Bara chirashi

This absolutely stunning dish of mixed sashimi on a bed of rice is almost too beautiful to eat! While it would take a seriously dedicated and skilled home cook to put something like this together, certain elements such as the fluffy kasutera omelette and soy-cured quail eggs are fantastic little micro-recipes that can be used in all sorts of dishes. Whether you cook this or not (and please let us know if you do!), it’s a fascinating insight into just how much work goes into a dish as beautiful as this.

First published in 2020
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Rice

Kasutera omelette

Soy-cured quail eggs

Sashimi

  • 400g of yellowfin tuna, cod, salmon, cooked eel, king crab or whatever fish is at its best and freshest on the day
  • soy sauce, for marinating

Garnish

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Stand mixer

Method

1
The day before you plan to serve this dish, place the quail eggs in the freezer and prepare the vinegar for the sushi rice. Mix the sugar and salt into the rice vinegar until dissolved (without heating the vinegar), then add the kombu and leave to infuse overnight in the fridge
2
The next day, remove the quail eggs from the freezer and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, bring the mirin and sake to the boil in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat and add the soy sauce. Set aside to cool
3
When the quail eggs have come up to room temperature, carefully crack them open and separate the yolks, placing them gently into the cooled soy sauce mixture. Leave to marinate for 2 hours
4
Meanwhile, wash the rice very well in several changes of water, then leave to drain for 5 minutes. Add the rice to a pan with 300ml water, then cover and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to low, then cook for another 20 minutes
5
Once the rice is cooked, place it into a mixing bowl and pour over the sushi vinegar (discarding the kombu). Use a cutting motion with a paddle or spoon to combine the vinegar and the rice, then set aside to cool
6
To make the omelette, pour the egg whites into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk on a medium speed until beginning to stiffen. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time until the mixture turns white, glossy and stiff
7
Blitz the rest of the ingredients for the omelette in a blender or food processor until smooth, then carefully fold in the whisked egg whites, trying to keep as much air in the mixture as possible
8
Preheat an oven to 140°C/gas mark 1. Pour the mixture into an omelette pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until the bottom has just set, then transfer to the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool, then cut into 2cm cubes
9
For the sashimi, cut whatever fish and seafood you have into 2cm cubes, then marinate in soy sauce for 5 minutes. You can use a variety of different marinades here too, such as dashi, kelp or yuzu kosho. Once the 5 minutes are up, drain the fish on kitchen paper to remove and excess sauce
  • 400g of yellowfin tuna, cod, salmon, cooked eel, king crab or whatever fish is at its best and freshest on the day
  • soy sauce, for marinating
10
To serve, make a bed of sushi rice in the bottom of the bowl or box you’re serving in. Top with the sashimi, diced omelette and cured quail egg yolks, then arrange your garnishes as beautifully as you can. Take your time – the dish in the image above took chef Masaki 10 minutes to arrange! – and of course, make sure you take a picture of your hard work before diving in!

A traditionally trained Japanese chef, Masaki's creative flair meant moving away from the strict culinary rules of his home country to create a fusion-led approach to modern Japanese food in London.

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