Brand: Family Mart
Cost: 119 yen
Found At: Family Mart
Chirashi sushi literally translates as “scattered sushi,” but I think a Bellingham restaurant translated it best as “kitchen sink” sushi. Basically, it’s a bed of sushi rice, covered with everything but the kitchen sink. I like it because it is often the cheapest of the sushi options – consisting of all the ugly cuts of fish tossed on a bed of rice with some thin strips of egg for extra color. It tastes the same as sashimi, but it’s half the price. My host mother used to make it on special occasions – like birthdays or little-league games – creating a mountain of salmon and tuna and egg that completely dwarfed the sushi rice beneath it. We’d all sit around the kitchen table, stuffing ourselves with raw fish until we couldn’t eat another bite. Suffice it to say, I’ve got a lot of happy memories associated with chirashi sushi.
There are any number of variations on this theme from Edo-style, which is just expensive sashimi artfully arranged on a bed or rice, to Kansai-style with the fish and rice all mixed together, to Kyuushu style, with rice wine instead of rice vinegar. But no matter how it’s made, it’s inevitably a cheap and cheerful option for the frugal sushi lover. This onigiri especially seems to be a down market take on the kitchen sink. It’s not so flavorful, but it’s got a nice variety of ingredients to recommend it like salmon and egg and seaweed. If you’re looking for the chirashi sushi experience, there’s a lot to be desired, but if you’re looking for an easy, quick meal on the go, it does the job very well.