Five-Color Sushi

This is a type of scattered sushi, please click here to read about this recipe!

Gomoku-Zushi 1tess

Scattered sushi and scattered life was the sort of evening we had. Mr. Tess was packing—involved some laundry (of course), searching for keys (oc in [my version of] textspeak), fixing the sink spray-hose thing-y which I don’t use (it has not worked for years), him going to the library for books on CD (didn’t return the Dr. Who DVD), me not starting to prepare dinner ’til 5 pm (due to being lethargic and depressed), putting the sink back together—so I can run water without it coming out in two places (involved an extra trip to the hardware store to get parts—do you realize how much water is wasted when washing rice especiall when half of it just goes down the drain??), me realizing that it was too late to thaw and cook the salmon, and that I must *not* have purchased the kanpyo (couldn’t find it anyway) just as he got back from the hardware (didn’t even ask—he’s not going out again!), him feeding the cats and me realizing that I should have read the recipe more carefully and started cooking much, much earlier, (me having a meltdown—a shower and a little one-on-one time does miracles, by the way), so we did not eat dinner until 10:30 pm. Oh life! Mr. Tess left this morning to work in the romantic city of Des Moines, IA for ___ [fill in the blank] weeks.

Gomoku-Zushi 1tess

And that Mr. Joyce was a genius with a long sentence, was he not?
{I had to use “[] () and —!!!!}   ≥^.^≤

Gomokuzushi 1tess

This would be a nice party dish.

Gomokuzushi 1tess

The components can be prepared ahead of time, leaving the hostess with the light duty of assembling a work of beauty. Vinegared rice is tossed with five colors and five flavors of ingredients: vegetables, omelette, and cooked seafood such as shrimp, smoked salmon, fresh salmon roe, or (as I used) pan-fried scallops. I’m thinking that lobster would be luscious…
for my scattered thoughts, click here!

Five-Color Sushi
Gomoku-Zushi 1tessGomokuzushi
page 287
serves 5 to 10
☆ Vegetable mix:

  • 5 dried shiitake, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • One 1-ounce package kanpyo (dried gourd), rubbed with salt and soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons hijiki sea vegetable, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons shoyu

Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and cut off their stems. Drain the dried gourd strips and hijiki seavegetable, discarding the water. In a saucepan, combine the mushrooms, gourd strips, and hijiki. Add the reserved mushroom water to cover the vegetables by 1/2-inch (add more water if needed). Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook, covered with a drop lid (otoshi-buta), over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
Add 3 Tablespoons sugar to the saucepan, turn the vegetables, and cook, covered with the drop lid, for 5 minutes.
Add the shoyu, and cook, twice removing the drop lid to turn the vegetables, until almost all the liquid is evaporated or absorbed. Toward the end of the cooking, remove the drop lid to promote quick evaporation.
Drain the vegetables in a colander, discarding the cooking liquid. Cool. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and gourd strips. At this point you can put these vegetables into a covered container and store them in the refrigerator for a day, or, for later use, freeze them.
☆ Lotus Root:

  • 7 ounces lotus root (about 5 inches of a 2 1/2-inch diameter root), peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced thin crosswise, and soaked in 1 quart water and 2 Tablespoons vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 2/3 teaspoon of the salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

Drain the lotus root. In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the lotus root, and cook over low heat with a drop lid for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the sugar, stirring. Let the lotus root cool in its cooking liquid. The lotus root may be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated in a covered container. When you are ready to assemble the sushi, coarsely chop one-third of the lotus root.
☆ Carrot:

