-high.
2. Wash the scallops and remove the foot from each scallop; then chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the scallops to the pan and stir to coat. Let the scallops cook for about 3-4 minutes before turning to cook the other side, then add the sherry or cooking wine and move on to the spicy mayo.
3. Spicy mayo can be done with the Japanese or full-fat mayo and EITHER Sriracha (spicy option #1) OR a combination of Tabasco sauce and garlic powder (spicy option #2). In either event, put the mayo into a small glass or other non-reactive bowl and then add the your chosen spicy option.
Since “spicy” is all in the tastebuds of the beholder, the quantities I list above are just illustrative; adjust as needed to meet your needs.
If the mayo is TOO spicy, add more mayo. If the mayo isn’t spicy enough, add more of your spicy option, noting that if you’re doing the Tabasco/garlic powder combination, you may need to adjust both. Set aside when done.
4. Keep stirring the scallops until they’re fully cooked; typically they’re done by the time the wine has finished cooking off, which can be about 10-15 minutes total cook time from when the scallops went into the pan.
5. Chop the mango and avocado into bites approximately the same size as the scallops.
6. When the scallops and rice are done, place a layer of rice in the bottom of a bowl, then add half the scallops to the center, in a stripe, followed by stripes on either side with half each of the chopped mango and avocado. Drizzle the spicy mayo on top.
You may find that you want to add some soy sauce, as well, if you’re used to having that on rice, so it may be worthwhile to keep a bottle of Kikkoman or Tamari handy. If you decide to do that, I would recommend waiting until after you’ve put the bowl together and then add soy sauce to taste.