How to Make Inari Pouches

inari-zushi image by askthegeek from

Inari is a sweet and delicious Japanese dish. To make inari, you prepare fried tofu skin (to form a "pouch") called aburage and stuff it with sushi rice, vegetables or mushrooms. Inari is a delightful treat and relatively easy to make at home.

Cut 1 pound of firm tofu into three even-sized slices. Deep fry the tofu in cooking oil until crispy golden brown. Drain and transfer to a plate covered with power paper towels to absorb the oil.

Turn the tofu slices into pouches. Cut the tofu slices in half. Carefully scoop out the white part of the tofu with a spoon or butter knife. You now have the skin left over -- these are the aburage pouches. Dispose of the white part of the tofu or refrigerate for future use.

Soften the aburage pouches and remove excess oil. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Put the aburage pouches into the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Strain and transfer to a plate and let cool.

Flatten the aburage pouches. Place the aburage pouches on a dry work area and use a rolling pin or rounded chopstick to flatten the pouches.

Prepare the sushi rice. Put 2 cups of uncooked sushi rice into a pot. Add 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pot (tilt the lid so steam can escape) when the rice is boiling and cook under low-medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is fluffy.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine). You can also add sesame seeds, vegetables or mushrooms to the mixture if you want. Set aside.

Moisten your hands with water. Stuff the tofu pouches with the rice mixture and fold over the ends. Serve the inari with soy sauce (for dipping).

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