Sushi Rice Nests with Furikake
When I first brought quail eggs home from the Camas Farmers' Market I was fascinated by their appearance and spent some time just photographing them. At one point I posed them in a small decorative nest I bought in Ashland earlier this season. As I arranged the eggs for a picture I began to wonder if I could create an edible nest for serving cooked quail eggs.
The recipes I had linked to on market day suggested a really delicious looking nest of smashed potatoes. I had also seen a nest of spaghetti somewhere. Both sounded good but I wanted to build on the ideas. Since I had also seen several posts about including quail eggs in bento boxes I thought of Japanese food and decided to make nests of rice, dressed with Japanese furikake.
After working out how to cook quail eggs I turned to creating the nests I would set them in. I tried using both dressed Sushi Rice and long grain white rice cooked in broth and mixed with sesame seeds. The Sushi Rice held together better but both worked well.
Once the nests were shaped I sprinkled them with furikake I purchased at Uwajimaya. Furikake is a a Japanese condiment that is often used to add texture and interest to plain rice. These colorful combinations of seeds, nori and other seasonings come in a variety of flavors. A dusting of these interesting mixtures neatly dressed my rice nests for a pretty display while adding spice and flavor that blended well with plain boiled or Tea Crazed Quail Eggs. Together they made a pleasing presentation.
adapted from Beyond Salmon
2 cups sushi (short grain) rice, carefully rinsed and cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
When rice is finished cooking allow it to rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile place vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat while stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Transfer cooked rice to a wooden, glass or other nonreactive bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture evenly over the top and fold it into the rice with a wooden spoon or spatula using a lifting or tossing motion.
Once the rice is mixed cover it with a damp paper towel or tea towel and allow it to rest another 20 minutes before shaping.
To make the rice nests you will need:
2 cups Sushi Rice or plain rice cooked in broth
1 - 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, if desired
Nonstick cooking spray
Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled or Tea Crazed Quail Eggs
a small round dipping dish approximately 2.5" in diameter
In a medium sized bowl mix together the rice and sesame seeds, if desired.
Line a baking sheet or a rectangular storage container that has a flat bottom with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Spray the small round dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place approximately 2 Tablespoons of the rice/sesame seed mixture in the small round dish (or enough rice to fill the dish loosely plus just a little more). Even out the rice, then invert it onto the waxed paper and press it down firmly, molding the rice.
Remove the dish and gently press your thumb into the center of the rice forming a depression while pressing your fingers around the outside of the circle to help maintain the nest shape.
Repeat the process. The dish will need to be resprayed every two or three nests.
Just before serving arrange nests on a serving tray or individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with furikake flakes. Then place a quail egg in the nest.
Serve and enjoy!