「春のちらし寿司」 (Haru no Chirashi Sushi)
“Spring Chirashi Sushi”
This Saturday on March 3rd is Hinamatsuri! Otherwise known as Girls’ Day, it’s a celebration where people set up ornamental dolls in the fashion of traditional court dress from the Heian period. In our latest installment of Emiya-kun, we celebrate Girls’ Day with all of our Stay/Night girls: Taiga, Saber, Rin, Sakura, Rider, and our special guest, Illya. Particularly, Illya has been invited to celebrate as part of Taiga’s initiative to enlighten her with Japanese culture, although this might be her excuse to dress Illya in a flashy yukata.
It was a fun way to reintroduce most of the Stay/Night girls back into the fold (apologies to Kaede, Bazett, and Caster) as they interact with one another in preparation for Emiya’s Girls’ Day meal. It was funny to see how excited Taiga was about the elaborate set-up for Illya as well as seeing how Sakura and Rin interact with one another. The latter two are even able to step up to the plate as Sakura creates a blossom out of raw salmon for the chirashi and Rin makes her own omelette rice Hina dolls. I enjoyed how they made Rin awkwardly enjoy being able to do her part as Sakura is confused by her tsundere traits. Saber was more on stand-by this time around, but did help bring Illya over. Around the end, they highlighted Illya’s casual personality as she latches onto Emiya through a sister-like clinginess, and tries to get him to compliment her yukata. Much like the Lancer episode, the series continues to have a lot of fun with characters who deserved to be much happier, and it’s nice to see Illya and Sakura in much happier scenarios.
And without further ado, this month’s item on Emiya’s menu is:
Lotus root, carrot, bamboo shoots (get two portions worth; one is for the rice, one is for garnish)
Dried shitake mushroom (rehydrate them for 20-30 mins with Water and Dashi, set the mushroom water aside after draining the mushrooms and removing the dashi)
Egg, Salt, and Sugar
Raw sushi-grade salmon
Ikura (salmon roe)
SIDE NOTE: Remember, chirashi is a versatile dish. Use whatever vegetables or seafood you wish. If you can’t guarantee that the salmon around you is OK to eat raw or sushi-grade, go with shrimp and fish roe. If sushi grade tuna is easiest to grab, go for it. It’s all about what you’d like from your chirashi.
Directions (As Paraphrased from Emiya Shirou):
1. After rinsing the rice, put it through a strainer to drain the liquid.
2. Slice your carrots, lotus root, bamboo shoots, and rehydrated shiitake. Soak the lotus root in water
3. Place your slice vegetables into your rice cooker with the rice, adding slightly less than the water level marker. (If you want to be specific, boil your vegetables separately because Emiya took the easy way out when he put everything in the rice cooker)
4. Add soy sauce, sake, mirin, and dashi liquid from the mushroom water.
5. Create Kinshi Tamago by mixing egg, salt, and sugar, straining them to make a thin crepe. Once you julienne slice the cooked egg, set aside.
6. Bring snow peas, carrots, and lotus root for garnish to a quick boil in salt water, and cool them off in a bowl of water.
7. To cook the shrimp, heat them in a pot with sake, and then transfer them in sushi vinegar once they’re pink.
8. When the rice is finished, remove the shrimp and mix the rice vinegar with the rice, stirring it about in a vertical chopping motion.
9. Once the rice gets heavier to scoop, let it rest and cook it off with a fan.
10. Flip every so often to expose hot parts. A cooler rice makes a glossy sheen that’s attractive.
11. Add veg, Tamago, Ikura, shrimp, and salmon on top. If you can’t arrange the salmon to look like a rose like Sakura, just elaborately arrange the salmon sashimi slices around the rice with the shrimp.
12. For a Taiga-approved meal, serve with a cup of amazake.