Thursday, July 4, 2013

chirashizushi (sushi bowl)

When I see my mum in Sydney or if she visits me in Canberra, she often provides me with an abundance of food, ranging from home made minced beef, to abalone soup and fish/corn stirfry. Last year she gave me a couple of packets of Japanese style eel, something that I love eating in restaurants... but haven't figured out how to cook.

I've also been trying to overcome my fear of eating carb-dominated food at any meal except breakfast. When I say carbs, I mean brown rice, wholemeal pasta and bread rather than the carbs you find in fruit/veges. However, I realised that I need carbs for longer term energy (2-4 hours) rather than relying on the sugar boost that fruit will give me. I stomached the courage to remake chirashizushi, which is sushi in a bowl. I tried it once in a Sydney restaurant and loved it. I made this before but burnt the eel by overcooking it in the microwave. Silly me.

My nutritionist recently advised me that if I continue to maintain my underweight BMI, it is likely my bones will crush and I will have huge skeletal surgeries when I'm an old shruken lady... okay not exactly, but being underweight is a huge risk factor in having low bone density and all sorts of issues in the long term. So this is the first meal I've cooked in ages that has rice.

The base of the dish should include sushi-style rice (rice cooled with sushi vinegar). At the last minute, I realised that I didn't have sushi vinegar so tried to substitute it with rice wine and white vinegar... haha and it was nothing like sushi rice.

I topped the rice with blanched carrots, snow peas, green beans and chinese cabbage. I also added shitaake mushrooms marinated in soy sauce and mirin. I made a Japanese style omelette - this consisted of egg, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and salt and I tried rolling in the way Japanese restaurants do. (visible in the second picture). This time I didn't burn the eel (yay). I added some wasabi for a kick and sesame seeds. 

The second time I prepared this, I also add bits of seaweed. More of a sushi experience! 

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