Home-made Inari Sushi is not difficult to make at all. All you need to do is cook seasoned aburaage pouches and sushi rice, then wrap the rice in the aburaage pouches. It only takes 10 minutes to cook seasoned aburaage pouches. I’ll also show you how to make a triangle Inarizushi in today’s recipe.
In my post Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi), I used store-bought seasoned aburaage pouches to make Inari Sushi (Inarizushi). But today, I will show you how to make seasoned aburaage pouches at home.
A seasoned aburaage pouch for Inarizushi is sometimes called ‘inariage’ (いなり揚げ) because it is aburaage (油揚げ) for Inarizushi (いなり寿司). Home-made Inari Sushi starts from cooking inariage at home.
Inari Sushi is a popular dish in Japan along with nigiri sushi (nigirizushi – hand-pressed sushi that you find at sushi trains). It is particularly popular among children.
I mentioned in my post Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi) that there are two different shapes of Inarizushi – squarish oval shape and triangle shape. In today’s recipe, I made both shapes of inarizushi.
How to Make Seasoned Aburaage Pouches (Inariage)
The basic steps to make seasoned aburaage pouches are as follows.
- Halve an aburaage into either squares or triangles.
- Make pouches.
- Remove excess oil from the aburaage.
- Cook aburaage in dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar.
- Leave to cool down.
It takes only 5 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook.
Making Aburaage Pouches
Depending on the shape of Inarizushi you will be making, the aburaage needs to be cut differently. To make a squarish oval Inarizushi, cut an aburaage in half crosswise and make two square pieces. For a triangle Inarizushi, cut an aburaage in half diagonally, making two right angled triangles.
The photo below shows the two different cuts of aburaage.
After halving the aburaage, you will need to convert each piece into pouches. The inside of aburaage is usually stuck in many places. You need to put a finger inside at the opening and gently detach where the tofu is stuck.
The bottom and the corners of the pouch may also be stuck. Make sure that you run your finger along the inside edges and detach them as much as you can.
Cooking Aburaage Pouches
Whenever you need to cook aburaage, it is a common practice to pour boiling water over the aburaage or boil them so that excess oil can be removed. Squeeze the water out of the aburaage and they are ready to cook.
In a shallow pot, I spread aburaage pouches flat in a uniform manner so that the surface of the aburaage pieces are even and level.
Add dashi stock, soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar to the pot and cook for 10 minutes until the liquid almost evaporates. That is it. Once the aburaage pieces are cooled down, they are ready to fill with sushi rice.
White Sesame Sushi Rice
I mentioned in the previous recipe, Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi), that the sushi rice can be mixed with vegetables etc. Today, I added roasted white sesame seeds to give the rice a slight sesame flavour.
Make plain sushi rice as per the recipe in the post, Temakizushi (Hand Rolled Sushi), then mix roasted white sesame seed into the sushi rice.
The amount of sesame seeds I added was 1 tablespoon for 240g/8.5oz of sushi rice. It’s quite a lot but you can hardly notice that because of the colour of the sesame seeds.
If you prefer, you can use black sesame seeds but then you would probably want to reduce the amount of sesame seeds by half. Otherwise there would be too many black dots for the amount of white rice.
Before filling the pouch with rice, it is easier to make small oval rice balls, ready to put into the aburaage.
Making Triangle Inari Sushi (Inarizushi)
The wrapping method to make a triangle Inarizushi is quite different from that of a squarish oval one. For the oval one, you can find the step-by-step wrapping method in the post Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi).
For a triangle shape, you will use the narrow end of the triangle to wrap the rice first, then cover the first wrap with the other end of the triangle. Here is the step-by-step wrapping process to make a triangle Inarizushi.
- Get one triangle inariage and a ball of sushi rice ready – photo (1).
- Place the triangle inariage on your hand, with the sharpest angle of the triangle towards you, then open the pouch – photo (2).
- Place an oval rice ball in the middle where the pouch is the deepest – photo (3).
- Press the rice gently to fill the bottom corner of the pouch and push the rice to both sides shaping the rice into the triangle – photo (4).
- Take the narrow end of the inariage, i.e. the end closer to you – photo (5), flip it over the rice and tuck the edge into the bottom corner of the pouch inside – photos (6) & (7). This should shape the inarizushi into a triangle.
- Take the other end of the inariage and cover the triangle – photo (8), so that the rice is covered with two layers of aburaage on the side facing up – photo (9).
Garnish to go with Home-made Inari Sushi
Even when I was a child, Inarizushi always came with pickled ginger, just like nigiri sushi is served.
