One of my favorite spring traditions in Kyoto is the “ohanami,” or “flower viewing.” On a sunny day, families pack a picnic lunch to enjoy under the trees as blossoms drift around them. It’s a beautiful way to appreciate the season, and a wonderful time to spend with friends and loved ones.

TATCHA's Cultural Advisor and Senior Direct of Product, Nami Onodera, recently shared with me her favorite meal to bring to a flower viewing. It’s called “chirashi sushi,” or “scattered sushi”— and unlike the better-known and more traditional rolled sushi, this can be made by just about anyone, even kids! It's essentially sushi rice with a light seasoning and your favorite ingredients mixed in or sprinkled on top (sometimes aranged in pretty flower patterns or other colorful patterns). I love that it’s easy to make and endlessly customizable.

In addition to being quick and simple, it's also packed with the same ingredients as our skincare collection. The rice and seaweed offer nourishing actives and powerful antioxidants, keeping you beautiful from the inside out.

This recipe tastes best when served beneath blossoming cherry trees, but is delightful anytime the weather is warm and you are in for a treat. Here's a basic recipe to get you started, feel free to experiment. Enjoy!

CHIRASHI SUSHI

2 cups warm, freshly steamed rice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or sake
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Assorted toppings: Nami's favorites include cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, lightly boiled snow peas, nori (dried seaweed) cut into strips, beni shoga (pickled ginger) cut into thin strips, kinshi tamago (sweetened scrambled eggs) and ikura (salmon roe).

1. Combine the vinegar (or sake), sugar, and salt in a small saucepan.  Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and warm, stirring, until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

2. Put the warm freshly cooked rice in a wide, shallow wooden bowl.  Drizzle in seasoned vinegar little at time and gently fold it into the rice. It helps to fan the rice while doing this, to help it absorb the dressing and add shine. Taste the rice as you go and adjust the seasoning.

3. Spread the sushi rice on a plate, in a layer about 2/3” thick. Cover the toppings evenly over the top. I love when the different-colored toppings mix together, creating a beautiful spring-like look.

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published April 2014

Ingredients, Food
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Photo 1: Pickled lotus root makes a tasty topping for Chirashi Sushi, and lends a beautifully seasonal floral motif.

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