5 from 2 votes
Hero shot of chirashizushi.
Scattered Sushi (Chirashizushi)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Scattered Sushi (Chirashizushi) is often made for special occasions such as Dolls Festival and birthdays. This beautifully arranged sushi is the easiest of all the sushi dishes. Prepare the toppings of your choice, scatter them on sushi rice, and voila!

Total Time does not include the time to cook sushi rice, make Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms, marinate lotus roots and making kinship tamago (egg crapes) that can be made ahead.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Chirashizushi, scattered sushi, sushi
Serves: 4
Author: Yumiko
  • 4 cups cooked sushi rice (note 1)
  • 8 fresh prawns/shrimps (medium size, note 2)
  • 8 toothpicks
  • 4 Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms , thinly sliced (note 3)
  • 2 large eggs worth of Kinshi Tamago (shredded egg crepe, note 4)
  • 6 slices of pickled lotus roots (note 7), cut into quarters (pie shape)
  • ½ pack Japanese grilled eel (note 5)
  • 50g/1.8oz sashimi salmon , finely diced (note 6)
  • 40g/1.4oz snow peas
Prepare Prawns (also see the step-by-step photo in note 10)
  1. Remove heads and veins from the prawns.
  2. Hold prawn horizontally with the tail on the left (for right hander) and the belly facing down.

  3. Starting from the head end, put through a toothpick along the back between the shell and the flesh.
  4. When the toothpick reaches half way, point the tip of the toothpick downwards and push it further towards the tail so that the toothpick cuts through the flesh. This will prevent the prawn from curling when cooked.
  5. Repeat for the remaining prawns.
  6. Bring a small saucepan with water and a tablespoon of vinegar to a boil. Add the prawns and cook for a couple of minutes.

  7. Drain, remove the toothpicks, let them cool and remove shells.
  8. Butterfly the prawns by cutting the belly side from the head end to the tail, leaving the dorsal side of the flesh and skin intact.
  9. Cut the butterflied prawns, perpendicular to the butterfly cut, into 3 similar size pieces (note 8).
Prepare Japanese Grilled Eel
  1. Cut the grilled eel perpendicular to the backbone, to 2cm/¾” wide pieces.

  2. Cut each piece in half crosswise to make each piece almost square.

Prepare Snow Peas
  1. Break the stem end of snow pea gently and pull the tip towards the other end. The tough string that runs along the side comes off.

  2. Pinch the other end, trim and pull the other side of the tough string (if you can) towards the stem end.
  3. Place the snow peas in a microwave safe bowl with a small amount of water, sprinkle tiny amount of salt and cover with cling wrap. Cook for 1 minute.

  4. Rinse under cold water to quickly cool them down. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Cut each snow pea pod diagonally into two pieces. If the pod is very large, cut it into three pieces diagonally so that you will have two ends and one diamond-shape piece.,

Assembly (note 9)
  1. Spread the sushi rice thinly in a large shallow plate.
  2. Scatter simmered shiitake mushrooms over the rice.
  3. Scatter kinshi tamago over so that the rice and mushrooms are mostly covered.
  4. Scatter the lotus root pieces over the kinshi tamago.
  5. Place the prawn pieces with the red side up, randomly but evenly spaced.
  6. Place the eel pieces with the skin side down, randomly but evenly spaced.
  7. Make small balls with diced salmon and place them where the large patch of yellow is.
  8. Place snow peas randomly but evenly spaced.
Recipe Notes

1. Please refer to Temakizushi (Hand Rolled Sushi) for how to make sushi rice.

2. My fresh prawns in shell weighed ab0ut 200g in total. If prawns are large, reduce the number of prawns.

3. Please see my recipe, Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms.

4. Please refer to Hiyashi Chūka recipe and follow the instruction to make Kinshi Tamago. If the eggs are small, use 3 eggs.

For chirashizushi, shred to 3mm wide instead of 5mm indicated in the recipe. 

How to cut Kinshi Tamago

5. How to make Pickled Lotus Roots:

• You will need fresh lotus roots (see last point if using frozen thin slices) and amazu dressing (refer to my post, Japanese Dressings).
• Peel skin and thinly slice lotus roots to 3mm/⅛" thick.
• Boil water with a tablespoon of vinegar and cook the lotus root slices for few minutes.
• Drain and while lotus roots are still hot, marinate in amazu for minimum 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.
• If you are using frozen thinly sliced lotus roots, blanch them to warm them up before marinating them in amazu.


Frozen thinly sliced lotus roots and amazu marinated lotus roots in a jar.

6. Japanese grilled eel is called ‘unagi no kabayaki’ (うなぎの蒲焼). It comes in a thick sweet sauce and is sold frozen at Japanese/Asian grocery stores. In the USA, some fish markets seem to sell it, too.

1 pack weighs about 150-200g/0.3-0.4lb. Please see the photos in post.

If you cannot buy grilled eel, you can omit it or substitute it with diced teriyaki chicken (see my post Teriyaki Chicken).

7. Traditional chirashizushi often uses salmon roe called ‘ikura’ (イクラ). See the photo of chirashizushi with salmon roe in post. But salmon roe is very expensive so I substituted with sashimi salmon in the recipe. If using salmon roe, you will need about 40g/1.4oz. You could also use smoked salmon instead.

8. If prawns are large, cut into 4.

9. You can serve chirashizushi on a large plate for everyone (per instructions) to share or serve individually. Simply divide the ingredients into the number of servings and follow the same instructions.

10. How to prepare prawns:How to prepare prawns  and not to curl when cooked.