More than anything, chirashizushi is about balance. When deciding what ingredients to use, think of the flavors (fresh, peppery, savory, sweet, etc), the textures (crunchy, moist, soft, fatty, fresh, etc), and the colors. Pick your ingredients to offer as much contrast as possible. The following slideshow shows just one set of ingredients—use your imagination!
Step 1: Cook the Egg
Many homestyle chirashizushi start with a bed of shredded eggs layered over the sumeshi. To make it, lightly beat an egg with a pinch of salt and sugar. Heat a non-stick 8-inch skillet over medium heat until it's hot enough to boil a drop of water on contact. Brush it with a thin layer of oil using a paper towel, then pour in half the egg. Swirl the pan to make an even layer and let it cook until it's almost set. Carefully pick it up using a thin spatula and your fingers, then cook it on the second side until set.
Step 2: Slice Egg
Once you've made two thin omelets, stack them, roll them up, and slice them thinly with a sharp knife. Store them in a bowl lined with a paper towel.
Step 4: Shred Nori
Shredding nori sheets for me used to be a pain in the a*s, until I discovered that it's a whole lot easier with scissors. Take a sheet of nori, cut it into four long strips lengthwise, stack the strips, then cut crosswise into thin shreds. Store shredded nori in an airtight container at room temperature.
Step 5: Assemble your Other Ingredients
In this case I'm using some salmon sashimi, daikon radish sprouts, lightly poached shrimp (I cooked them in a cup of water in the microwave), and a spoonful of tobiko. I'm also going to use some sliced cucumbers, and slices of lemon on top of the fish.
Step 6: Make Your Bed
Add a layer of sumeshi to the bottom of a bowl (I like serving this family style, but you can do individual servings as well), then top with a layer of shredded egg.