  • 2 ounces carrot (1 small one)
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Julienne the carrot in 1/2-inch lengths. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the carrot, salt, and sugar. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Drain and discard the cooking liquid.
☆ Thin Omelettes:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dashi
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Beat the eggs with a chopstick—you don’t want to make a lot of foam or bubbles. Add the sugar, salt, and dashi. Heat a 6-inch skillet, add the vegetable oil, and, when the oil is hot, swirl the skillet to coat the inside of the pan. Pour off the excess oil, and reserve it. Whipe the skillet with a paper towel. Add about 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of the egg. Swirl the skillet to cover the bottom, and cook over low heat until the bottom of the omelette is firm, but not browned. Turn the omelette over, and cook for 3 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board.
Make more omelettes, adding some of the reserved oil to the skillet as necessary. You’ll have 8 very thin omelettes in a stack, with paper towels between. You can make the omelettes in advance, or even freeze them wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
If you have made the omelettes in advance, remove the paper towels. Cut the omelette stack in half. Then cut each half in half, cutting parallel to the first cut. Julienne each of the four stacks crosswise. Divide the omelette strips into two portions, and set them aside in separate bowls.
☆ Seafood:

  • 15 medium tiger shrimp in their shells (heads, veins and legs removed)
  • 1 unagi no kabayaki (grilled eel) 9 to 10 ounces

In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain them, quickly cool them in ice water, the remove the shells.
Wrap the eel in plastic and heat it in a microwave, or wrap in foil and heat in an over (400°F). Unwrap, cool. Remove skin carefull, cut the eel in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2/3-inch-wide-pieces.
☆ Sushi Rice:

  • make 2.8 pounds sushi rice 2 1/4 (U.S. cups rice)
  • For the dressing: 4 1/2 TBS. vinegar, 1 1/2 TBS. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Prepared sushi rice should be stored at cool room temperature, covered with a moist cotton cloth. Never refrigerate sushi rice—it becomes unpleasantly firm.
☆ Finally, the assembly:

  • 10 shiso leaves (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 sheet nori, toasted
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup benishoga (pickeled red ginger)

Add the mushroom, gourd strip, hijiki mixture, chopped lotus root, carrot, half the omelette strips, and the shiso to the sushi rice. Toss gently by thoroughly. Transfer the sushi rice to a large serving platter. (of interest: gomoku barazushi is sushi rice mixed with things)
Toast the nori and use scissors, cut it into quarters crosswise, and then into julienne strips.
Arrange the following items around the platter, in this order: the sliced lotus root, the red ginger, the shrimp, the eel, the omelette, and the nori. Serve without shoyu or other condiment, since the dish is fully flavored.
A variety of things to use for putting on the sushi rice with with recipe: abura-age, aburage (thin-fried tofu), broccoli rabe (nanohana), chiffonade of lettuce, daikon pickles, fluke, ikura, julienned carrots, julienned cucumber, kaiware (daikon sprouts), kamaboko, kampyro (dried gourd strips), koya-dofu (dried tofu), lemon slices, lotus root, mackerel, nori, octopus, pickled ginger, renkon, salmon skin, scallops, shiitake, shrimp, squid, striped bass, tamago, toasted sesame seeds, tobiko roe, tsukemono, tuna, unagi, unagi, yellowtail

And finally, the food we ate (not the posed pictures for this post):

Gomodu-zushi 1tess

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Cholent—the Jewish Cassoulet! Happy Birthday

7 thoughts on “Five-Color Sushi

  1. Zowie, Tessie, after reading the list of tasks that were required by this meal I see why you were tired. Lucky me! Pics came out nicely.

  2. This looks perfectly delicious and refreshing. I’m not much of a sushi fan at all, but I want to dig in to this.

    You’re so right about the restorative aspect of a shower! (And isn’t Des Moines near the Field of Dreams place?)

    • This is a very much home-style sushi: hearty, with all the things mixed into and on top of the rice. Apparently everyone likes “mama’s recipe” for gomoku zushi, and if not there are dozens of other variations.

      A shower, restorative, yes. I guess that’s why we see birds playing in mud-puddles.

    • I can see rolling Iowa off in the distance, but around here the fields of dreams are underneath Best Buy and Super Target and a chain of gas station/convenience stores called “Kum & Go.”

  3. Mr Joyce? Mr Joyce? (grasping on the irrelevant again) My favorite Joyce passage – the unconditional surrender:

    “… and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deep-down torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

    • Grasping at the irrelevant? O and no. It’s me who is irreverent making such a poor parody, a shadow of a ghost, an illiterate blunder (though my intensions were true), in a cooking blog! O and no, it’s yet another gift that you would share such a thing with me.

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