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Off Track: Chirashi Bowls Where You Least Expect Them in Honolulu

September 25, 2021

From the Frolic Hawaii website

Mari Taketa photograph from this article

I’m in love with chirashi. It’s a recent obsession: I was running around in a frenzy of errands when I spotted a rare mid-afternoon chirashi bowl among the chilled bentos at Nijiya Market and grabbed it. As I wolfed it down in the back seat of my car, its goodness halted my chopsticks—deep red slices of akami of maguro, smooth and sinew-free; silken crunches of akagai and other shellfish from Japan; a generous mound of ikura. The rice, even cold, was sweet and lightly, perfectly seasoned, every grain distinct.

It’s now a mission of my food life to relive those moments, in places outside sushi bars. Chirashi, in my opinion, is for lunch; at a sushi bar I want the leisure and surprises of omakase. Happily, I have yet to find a chirashi bowl I don’t like. If slices are thin, I don’t care, as long as they’re interesting and fresh. And where I used to crave adventure from a bowl of chirashi, reveling in anything that wasn’t the usual ‘ahi, salmon and hamachi (because why, Hawai‘i? Why, living on reef-fringed islands surrounded by seasonal seafood, do we eat the same few things all year?), now I’ve come to appreciate these, too. A bowl of chirashi without ‘ahi, salmon and hamachi lacks an elemental Hawai‘i-ness.

You’ll find these seven bowls in food courts, poke shops and yes, a supermarket.

From → Off Track

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