Love chirashi and want to make it at home? I'll walk you through all the fresh and easy ingredients (including sweet mushrooms and Japanese omelet) to make a classic chirashi bowl at home and it's faster than you think. Use as many or few of the toppings as you like. Let's go!
Love raw seafood? You might also like Salmon Crudo and Mexican Tuna Ceviche. For some other cooked seafood recipes, try Easy Tilapia Fish Tacos, Thai Prawn Salad With Mango,or easy Scallop Curry. For more Japanese style seafood recipes, check out Miso Baked Oysters and Crispy Japanese Fish Katsu With Homemade Katsu Sauce.
- A Healthy Bowl Of Leftovers? Yes!
- How To Make Kashi or Bara Chirashi
- The Difference Between Sashimi, Poke, Ngiri and Chirashi
- The Humble History Of The Chirashi Sushi Bowl
- How To Eat Chirashi
- Japanese Style Eggs On Rice
- Traditional Chirashi Sushi Bowl Ingredients
- Easiest Recipe For Japanese Chirashi Bowl
- Have You Visited Our Our Shop Yet?
A Healthy Bowl Of Leftovers? Yes!
Chirashi sushi bowl (often Chirashizushi in Japanese restaurants) is one of my favourite meals for healthy eating that doesn't feel like I'm missing out. A very healthy complete meal full of vitamins, minerals and protein that is also luxurious and addicting.
This recipe is so easy to customize that it's also great for families with picky eaters. (For another easy dressing for this salad, try the sesame based Goma Dressing Recipe, just like the kind you'll find on gomae in the best sushi restaurants.)
How To Make Kashi or Bara Chirashi
Rice topped with beautifully arranged ingredients make a delicious and colorful dish for company or a perfect one bowl meal for movie night at home. Mix up your toppings for a beautiful and colorful presentation. The Japanese make it two separate ways: Kashi Chirashi (or simply chirashi) is seafood and toppings organized and artfully arranged. Often the fish is of higher quality and cut more precisely. Bara Chirashi is the scattering of the ingredients over top, often with the seafood cubed and marinated in a light soy dressing.
The Difference Between Sashimi, Poke, Ngiri and Chirashi
Sashimi is skillfully cut and presented fish with no rice or vegetables. Ngiri sushi is a single slice of seafood or Japanese omelet on a bite sized rectangle of rice, sometimes garnished with some wasabi or seaweed. Poke is the most similar looking to chirashi as it is served on top of rice in a bowl but the fish (usually tuna) is marinated in a sweet soy dressing. Poke is a mash-up of Japanese and Hawaiian flavours.
The Humble History Of The Chirashi Sushi Bowl
There are a few theories behind the origin of Chirashi, the seasoned rice dish with delectable ingredients scattered over the top. The word itself means to scatter. Some say it was during the 1600's when Japanese people were ordered to live frugal lives including plain rice. To hide their seafood and vegetables the people would put them at the bottom of their bowl, hiding them from enforcement officials with a heap of plain rice. Once the diner had a safe or private place to eat, they would turn their bowl upside down and secretly enjoy their luxurious dinner.
The less exciting but very practical theory is that Chirashi was created to use up the less attractive pieces of fish leftover from making sashimi and ngiri. Restaurant versions favor raw fish but home cooks often use bits of cooked seafood.
So with that bit of history, you can see how versatile this dish is! This easy sushi dish is a fantastic way to use up leftover bits of cooked or raw seafood and vegetables from the week.
How To Eat Chirashi
Chirashi is eaten like sushi. Traditionally you eat it with chopsticks and a small dish of soy sauce to dip your bites into lightly. Season your soy sauce dip with a little wasabi to taste, if you like. It is better to dip your bites into the soy sauce as you go rather than pour soy all over the bowl because of the different treatment and flavours in the bowl.
Some items are better without soy and some with. You can eat your rice with bites of fish, or eat the fish alone as you do with sashimi and alternate with bites of rice to cleanse your palate between bites.
Japanese Style Eggs On Rice
In a true Japanese Chirashi, the ingredients are all prepared separately with their own marinade or seasoning. This can make the dish quite time consuming but my version is simplified with a dressing to lightly pour over the artfully arranged ingredients on rice. I have included the cucumber salad, seasoned mushrooms and Japanese omelet recipes because they are easy and add much to the variety of flavours.
(Here on the West Coast, we have a lot of Asian influenced food. One of my personal favourites are my Miso Baked Oysters, a riff on Oysters Motoyaki.)
