Low Carb Keto Chirashi Bowl
You know, “bowl” meals have been more and more popular over the past few years - Smoothie Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Nourish Bowls, etc... but - until our recent poke bowl - I don’t think I’ve ever posted a recipe in that category!
Well, today I’ve got our “How to Make a Chirashi Bowl” recipe - well, more like guidelines - and I’ve got another poke bowl coming up in a bit!
We’ve been eating a LOT of raw fish lately, as a result of a couple circumstance:
1. A new sushi restaurant opened up about 10 minutes from our house, that offers cheap and GOOD sushi for takeout.
2. Our Skipper Otto Community Supported Fishery membership ended up with us getting *the* most amazing sushi-grade albacore tuna I’ve ever had in my life.
Like some other things in life, the more sushi you get, the more you want... IMHO.
While we love sushi rolls, we like to change it up every once in a while and go for a fish bowl - either Poke (ALSO available very close to us!) or Chirashi.
Unfortunately, that local sushi restaurant that we love doesn’t offer chirashi bowls at all... much less any kind of keto chirashi bowl .. And I need to go low carb for a while.
So. Homemade Keto Chirashi Bowl FTW!
What is a Chirashi Bowl?
A Chirashi bowl is basically sushi, in bowl form.
Charashi is a Japanese word, meaning “Scattered”. As in, a bowl of rice with sushi toppings scattered on top!
Generally speaking, any chirashi bowl you order in a restaurant won’t actually involve much scattering. In my experience, it’s more about artfully - even lovingly? - arranging the fish and toppings on the rice.
“Scattering” implies something far more chaotic than the dish you’re presented with, IMHO!
Chirashi vs Poke
As I detailed in my recent Low Carb Tuna Mango Poke Recipe, Poke is a Hawaiian thing - small chunks of raw fish that have been marinated, served over rice.
Generally speaking, it’ll be a single type of fish.
Sometimes it’s an appetizer, sometimes it’s a meal. When it’s a meal, you’re likely to see vegetables involved alongside the fish and rice.
At the local poke bowl place, the list of vegetables and other accoutrements available is impressive, though we like to keep it relatively simple when making it at home.
While Poke has Japanese influence, it’s definitely a Hawaiian thing - Chirashi is a Japanese meal.
Chirashi fish is sliced and presented in much the same way it would be on a sashimi tray, rather than cut into tiny pieces. Additionally, the fish in a chirashi bowl isn’t marinated before arranging it on the rice... and it’s usually several types of fish, rather than just a single one.
You will find “Tuna Poke” and “Salmon Poke”, for instance.. But Chirashi is usually just “Chirashi”. The fish or veggies may differ, but it’s a *spread* of them, rather than one type.
In restaurants, Chirashi Bowls are always served on seasoned sushi rice, generally at room temperature - much like sushi.
If you’re like to go traditional - and full carb! - with it, check out my How to Make Sushi Rice post.
However, I’m needing to cut my carbs, so an easy way for me to go low carb with a chirashi bowl is to use an alternate rice. Usually, my go-to rice options are celery root (“Celeriac”), and cauliflower - both allow for keto -ifying otherwise carbby dishes.
Cauliflower wasn’t even an option for me until recently, as it was a HORRIBLE gout trigger for me for about 3 years - I’d loved it before that point!
Recently, I managed to cure my gout (knock on wood!), and cauliflower has made a VERY welcome reappearance on our menu. I missed it!
Given the choice between the two options, in general I prefer the celery root. I like the mild celery taste it adds to whatever I put on it, especially when we’re talking about things like buffalo chicken meatballs. It just works!
For this, I prefer the taste of cauliflower rice. I just find it works better with the sushi rice seasoning, a better pairing for it.
As I previously mentioned, chirashi bowls generally feature a variety of beautiful sashimi fish slices... though the protein doesn’t always end at raw fish!
Cooked shrimp, “crab” sticks, and even egg can be found in restaurant chirashi bowls.
With the possible exception of the “crab” stick - which can have a starch in it and be higher carb than you’d expect - it’s all naturally low carb and keto.
The Big Cheat!
I don’t know if this is going to cost me “food blogger cred”, but let me tell you - there’s an excellent way to kind of cheat on the fish aspect of making home chirashi bowls, and I have no idea why I didn’t think of it earlier.
You see, finding sashimi grade fish (which I talk about in the Low Carb Mango Tuna Poke Recipe ) can be difficult for some... and that goes double when you’re needing to find a variety of different sashimi grade fish.
Also, if you’re only making these Keto Chirashi Bowls for one or two people, it can be expensive to buy multiple pieces of fish, and - depending on the size - either creates waste, or necessitates more than one meal of chirashi in a row. (Not necessarily a bad thing, IMHO)
So we’ve taken to ordering a sashimi appetizer spread from that sushi place, as takeout. We have our rice prepared at home ahead of time, and go pick up the fish.
We get the perfect amount of sashimi grade fish that’s been expertly handled, without having to mess around with defrosting or preparing it ourselves... and no waste. LOVE IT.
We get to patronize a favourite restaurant, *and* still get a diet-friendly option that we want. Score!
We tend to go fairly simple on the vegetables, while staying pretty well on “sushi” theme - cucumber, avocado, edamame.
Pickled daikon radish ribbons are also a great option, I just usually don’t bother unless I have some on hand.
On that note, I guess I HAVE posted a “power bowl” recipe here before - you can see my Banh Mi Power Bowls recipe for my pickled daikon recipe! .
Actually, now that I think about it, I also have a Chicken Souvlaki Power Bowl recipe on here too! I've developed and posted over 600 recipes over 11 years, you’ve gotta forgive me if I forget about some, LOL.
Again, we keep it pretty simple when garnishing this.
Usually I’ll slice up some nori (seaweed sheets), add some masago or tobiko (fish roe), maybe shake some sesame seeds or furikake over it.
The only thing that I do with 100% consistency is include wasabi, because.. Really.
Unlike our Poke bowls, we we usually don’t bother with sauces for a chirashi bowl, beyond a bit of soy sauce / coconut aminos, and wasabi.
For some reason - and that reason could be “We have never had a sauce on restaurant chirashi bowls” - it just feels wrong.
You do you, though. Because it’s basically “sushi in a bowl” - if I were to do sauce - I’d stick to one of the commonly used sushi sauces, like Dynamite, Eel, or Mango Sauce.
While this is my only chirashi recipe here, I DO have a few chirashi-adjacent recipes for you!
DIY Sushi Birthday Cake
How to Make Sushi Rice
Low Carb Tuna Mango Poke Bowl
Matcha Green Tea Pavlova
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Potluck DIY Sushi Party!
Spicy Tuna Maki
Sushi Sauce Recipes - Dynamite, Eel, and Mango
Tuna Avocado Mango Maki
On to my Keto Chirashi Bowl Recipe!
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