A great reward after two and a half hours of bike riding (on bike routes from the Alameda shoreline to the Oakland Airport and back):
Berkeley Bowl has an amazing fish section, including reasonably priced sushi grade fish. I picked up some tuna along with a seasoning package with which to make poke and planned a chirashi sushi dinner.
The great thing about chirashi sushi is that you start with seasoned rice and then get creative with the toppings. I added: gari shoga (pickled sliced ginger for sushi) , beni shoga (shredded red pickled ginger), avocado, lightly dressed sliced cucumbers, fukujin zuke (a sweet mixed pickle that you usually eat with Japanese curry), and a Korean shredded daikon pickle (which I probably would not use again for this, as the smell is strong). I also added tamago, a special omelette that can be made into nigiri sushi. In retrospect I should have added shredded nori, but it was still delish.
In addition to miso soup, I served horenso no goma-ae. Spinach with sesame dressing. I was thrilled to finally learn how easy it is to make, using a recipe from an English/Japanese basic recipe booklet brought back from Japan by my partner. Fresh spinach is blanched, immediately rinsed with cold water, squeezed, then chopped. Dressing: toast several tablespoons sesame seeds in a pan; coarsely grind; then mix with a little sugar, pinch of salt, and just enough soy sauce to form a coarse paste. Hand-mix spinach and dressing together; mound on a plate to serve.
Edited on September 15, 2007.