A cold rice salad with fresh sushi ingredients, perfect for a summer potluck party.
2 cups uncooked white rice (long grain or short grain)
2-1/2 cups water
2 tbsp mirin or sherry (optional)
6 tbsp rice or cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegetable oil
Another splash of mirin or sherry (optional)
1 medium-sized carrot, minced into 1/4" pieces
2 scallions, minced (whites and greens)
1-2 cups fresh or frozen green peas, lightly steamed
A few green beans, cut in 1/2" lengths and lightly steamed (optional)
A handful of snow peas, cut in 1/2" lengths, steamed or raw (optional)
1 small yellow summer squash, minced into 1/4" pieces, raw or lightly steamed (optional)
3-4 tbsp minced sushi ginger, if available
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds, plus a little extra for the top
Step 1: Place the rice in a strainer and rinse well under cold running water.
Step 2: Combine the rinsed rice with the water and the optional 2 tbsp of mirin or sherry in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to the gentlest possible simmer and cover. Cook undisturbed for 10 to 20 minutes until tender.
Step 3: Remove the rice from the heat. Uncover and let stand another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Note: You may wish to heat the vinegar first to help the sugar dissolve easily.
Step 4: Spread the hot rice in a long, shallow container (a 9" x 13" baking pan is perfect), and sprinkle on half the vinegar mixture. (Cover the remaining mixture and set aside). Immediately begin mixing the rice very gently with a fork. The goal is to distribute the vinegar mixture as thoroughly as possible without breaking the rice. As you mix, fan the rice with a newspaper or magazine to prevent the rice from becoming sticky (alternate a little fanning with a little mixing.) Do this for several minutes or until the rice is uniformly seasoned.
Step 5: Transfer the rice to a medium-large bowl and set aside.
Step 6: To prepare the egg, heat a medium-sized skillet. In a bowl, beat the egg well, possibly adding the optional splash of mirin or sherry. Add 1 tsp oil to the hot pan and immediately add the beaten egg. Make a thin omelette by tilting the pan in all directions, allowing the egg to run to its limits as you lift the edges of the omelette. When it is set, flip it over and cook briefly on the other side (just long enough to be sure it is dry). Remove the omelette from the pan and transfer to a dinner plate. Allow to cool thoroughly. Slice the cool omelette into thin strips then into 1/2" pieces.
Step 7: Add the remaining oil, vegetables, omelette pieces, minced sushi ginger, sesame seeds and the remaining vinegar mixture to the rice and mix gently.
Step 8: Serve at room temperature or cold, with a few extra sesame seeds sprinkled delicately on top.
Note: Steps 1 through 4, as well as the vegetable prep, can be completed a day in advance. Store in separate tightly covered containers in the refrigerator.