Traditional Chirashi Sushi Bowl Ingredients
Traditional toppings include seaweed, cucumber, raw or cooked fish, crab, octopus or prawns, tobiko, egg (japanese omelet), seasoned mushrooms, shiso or microgreens, shredded or finely sliced carrot and daikon, edamame, lotus root and more.
Less traditional but also delicious toppings include avocado, cabbage or fresh herbs like mint or cilantro. You can go crazy and use it all or just choose your favourite few. We usually choose egg as a protein and sometimes one type of seafood followed by 3 vegetables and some seaweed as garnish. Get creative and add really anything at all, just slice it small or thin and arrange it attractively.
Easiest Recipe For Japanese Chirashi Bowl
Please don't be daunted by all the ingredients, I've included a long list so you can choose your favourites, I don't expect anyone to use all of them. Start cooking your rice and you can make the toppings while it cooks or make the toppings ahead of time. Assembling a Chirashi bowl is just like assembling a salad. Go all out with luxury or keep it minimal and just choose 2 veggies, 1 or 2 proteins and a garnish and you've got a healthy and delicious dish.
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Happy, healthy eating my Friends, kanpai!
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Cheers friends! Sabrina
Chirashi Sushi Bowl (Chirashizushi)
Chirashi Sushi Toppings And Garnishes
- Cooked and shelled edamame beans, wakame or nori seaweed, thinly sliced, shredded or julienne carrot and daikon (Japanese radish), thinly sliced sushi grade raw seafood or bits of cooked seafood
- Seasoned mushrooms, cucumber and omelet (recipes below)
- Garnishes: Wasabi, pickled ginger, shiso leaves or microgreens, sliced scallions, sesame seeds, tobiko, lotus root, edible flowers such as shiso or thyme flowers (the Japanese love a beautiful dish!)
Seasoned Sushi Rice
- 1.5 c Short grain white or brown rice, cooked according to package.
- 3 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 c Cucumbers, sliced very thin in rounds
- ¼ c Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
Sweet Seasoned Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1 c Shiitake Mushroom, sliced ¼"
- 2 tablespoon Mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine) or 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- pinch Salt
Chirashi Sushi Dressing
- 2 tablespoon Mirin or 2 teaspoon each sugar and water
- 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 tablespoon Green Tea or water
Seasoned Sushi Rice
- Once you've cooked your rice, mix vinegar, sugar and salt together and sprinkle over rice. Stir gently and leave to cool until ready to serve. *Note, seasoning the rice is optional. Also, if you have kombu seaweed, you can add a chunk to the rice while it cooks to add more authentic Japanese flavour.
- Combine sliced cucumber, vinegar and sugar and let sit until ready to use, up to 4 hours. Drain cucumber before adding to dish.
Sweet Seasoned Shiitake Mushrooms
- Toss all ingredients with mushrooms and add to a small non-stick pan. Cook gently on medium low until the liquid is almost evaporated. Let cool, then use for topping dish.
- Beat eggs well with sugar and salt. Preheat a large pan on medium, oil very lightly and then pour in eggs to make a paper thin omelet. Once cooked through (only about 1 minute), cool slightly, roll onto a plate and once it is room temperature, slice it into julienne (thin) strips.
Chirashi Sushi Dressing
- Mix all ingredients together and lightly spoon over arranged Chirashi bowls.
- Fill the bottom half of your bowl with 1 cup of rice. Then artfully arrange your chosen ingredients on top and gently spoon a few teaspoons of dressing over any unseasoned toppings and enjoy. Serve with additional soy sauce for dipping if desired. Kanpai!
Note: the nutritional information includes the prepared recipe as written but not the optional ingredient suggestions. Nutritional information is an estimate based on standard ingredients.
Chirashi is one of my favourite things to order in Korean restaurants. I've never made it at home but now this could change!
I hope you try making it, it’s really easy and (I think) just as good as restaurant versions. Thanks for reading along 🙂
We love all Japanese dishes, and this bowl looks so nourishing and satisfying, as well as easy and versatile. I just want to dig in, so I'm pinning for later. Thanks, Sabrina!
Thanks for your kind words Colleen! I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂 Happy New Year!
Love this post Sabrina! Chirashi bowl is one of my favourite lunches out, but I've never made one at home. I recently had one at a local oceanwise fish take out and was a bit disappointed as it appeared most of the fish was scraps instead of the nice slices of sashimi. Then, as I thought of it more I realized that the whole purpose of the bowl was to get rid of scraps. Your post reinforces that!
