Spring Special Chirashizushi with Manila Clams and Broccolini
Commercial sushi vinegar becomes a lot tastier with an addition of the cooking liquid from the manila clams. This is a scattered sushi dish that will remind you of spring through both appearance and taste.
In a heat-proof bowl, combine sake, grated ginger, shio-koji, and the manila clams. Wrap with cling wrap and microwave at 600 W for 3-4 minutes.
Separate the cooking liquid from the clams and the clams.
Take the washed rice from Step 1 and place in your rice cooker. Pour in the cooking liquid from Step 3. Add enough water until it reaches the right level for 2 rice cooker cups when preparing sushi rice (this should be a bit less than usual). Toss a sheet of konbu seaweed on top, and set to cook.
Shuck the clams while your rice is cooking. Blanch the broccolini (blanch in salted water, then let cool in cold water). Squeeze out excess water from the broccolini and combine with the mentsuyu and vinegar.
Mix salt and sugar into a whisked egg and cook a thin omelette crepe on a greased pan (preferably a rectangular tamagoyaki pan). Cut into fine strips. You could also scramble the egg mixture into fine crumbles.
Remove the konbu seaweed from the cooked rice, then add in the sushi vinegar and the sesame and mix together.
Scatter on the sliced egg crepe from Step 6, the manila clams from Step 5, as well as the broccolini. Then you're all done.
Story Behind this Recipe
This recipe is for my daughter, who absolutely loves manila clams. While using the regular commercial sushi vinegar, I decided to add a bit of spring to my chirashizushi by scattering manila clams on top. Orient clams have been too expensively lately...
-After de-salting and de-gritting your clams, rub their shells together and wash them well. Then dry off their moisture before steaming them. During Step 2, cook through the clams until their shells open up.
-Shio-koji contains a bit of sodium, so it's fine to just add a bit of vinegar to the broccolini and lessen the amount of sushi vinegar added to your rice.