My darling wife S is currently in the final lap of trying to complete her doctoral thesis. She’s been working on it, an examination of the rise and reach of the celebrity chef, for the last four years. For most of this time, she’s had it pretty easy, juggling her doctoral research in between writing assignments from various book publishers and magazine editors. But for the past few weeks, as her deadline has gotten closer and closer, she’s been spending every waking hour furiously trying to sort out four years worth of ideas and organize them into a coherent form. And one that will impress her university’s professors sufficiently that they’ll officially allow her to call herself “doctor”.

Because of her current, rather frenetic, schedule, S hasn’t been cooking much lately. In fact, because of both of our current schedules, we’ve been eating out much more often than we’d usually like. We’ve also been eating rather poorly, grabbing quick and rather unhealthy (hawker) meals at odd hours. I had a tiny window of free time this afternoon, so I decided to grab some ingredients for one of S’s favourite meals, a chirashi sushi. Of the various styles that chirashi can come in, S is most partial to bara chirashi, a style in which the ingredients are diced, flavoured and mixed into the rice. I figured that S would enjoy dining at home as well as eating something that she really loves.

I stopped off at Meidiya, my preferred Japanese supermarket, and was able to grab some fresh sake (salmon), mekajiki (swordfish), negitoro (chopped fatty tuna with spring onions), ikura (salmon roe) and mentaiko (spicy cod roe). I diced up the salmon and swordfish and mixed this in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Separately, I made a marinade with soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, rice vinegar, wasabi, and a little miso. I drizzled some of the marinade onto the fish, gave it a quick stir and let this sit in the fridge for a few minutes. The marinated fish was then placed over some hot rice, along with some omelette (made with just eggs, salt and sugar) and some nori. Over this, I drizzled just a little bit more of the marinade. The bara chirashi was yummy. And most importantly, I think S really appreciated having a healthy home-cooked (well, nothing except the egg was really cooked but you know what I mean) meal.

You can make this dish with pretty much any ingredients you want. It most commonly has a variety of raw fish, some eel and some omelette. You can also make the marinade to suit your own tastebuds. I wish I had some fresh yuzu. A little citrus would have really lifted the dish. The great thing about this is so long as you have really good, fresh ingredients, you really can’t go wrong.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!


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23 November 2006


i’m sure every woman who reads this post will go “aww…” and start berating their less considerate and culinary-inclined men. s is a lucky woman! here’s wishing her all the best for her thesis!

meanwhile i’m in the middle of exams, eating one meal a day because i can’t be bothered to pick up food or groceries. =)

I’m also in the last stages of writing my MA thesis (which, admittedly, is much more limited in scope than a PhD), and can’t wait to have some homecooked meals…I can’t see another slice of pizza!

Damn, what a fabulous idea. You’ve inspired me to produce similar this weekend. If you have a moment, I’d love to hear any tips you might have for good Japanese home-cooking books. I recently bought Harumi Kurihara’s Japanese Home Cooking, although haven’t had much time yet to explore it…. any other tips???

I have been a silent reader for some time, admiring your magazine or better quality photos and graphic design, but this post was just so sweet and human, and I wanted to stop and say hello. Bon appetit from a reader in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The Chiraishi looks simply delightful and I can already imagine the taste. Its one of my favourite Japanese meals too, especially when layered with fresh, fatty and oily fish that simply melts in your mouth. Your wife is one lucky woman, and you are one lucky man too!

similar to kristen, i have been a silent reader too.
this post is just so sweeet. =)
i enjoy reading all the entries.
esp the ones about the culinary scene in spore.
well. have a great weekend!

this dish sounds really delicious! and almost just like the korean hwae bap (sashimi rice bowl), which consists of warm rice, diced sashimi, nori, lettuce & hot sauce. i never knew about chiraishi though bc i’ve never seen it in any japanese restaurants!

Hello. I think ur blog is pretty nice. And it’s quite heartwarming to see a GUY for once do something for his spouse.
BUT! You are so spoil-market for all the singaporean guys la! now my wife demands that I do something like yyou!

hello from Washington DC, USA! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog. Looking at your beautiful pictures of food inspires me to try out recipes & makes me want to hurry home to Singapore for some really good, inexpensive food!

this is such a sweet post and to read this on Valentine’s Day makes it all the more assuring this is an expression of love to those we really care for. I am making my very first bara chirashi for a special V Day dinner tonight for my family. 🙂 I jotted down all the things I need to get hopefully I will be able to do so later… not mediya cos no time to go down. Fairprice Finest, don’t let me down!

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