Haha, yep except those “scraps” still need to be fresh and tasty. Give it a go, you won’t regret this one! Happy New Year Bernice!
This bowl looks amazing! I’ve been searching for lighter dishes to start this new year and am excited to give this one a try.
Thank you Kate, I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. Light and super flavourful at the same time. Cheers 🙂
I love a good chirashi bowl...and this is a great way to introduce people to the dish and how to make it! And that's an interesting tidbit about the "scraps" because Japanese restaurants definitely don't charge you "scrap" prices for chirashi bowls!
Haha, that is true $$$ Lisa! I hope my instructions guide even a cooking beginner through this! Cheers 🙂
it looks absolutely delish! I love a good CHirashi bowl but also scared to prepare at home!
Give it a shot, it’s easier than it looks! Good luck 🙂
Sabrina, this bowl is absolutely stunning! Love the presentation and the colour combinations! I enjoy recipes like this that allow you to pick and choose your toppings. I don't usually eat raw seafood so I'm glad I can customize this bowl with cooked seafood!
Thanks Leanne, you’re exactly right. It’s great for vegetarians because of this too. Thanks for weighing in!
Katherine | Love In My Oven
What a delicious and creative idea!! I am such a fan of sushi, I would definitely dig into this one!! I just love all the colors too. Pinning!
Thank you so much Katherine! I hope you love it 🙂
I love this! My teenager is all into bowl meals right now. He will love this combo. It's pretty too.
That's awesome! Enjoy 🙂
What a cool dish ! And I love the first theory - it's much more fun 🙂
Right?!?! I love the why’s and how’s of food history!
Sushi is not an indian thing thus to make it was very difficult for me but this article realy helped making it and keeping just the right blend with utmost precision thank you for sharing it I will surely recommend it as the culture it comes from keeps due care that it doesnt looses its significance.
Thank you for the kind words Supriya! I am glad this helped walk you through all the steps. This is truly one of my favourite Japanese dishes.
Fantastic recipe and explanation! Love it!
Thank you so much:-)
We loved it!
I’m so glad Kristina!
Sushi is my absolute favorite! This is such a great idea for having sushi at home. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Lindsay. It’s nice to have the flavours without the fuss of rolling!
I love bowl meals and this one did not disappoint! Thank you!
You’re welcome Sue!
Your pictures are wonderful!
Thank you so much Angela 🙂
So beautiful and so easy!
Such a delicious combination! Thank you for the recipe!
You're welcome, thanks for the kind words Capri!
Love this recipe, and your presentation is so beautiful...I hope mine comes close!
Thank you so much Emily!
Such a beautiful bowl of food. I love being able to make this at home and satisfy all the sushi cravings.
Awesome Laura! Enjoy 🙂
Yum! I super love sushi and this bowl looks divine!
Thanks so much Dennis!
Perfect recipe for any seafood lover!
This bowl looks yummy. I am not familiar with sushi, so your breakdown of the difference between Sashimi, Poke, Ngiri and Chirashi was extremely helpful.
Oh my....a bowl full of goodness. Everything tasted amazing and the final product was gorgeous to boot.
That’s awesome! I’m so glad!!!
Sabrina, you've got me drooling! I have a little Japanese restaurant close by and I go there for chirashi don all the time. Theirs is the beautiful kashi style. I've also had bara style and thought for sure it is the perfect way to get rid of the odds and ends fish leftovers. Thanks for the very informative post!
You’re welcome Bernice, good luck 🙂
This looks just stunning…. Definitely something to make for a special weekend treat…. Date night at home!
I used to be intimidated by making sushi bowls at home but this makes it so simple. Delicious!
That is definitely my goal, I’m so glad it helped you!
Chirashi is definitely a favourite dish we always order when going out to a Korean restaurants but I have to give it a try at home. You have made it sounds like it’s very easy to make so it is on the list to make now. I cannot wait!
Missing Japanese food so much I haven't had it in forever! So drooling over here!!
I do love a pretty chirashi bowl, or chirashi don. It's a dish I order quite often from my local sushi spot. I think it's great how something so pretty is made from scraps.
I love a good chirashi don! it is perfect for summer when it is way tooo hot to cook
Stumbled upon your recipe so randomly and look who’s going to the market tonight to get these ingredients? ME!
Awesome Julie! Enjoy the market and your dinner 🙂