Introduction: Inarizushi - Fried Tofu Sushi
Inarizushi is a wonderful little delicacy from Japan. They are essentially little bags made from fried tofu called age (pronounced ah-geh). These tofu pouches are stuffed with sweet, vinegary rice. They are so full of wonderful, complex flavour, you won't wonder where the meat is!
Traditional Inarizushi is so easy to make as they are just as I mentioned: little bags of tofu stuffed with rice! Therefore, my Instructable today will teach you how to make them shaped like cats and dogs chilling out in their little pet beds. I love Japanese bento art and I hope you try these out. :)
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Step 2: Making Seasoned Rice
I like to make my sushi rice in my rice cooker, but it's not detrimental if you don't have one. Cook rice to instructions, but use about 4 tablespoons less water as you will be adding 4 tablespoons of vinegar to it when it's cooked. When rice is finished cooking, allow to sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
Mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt. Drizzle over cooked rice while stirring. Try to fan away the the steam that's coming off it. This will prevent rice mushiness. You can just use a magazine or something. :)
Step 3: Prepare the Tofu Pouches
Take the tofu pouches out of the the packaging. They're already assembled as little bags so there's not too much hassle for you here. To make them easier to shape, you can pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds for pliability's sake. Open them up and fold them inwards to make little baskets for the rice animals to sit in.
Step 4: Making Rice Balls
When the seasoned rice has cooled down enough to touch with bare hands, wet your hands and roll rice into balls. Use cupped hands to press rice so it's nicely packed tight. We will now make a cat. Use one bigger rice ball for the body, and a smaller one for the head.
Place the rice body in the tofu pouch.
Place the rice head next to it, resting on the edge of the pouch. The rice balls will stick together because they're... sticky. ;)
Step 5: Cheesy Details!
Cut your string cheese into little discs. Now use your straw to cut out little round paws. Use your knife to cut little ears.
Lay the 4 paws on the body rice ball sections. Wedge the ears into the rice ball heads. The stickiness will save you, once again!
Step 6: Seaweedy Details!
Use your little scissors to cut out small details for your animals.
Mostly, little circles, triangles, and lines will do.
You can add big spots and wagging tails for the puppies!
Step 7: Plating the Cuties
Final plating is fun. Use a solid dish to make them stand out. Add a bit of garnish on the side. I love my Inarizushi with pickled ginger. Yummy!
Step 8: Inarizushi Variations - TOTORO!
I made Totoro Inarizushi for my Totoro-loving friend. You can get real creative with your designs! :)
Step 9: What Traditional Inarizushi Looks Like
If you don't want to go too far with making little bento animals, you can just stuff the little tofu skins with the seasoned rice and be done with it! Here are some plain ones we made on the right. :)