A term meaning "scattered sushi" and referring to a Japanese dish consisting of sushi meshi (vinegared rice) served with various ingredients including chopped vegetables, sashimi, cured fish, roe, nori and omelet slices. In Japanese homes, the ingredients are either scattered on top or mixed throughout the rice. In sushi bars, chirashi is more formal -- ingredients are separately arranged on top of the rice for a more elegant presentation.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.