The colour of pickled ginger can be bright red, pale pink or light yellow. In the case of nigiri sushi, light yellow pickled ginger is often served. But for Inarizushi, red or pink pickled ginger is usually served. I am not sure why. Maybe because traditional Inarizishi is just brown and a bright colour is needed to brighten the dish.
In my recipe, I only explained how to make a triangle Inari Sushi but if you make different kinds of Inari Sushi and present them on a plate, it looks great. Here is the example of mixed Inari Sushi.
For other types of Inarizushi, please refer to the post Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi).
Making Inari Sushi from scratch is not difficult. All you need to do is cook seasoned aburaage pouches (inariage) and sushi rice, then wrap the rice in aburaage pouches. It tastes so good.
In this recipe, you will make 4 triangle Inarizushi and 4 squarish oval Inarizushi.
Cook Time does not include time taken to cook sushi rice.
No 'MEAL IDEAS' today. You can find the meal idea with Inari Sushi in the post Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi).
- 240g/8.5oz sushi rice (note 1)
- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds (note 2)
- 4 aburaage , thawed if frozen
- 1L/2.1pt boiling water
- 200ml/6.8oz dashi stock (note 3)
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cooking sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- Pickled ginger
Cut two sheets of aburaage in the middle crosswise to make two square pieces from each sheet. Cut the other two sheets of aburaage diagonally to make two long triangle pieces from each sheet (see the photo in the post).
Place the aburaage pieces in a bowl and add boiling water. Jiggle and drain. Run water over to cool them down.
Take 2-3 pieces of aburaage at a time, spread them on your palm, and stack them up. Place the other hand over the aburaage and press to squeeze the water out of them. This way, you won't break delicate aburaage pouches.
Place the aburaage pieces in a pot, spreading and layering them in a uniform manner so that the surface of the aburaage pieces are even and level.
Mix all the Inariage Flavouring ingredients in a bowl/cup, then pour it over the aburaage pieces.
Place a drop lid (note 4) on the aburaage and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid almost evaporates. You may turn the aburaage pieces over once or twice but try not to scrunch them. Cooking aburaage in scrunched form may result in inariage with patchy dark and light colours.
Add roasted white sesame seeds to the sushi rice. Mix well so that the sesame seeds mix with rice evenly.
Divide the rice into 8 equal portions. Take each portion in one hand (note 5), squeeze gently and make an oval shaped ball. Make 8 oval shaped balls.
Place the triangle inariage on your hand, with the sharpest angle of the triangle towards you, then open the pouch.
Place an oval rice ball in the middle where the pouch is the deepest.
Press the rice gently to fill the bottom corner of the pouch. Push the rice gently to the side and level the surface of the rice so that the rice forms a triangle shape.
Take the narrow end of the inariage, i.e. the end closer to you, flip it over the rice and tuck the edge into the bottom corner of the pouch inside. This should shape the inarizushi into a triangle.
Take the other end of the inariage and cover the triangle so that the rice is covered with two layers of aburaage on the side facing up.
Repeat with the rest of triangle inariage.
Follow the recipe instructions for Plain Inarizushi in the post, Quick Inari Sushi (Inarizushi).
Serve with pickled ginger on the side if using.
1. Please refer to the post Temakizushi (Hand Rolled Sushi) to make sushi rice.
2. Instead of white sesame seeds, you can use roasted black sesame seeds. If you do, you should reduce the quantity of sesame seeds as 1 tablespoon would make the rice with too many black dots.
3. If you want, you can use water instead.
4. Drop lid is called ‘otoshi buta’ (落し蓋) in Japanese. It is a round lid that is slightly smaller than the opening of a pot. It is traditionally made of wood but I have a stainless lid as well.
It is placed on top of the ingredients in a pot to ensure the heat is evenly distributed, cooks faster, and makes the ingredients stay in place without breaking apart. It also stops the liquid from evaporating quickly.
If you don’t have a drop lid, you can make one with aluminium foil or baking paper. Cut a square foil/paper, fold/cut the edges to make it a round shape with the diameter slightly smaller than the pot. Then poke the foil/paper with a knife or a chopstick to make holes in several places.
5. To prevent the rice from sticking to your hand, wipe your hand with a cooked inariage to wet it.
6. Nutrition per Inari Sushi. It is assumed that 2/3 of the water in dashi stock is evaporated while cooking inariage (only affects the serving weight).
serving: 65g calories: 187kcal fat: 4.9g (8%) saturated fat: 0.8g (4%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 2.4g monounsaturated fat: 14g cholesterol: 0.3mg (0%) sodium: 211mg (9%) potassium: 110mg (3%) carbohydrates: 29g (10%) dietary fibre: 1.1g (4%) sugar: 3.6g protein: 6g vitamin a: 0.1% vitamin c: 0% calcium: 7.3% iron: 8.4%