Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bara Sushi

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This colorful dish is called Bara Sushi, which can be served as a meal in itself or as a side dish.  Basically you mix sushi rice with various ingredients to get a "rice salad".  You can add any vegetable, fish, omelet, ginger, or whatever you like.  Some people like it with a strong vinegar taste, but my family recipe is a sweeter version.  We sometimes use this dish to stuff inari skins (seasoned tofu skins) to make inari sushi. 

3 cups short grain rice
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

4-5 dry shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup Yoshida sauce or any bottled teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted or chopped cooked green beans
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 sheet of nori (seaweed)
1-2 T red pickled ginger - shoga

Make the rice according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.  Mix the vinegar and sugar together and microwave for a 15-20 seconds until the sugar dissolves.  Mix the dry shiitake mushrooms with the teriyaki or Yoshida sauce with 1/3 cup water and microwave 3 min. until the mushrooms puff up and become reconstituted.  Let set for 30 min.  Squeeze the mushrooms to release some of the juice, then chop up the mushrooms. Grate the carrot and saute in a little butter until cooked.  Tear the nori into little bits and set aside.  When the rice has cooled, pour about 3/4 of the vinegar solution over the rice.  Add the mushrooms, carrots, sesame seeds and peas.  Mix well.  Important:  Right before serving, add more of the vinegar solution (to taste) as the rice will absorb it.  Then sprinkle the seaweed and red ginger over all.  Serve at room temperature.

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