I would’ve never thought pairing sumeshi (vinegared sushi rice) and curry powder could deliver such a great combination. The flavors in this unconventional chirashi are so delicately nuanced, I couldn’t help but feel it exemplifies a Japanese sensibility. I’m not always in the mood for curry-flavored foods because I expect it to be overwhelming, but this dish definitely proves me wrong. The vinegar plants a sour note while the curry gently rounds out the flavor with its savoriness. The blanched snow peas are crisp and sweet, making this a light but satisfying dish. Perfect for this warm spring weather, in fact.
Sometimes it’s hard to modernize traditional dishes successfully, but this is a good example of it. Even though this isn’t a typical chirashi, it manages to keep the essence and spirit of the original dish. I picked this recipe only because the ingredients were accessible, so I was surprised at how much I liked it. This dish would go well with miso soup and a simple nimono (stewed or braised dish). I hope you have a chance to make it!
Tuna Chirashi with Snow Peas | Tsuna Soboro to Kinusaya no Chirashizushi
Adapted from きょうの料理ビギナーズ（2010年３月号）
Makes 2 servings
15 snow peas
1 can solid tuna packed in oil, drained
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. shoyu
pinch of salt
pinch of finely ground pepper
14 oz. sushi rice (recipe below)
Blanch the snow peas by cooking in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, then shock them in a bowl of ice water. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel. Trim ends and cut diagonally into 1/2″ pieces.
In a small pan, cook the tuna over medium heat. With the back of a wooden spoon, break up the pieces of tuna into small flakes. Add the curry powder, shoyu, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined and then turn the heat off and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the sushi rice (you can use the bowl you were using to mix and cool the vinegared rice) and the tuna. Mix until well incorporated, then add the snow peas and fold in.
14 oz. cooked short-grain rice
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 2/3 tsp. sugar
2/3 tsp. salt
Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pan over low heat and whisk until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Put the hot rice in a large bowl. Take the rice scoop and hold it over the bowl with the flat side parallel to the counter. Slowly pour the vinegar mixture onto the scoop and rotate around so the vinegar mixture pours evenly around the rice. Mix the rice quickly to combine, then fan the rice to cool. Don’t mix the rice too much at this point, otherwise the rice will become mushy. I mixed the rice a total of 2-3 times when fanning, just to make sure the rice was completely cool. When you mix, do it in a folding/cutting motion, being careful not to crush the rice. The rice is ready once it has completely cooled.