From my visits to the land of the rising sun- Japan, one of the things I realized is that their convenience stores have an abundance of Onigiri (rice balls) and Inari (rice in tofu pouches).
It is a staple or a part of their daily lunchboxes. One of the stories I heard from a Japanese chef is that Japanese moms would create characters or different shapes with their food to be a lunchbox for their kids. That is why, due to the web and Instagram, it has been becoming a trend to show off Onigiri, Inari, or Bento creations.
In this recipe, we’ll be making Inari-sushi with three different toppings to show the versatility of this dish. We will be making tuna salad (made with Gold Seas in Spring Water), cabbage salad, and cheese omelette.
So here’s our version and tell us what you think. Comment below for suggestions and feedback.
Inari Sushi (Gold Seas Tuna)
Yield: 10 pcs.
Inari-Age (Tofu Pouch):
1 pack Aburaage (Tofu Pouch), cut into two
1 tsp.Hondashi or Katsuodashi (dashi made from bonito flakes)
2 Tbsp.Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp.Brown Sugar
2 cups Japanese Rice
2 – 2-1/2 cupsWater
1 Tbsp.White Sugar
2 cans (185g.) Gold Seas Tuna in Spring Water, drained, flaked
1/2 to 3/4 cupJapanese Mayonnaise
15g.Spring Onion, chopped
2 tsp.Togarachi (Japanese Chili Powder)
S. P. to taste
- In a sauce pan, fill the pot with water, let it boil, and bring to a simmer. Add the aburaage and let it cook for 5 mins. Make sure the aburaage is submerged in water. Drain and press all the excess water. This procedure takes out the ‘oily’ smell and taste that can be present in the aburaage.
- In the same pan, take out the water and fill it again with 1 liter water. Add the dashi, soy sauce, and sugar. Let it simmer for 2 mins. until the sugar is melted. Add the boiled aburaage and let it simmer for 15 mins. Make sure it is submerged in seasoned stock. Drain. Let it cool. Press or roll a rolling pin to drain excess water. Set it aside.
- Make the Filling: In a stainless bowl, combine everything for the tuna filling. Add mayonnaise gradually to get the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Cook sushi rice: In a bowl, combine mirin and sugar. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside. Cook rice like you would normally cook rice, either in a rice cooker or on a stove top. After cooking rice, transfer to a large, wide bowl. Pour the mirin mixture while fanning to cool and dry. After all mirin has been mixed and the rice is slightly sticky and dry, cover with a damp cloth.
- Open the aburaage pouch and fill it with rice until 60% full. Make sure its not too compact. Then fold the lip of the pouch inwards and fill it with the tuna mixture or any toppings you want.
- After filling all pouch, garnish it with leeks, chili peppers, or anything you want, depending on the filling.