Scattered Sushi Rice Salad

Adapted from Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: About 45 minutes
Yield: About 6 servings

Sushi rice is a white rice preparation lightly sesoned with vinegar and sugar. It is the basis for all forms of sushi, for which it is molded or rolled and topped, or filled with various tidbits fo seafood, eggs, tofu, or vegetables In this particular dish, the rice itself is showcased, adorned with tiny pieces of different colored vegetables and bits of egg.

2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 to 3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine) or sherry
6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (more or less, to taste)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 egg
1 medium carrot, minced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced
2 scallions, minced (whites and greens)
1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas (lightly steamed, if fresh. Just defrosted if frozen)
A few green beans, in 1/2-inch pieces and lightly steamed
A few snow peas, in half-inch pieces
1 small yellow summer squash, minced and lightly steamed
3 to 4 tablespoons minced sushi ginger (available in Asian groceries)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  1. Rinse the rice in a strainer and put in a saucepan with the water and mirin or sherry. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook undisturbed until tender (10 to 12 minutes).
  2. Remove rice from heat, uncover, and let stand another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. (Easier if you heat the vinegar first.)
  3. Spread the rice in a long, shallow pan (like a 9 X 13-inch pan) and fluff it with a fork. Pour in the vinegar solution and mix gently. To help cool it down, you can fan it with a newspaper or a magazine.
  4. Meanwhile, scramble the egg in a little of the oil. Remove the egg to a plate, and cut into small pieces.
  5. Add the egg, plus all remaining ingredients, to the rice and mix gently but thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve at room temperature or cold.
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