Bento no. 23: Parsley lemon sushi with salmon

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Bento contents:

  • Parsley and shiso leaves in lemon-flavored sushi with 1 cup white rice cooked with white zakkoku mix (approx: 200cal)
  • Lotus root slices (approx. 20 cal)
  • Salted salmon, about 50 g / 1 3/4 oz (approx. 80 cal)
  • Usuyaki tamago (thin egg omelette) (approx. 80 cal)

Total calories (approx): 380 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 20 minutes in the morning, 10-15 the night before

__Type: Japanese, sushi, fish based, gluten-free

The weather here has been wonderful the last few days, and it's beginning to feel a bit like spring. I'm pretty sure that that means we'll have a big snowstorm or something in March, but it's nice to imagine that we can jump straight to warmer weather.

Spring is a great time for sushi. This is another chirashizushi (see bento no. 20 for another one), where the sushi rice is not formed. Instead of the usual rice vinegar, I used lemon juice as the sour element in the flavoring sauce, and instead of the shiso leaves which are often used in sushi, I used flat leaf parsley. There'a lot of parsley in fact, which almost turns it almost into a rice salad. It has a very refreshing taste. Parsley is bursting with vitamins and such, so in this bento it serves as the green vegetable. The lemon juice adds vitamin C too.

I might normally shred up the salmon and mix it into the rice, but I kept it separate here just because I felt like it.

Here's the Guy version of the bento, containing about 1 1/2 cups worth of rice and more salmon.

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The recipe for usuyaki tamago or thin omelette is given on Just Hungry. Use about 1 egg's worth of egg mix per person.

Lotus root poached in dashi and vinegar

The lotus root is cooked in a little dashi stock and vinegar the night before and chilled. It lasts for a few days so you can increase the amount if you like.

  • About a 2 inch / 5 cm length of fresh or parboiled lotus root, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • 1 cup dashi stock (you can use water plus 1 tsp. or dashi stock granules)
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the lotus root and bring to a slow boil. Put in the lotus root slices and simmer for about 5 minutes. Store in the cooking liquid.

Parsley and lemon sushi rice

It's rather more convenient to make this sushi rice in some quantity. Leftover rice can be well wrapped and refrigerated for a day, or frozen.

  • 2 rice cooker cups worth of cooked rice, optionally with zakkoku mix added (More about _zakkokumai_. )
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 330ml) of roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (110ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch dashi granules (optional)

Combine the lemon juice, honey and salt in a small pan and mix over heat until the salt is dissolved.

Put the hot rice in a bowl or hangiri. Pour over the lemon juice mix and mix in well, fluffing the rice up as you go. Add the parsley and mix well. The heat of the rice will wilt down the parsley a bit.

Procedure

  • Wash the rice and set the timer on your rice cooker, and cook the lotus root the night before. You can also prepare the lemon juice mix and chop up the parsley. In the morning:
  • bake a small piece of salmon per person, sprinkle with salt if you're using fresh salmon, and bake for about 10 minutes in a toaster oven. (If you don't have a toaster oven, dry-roast the salmon in a non-stick frying pan.)
  • Mix the hot rice, lemon mix and parsley, as above.
  • Make the usuyaki tamago folowing these instructions, using 1 egg per person.
  • Put the warm sushi rice in the bento box. Allow to cool.
  • Drain the lotus root and put in the bento box.
  • Cool off the salmon a bit and put in the bento box.
  • Shred the usuyaki tamago and arrange on top of the rice.
  • Add some shredded nori if you like.

Timeline

Note that you can, if you prefer, make the sushi rice the night before, but it will taste a lot better if you make it in the morning. The tamago can also be made in advance...but also tastes better cooked in the morning. Here I am assuming that you are cooking both in the morning.

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