When it comes time to celebrate a happy event such as a birthday or graduation, home cooks often rely on chirashi-zushi, or scattered-style sushi, to feed the crowd. It’s a particularly popular choice for the Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), which occurs on March 3, Girls’ Day.

The reason chirashi-zushi is such a good dish for parties is because the amount you make can easily be expanded to accommodate last-minute guests, and three of the major components — soy-simmered shiitake mushrooms, thin omelets and pickled lotus root — can be cooked days in advance. The other components can either be purchased (red and pink pickled ginger, toasted sesame seeds) or made in a matter of minutes (blanched and slivered snow peas).

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