Called chirashi sushi in Japanese, the name simply means “scattered sushi,” because rather than roll everything in a sheet of seaweed, it’s put together in a bowl. How easy is that?
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1½ cups Japanese or sushi rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 Dungeness crab clusters (2 bodies, 8 legs, 2 claws), thawed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled ginger
- 1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi paste, depending on heat preference
- 4 radishes, cut into fine matchsticks
- 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
- 2 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- One 8-by-7½-inch sheet of nori (Japanese seaweed), finely shredded
MAKE THE RICE
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the vinegar with the sugar and ½ teaspoon salt, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let sit off the heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
Spread the rice in a large shallow bowl or baking sheet and toss with the reserved sweetened vinegar. Refrigerate briefly until cool.
STEAM THE CRAB
Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the crab, cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, until just heated through. Remove the meat and break into 1-inch pieces. (Save shells for another use.)
PREPARE THE DRESSING
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar with the soy sauce, oil, ginger, and wasabi paste. Season with salt.
ASSEMBLE AND SERVE
Add the radishes, scallions, and cucumbers to the rice, pour the dressing over, and toss gently to combine. Fold in the crab and spoon into bowls. Garnish with the avocado (if using), sesame seeds, and shredded nori just before serving.
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Pair it Up
Match the flavors of toasted sesame seeds, seasoned sushi rice, and sweet crab with a crisp, aromatic Austrian riesling.
Level it Up
If you can’t find pickled ginger, use 1 teaspoon each grated fresh ginger, rice vinegar, and sugar. One whole bairdi crab cluster (1 body, 4 legs, 1 claw) can be used in place of the Dungeness crab.
Change it Up
Wrap any leftover crab, rice, and avocado in green leaf or butter lettuce leaves for a light lunch.
Lighten it Up
Brown rice is a more nutritious option than white rice, though not traditional. Give yourself 30 extra minutes for it to cook.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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