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Inari Sushi is fried tofu pouches stuffed with seasoned rice. I used to find this type of sushi too sweet. Then it became one of my young son’s favorite types of sushi. Naturally, I decided to try to make it myself and it was then that I realized how easy it is to control the sweetness. Traditionally, Inari needs to have some sweetness, but it shouldn’t be too sweet.
1 package aburaage tofu pouches (usually there are 4 to 6 pieces per pack)
1 cup dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Murakami Syouten Okinawan Crushed Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Nitto Jozo White Tamari
1 cup sushi rice
1½ tablespoon Iio Jozo Sushi Vinegar
Pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon lightly ground Wadaman Roasted Organic White Sesame Seeds
½ teaspoon finely-diced pickled ginger, plus additional for garnishing
Bring a small sauce pot of water to a boil, add the aburaage and cook for one minute, drain and return the tofu pouches to the empty pot. Add the dashi, mirin, sugars & white tamari, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the aburaage cool in the sauce. These can be reserved for later – store in the simmering liquid for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to prepare the inari sushi, cook one cup of rice in a rice cooker following the manufacturer’s instructions (or however you normally cook your rice). Once the rice is cooked add the sushi vinegar, sea salt, sesame seeds and ginger and mix carefully so as not to mash the rice.
Now, you need to stuff the seasoned rice into the aburaage pouches. First pull the aburaage from the sauce pot and drain, then cut them in half. Since the rice is hot, I usually dip my hand in cold water before handling the rice. Before you stuff the pouches, you’ll need to eyeball how much rice you’ll need per pouch, then divide it up. Put a portion of rice in the palm of your hand and press to make a “football” shape. Next, stuff each “football” into the pocket of a tofu pouch.
To serve, place a filled tofu pouch on a plate with the open side down with some pickled ginger on the side.