Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cooked Salmon Chirashi

April has been a SUPER busy month, y'all. My parents came to visit during the girls' spring break, then I hosted a baby shower for one of my hula sisters, then Dusty and I designed a Gaudi-style project for Art is Awesome!, which I taught last week. In between, I have been training for a hula competition in July and helping to coordinate a silent auction fundraiser, plus trying to manage our household as usual. 

Some nights have called for Costco chicken and whatever veggies we can scrounge up for dinner. But some nights, I manage to make something like this:
Yes, my kids eat this dish and love it. I know. I'm stunned, too.
This is my version of a cooked salmon chirashi. The Internet says that "chirashi" means "scattered" or "scattered sushi rice", and it can have a variety of toppings, including raw fish. The girls are too young yet to fully appreciate raw fish, so we will stick to cooked salmon for now.

Before I get down to it, let me show you a couple of pictures that will be important as we talk about the recipe.

This is a sushi rice mix recommended by one of my dearest hula sisters. I can't read any of the writing on it, so thank Goddess she pointed this out to me. If she hadn't, I would've had to figure out the correct ratios of vinegar to rice to furikake all by myself and that would've just ended in tears. (I'm just kidding. Sortof.) I found this mix in the spices and condiments aisle of my local Asian food store. 

This is ikura, or salmon roe, but not the fresh kind that you get at a sushi restaurant. As you can see on the label, it's salted. I get this in the freezer section of the fish department at my local Asian food store. The girls LOVE salted ikura. One of their favorite snacks is crackers, goat cheese, and a spoonful of salted ikura on top. This is an optional component of the dish, but I highly recommend it.

Ready to make Cookie-style chirashi? Let's rock!

Cooked Salmon Chirashi

Prep Time: ~30 minutes
Cook Time: ~15 minutes
Serves 2 adults, 2 small kids

3 cups cooked Jasmine rice
sushi rice mix 
1 medium carrot, julienned 
1 tbsp. sesame oil
4 eggs
splash of milk
black pepper
non-stick cooking spray (We use canola.)
1 lb. salmon filet, skin on
1 tbsp. peanut oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
cooked, shelled edamame
nori (seaweed), cut up into strips
Ikura  (optional)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix your cooked rice with the vinegar packet as directed on the sushi mix package. Set aside.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a skillet. Toss the carrot sticks into the skillet and saute until they are soft. Put the cooked carrots into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Spray the skillet from step 2 with non-stick cooking spray. Pour just enough of the egg mixture onto the skillet to coat the entire bottom. When the egg looks solid but not browned, turn the skillet over onto a cutting board. The skillet-shaped egg "omelet" should fall out onto the board. Repeat. 
  4. You should have two large, flat egg circles on your board. Cut the eggs into ribbon strips. Set aside.
  5. Generously season salmon filet with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. In same skillet from step 2 and 3, heat peanut oil. Place the salmon into the skillet skin side down. The skin should sizzle.
  6. While the salmon is cooking, shell your edamame if you haven't already. This would also be a good time to cut up your nori if you haven't already. The easiest way to cut nori sheets is with food-safe scissors.
  7. When the salmon looks halfway done (opaque and pink on the bottom, where the skin touches it, but not yet done at the top), turn the salmon over.
  8. Carefully slide the skin off the salmon with your spatula and maybe a knife. Place it beside the salmon so it can keep cooking and crisping up. 
  9. When the salmon is completely pink and opaque, turn the heat off and take the salmon out of the skillet. You may leave the skin on the skillet to keep crisping up off the residual heat. 
  10. Cut the salmon into four blocks, proportional to the size of the person consuming the block. I usually cube the salmon for the girls, too, but that is optional.
  11. When the skin seems crisp enough, take it out of the skillet and drain on a paper towel. You should be able to easily crack the skin into four pieces with your hands.
  12. Avengers Assemble! (Sorry, it had to be done.)
    1. Ladle the rice into the bottom of a bowl.
    2. Place the salmon in the middle of the bowl.
    3. Arrange the carrots, egg ribbons, and edamame around the salmon.
    4. (Optional) Using a teaspoon, scoop ikura on top of the salmon. 
    5. Sprinkle the nori and the contents of the furikake packet from the mix all over the top of the chirashi.
    6. Garnish with the salmon skin.
  13. Enjoy! Dusty usually has this with hot sake; I prefer a frosty beer. Mmm...