Cook sushi rice.
In separate bowls (each containing 300 ml of water) soak the dried shiitake mushrooms (for 30 minutes) and the dried gourd strips (for 10 minutes) to reconstitute them.
Hull shell and devein the shrimps. Wash them. Mix 480 ml water and a little salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and boil for 3 minutes on medium heat.
Beat the eggs. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and a little salt. Coat a frying pan with a paper towel which has been soaked with salad oil. Place on low heat. With a ladle, pour some of the egg mixture into the frying pan and tilt it so that it spreads evenly over the bottom. Remove from pan when cooked and place on a cutting board. Repeat this process to make 3 or 4 paper-thin omelets. Stack them on top of each other on the cutting board.
Let them cool. Cut the stack into julienne slices.
Cut the carrots into julienne slices. Place in a pan with 170 ml water, 1/2 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
Drain the water from the gourd strips and discard. Put the gourd strips in a pan with 300 ml of new water and boil until they become soft. Drain them in a colander and let them cool.
Squeeze any additional water from the gourd strips and cut them into 1 cm. long sections. Squeeze the water from the shiitake mushrooms. Do not discard this water because it will be used in Step 9. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into julienne slices.
In a pan, place the 300 ml of shiitake mushroom water, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, shiitake mushrooms and gourd strips. Boil for about 20 minutes on medium heat.
Cut the raw tuna into bite-size pieces. Marinate in 2 tablespoons soy sauce for about 10 minutes on each side.
Thinly slice the cucumbers. Cut the dried laver into slivers with scissors.
Mix the sushi rice, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and gourd strips in a big bowl or big deep dish. Let cool about 30 minutes.
Decorate with the cucumbers, egg, raw tuna and shrimp. Place the dried laver on last.
Chirashi-zushi is eaten at Hina-Matsuri (Girl's Festival on March 3) and at other festivals.
Japanese foods recipes