Inarizushi, or Inari Sushi, is a term for stuffed sushi. But it’s not like any other dish classified as sushi- nor is it found in many sushi bars, if any at all. It’s typically a home sushi dish or a great addition to a packed lunch/picnic.
Inarizushi is made from Aburaage. Aburaage is deep fried tofu skin (it’s actually deep fried twice- once at about 225 °F, and then again at about 400 °F) that is marinated with a sweet seasoning (recipes vary).
Aburaage is time consuming to make and is most commonly purchased, pre-cooked, at your local Asian market. I highly recommend trying some! It usually comes in a can and it needs to have some of the marinade taken off with a few paper towels. Store bought Inari will come pre-cut and all you need to do is stuff it with sushi rice. Personally, I like to add some steamed vegetables or cooked fish in mine.
However, if you are feeling up to the challenge, you can also buy Aburaage and make your own Inari sushi at home!
Here’s what you will need for this tutorial:
- 6 aburaage (makes 12 inari pouches)
- 1 cup dashi soup stock
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Steamed vegetables and cooked (or raw) fish
- 1.5 – 3 cups of cooked, sushi rice
- Paper towels
- Medium sized pot
Preparing Aburaage for Inari Sushi:
- We need to blanch the aburaage. To do this, carefully cut the aburaage in half- leaving one open end per piece. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and boil each piece for about 1 minute (you can blanch more than one piece at a time).
- Now, we need season the aburaage. Add the dashi stock, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and aburaage into a medium sized pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is almost completely gone.
- Carefully remove each piece of aburaage (I use chopsticks to do this) and place them onto a plate with a few paper towels on it. Let the pieces cool and drain for about 10-15 minutes.
- Mix your steamed vegetable (or other ingredients – get creative!) with your sushi rice and make 12 nigiri balls.
- Once cool enough to handle, carefully open each aburaage pouch and stuff them with a single nigiri ball.
- Place your newly made Inari sushi onto a plate, serve, and enjoy!
Here are some interesting facts:
- In Japanese mythology, it’s commonly believed that Aburaage is the Kistune’s (Japanese Fox) favorite treat.
- InariOkami is the god of foxes, fertility, rice, agriculture, and prosperity in Shintoism.
- In 1980, it was estimated that over 400,000 pouches of aburaage were made per day.
- Today, 33% of the soybeans used to make tofu are specifically for aburaage/inari.
- Inarizushi dates back to 1850.