So a long time ago...in what seems like a part of Atlanta far, far away....my dear friend Susy invited me to have lunch with her at a sushi place near her office. The building she works in...it feels like it might as well be in Tennessee, folks. It's a true testament to our friendship that I drove out to meet Susy that first time - I felt like I needed to pack a lunch. I digress.
We end up at this inauspicious shopping center restaurant called Wasabi House. I first ate "spicy tuna chirashi" there and, well, I've never eaten anything else there. Ever. It's the most amazing combination of tastes and textures: the toothsome rice with a splash of vinegar, fresh tuna, creamy avocado and Japanese mayo...all tied together with the hot streak of Sriracha sauce. You take your chopsticks and sort of...smoosh it all together and eat it. At first bite, lots of eye-rolls and audible "mmmm"s start.
Her lunchtime trips are jealousy-inducing. These days, I don't have time to get back to Wasabi House as much as I would like...so I've made a go at making this dish at home. The key is the freshest sushi grade tuna and ripe avocado. You can riff the rest of the dish as long as those two things are solid. Add more mayo and less heat. Amp up the Sriracha and minimize the mayo. Adding some crunch - I added radish sprouts but things like wasabi peas - might be fun and add a little dimension. The joy of this dish is that it comes together in the time it takes to cook rice - do your cutting and dicing while the rice is cooling and then assemble.
Spicy Tuna & Avocado Chirashi - makes 2 entree sized rice bowls
- 6 ounces very fresh sushi grade tuna, cut into small dice
- 1 large ripe avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup short grain sushi rice (truthfully, you can use whatever white rice you have on hand)
- 1 tsp. sushi vinegar - here is a recipe for an easy substitute
- 4 tablespoons Japanese or good quality basic mayonnaise (I use Kewpie mayo)
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- small handful crisp radish sprouts - to garnish
- For the rice: Cook the rice according to the appropriate directions for the type of rice you're using. As usual, Alton Brown has a great standard procedure for cooking sushi rice, including the addition of the sushi vinegar or substitute. Allow your rice to cool to room temperature before proceeding with the assembly of the chirashi bowls.
-While your rice is cooling, dice your sushi tuna and avocado. You need not worry about each size being perfectly cut - it's all getting mixed up anyway. Place half of your cooked, room temperature rice into two serving bowls. Top each bowl with half of your diced tuna and avocado. Drizzle each bowl with the Japanese mayo and a dose of Sriracha sauce. Sprinkle with radish sprouts or whichever extra garnish you choose. Serve immediately.