*This post has some romanised Japanese words to make this easier to read if you can’t read Japanese. And, furigana for beginners!
Welcome to Kiki and Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! in blog form for your quick referencing convenience where Kiki and Koko take turns button-mashing the keyboard until coherent Japanese language blog posts appear~!
In a previous video, we talked about our favourite kinds of sushi! Perhaps you’re someone who isn’t a sushi connoisseur, you just haven’t heard of inarizushi*, or maybe you’re curious about trying inarizushi and want to know what it’s made from!
*Not to be confused with sushi made in Inari, Finland… Though, watching the aurora borealis whilst having inarizushi in Inari does sound lovely….
Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localised entirely within your kitchen? Maybe after you realise the wonder of inarizushi. So, let’s just JUMP right into this, guys.
To know more about inarizushi, let’s first explain sushi: So, as you’ll noticed, it’s called inariZUshi rather than
inariSUshi, but this is just a phenomenon that happens when you combine certain kanji together—Usually, on it’s own, it’s called sushi (寿司), but when you see something like makizushi (巻き寿司), nigirizushi (握り寿司) or narezushi (熟れ寿司)
Oddly enough, while the common misconception is that sushi is just raw fish, the one defining factor that makes it sushi would just be sushi rice, or sushimeshi (寿司飯). Thinly sliced raw fish would be what we’d currently call: sashimi (刺身).
While most sushi you’ll come across is wrapped in nori (ノリ) or seaweed, inarizushi is actually usually sushimeshi (寿司飯), sushi rice, put into fried tofu pockets, or aburaage (油揚) — And, it’s that simple, sushi rice in a fried tofu pocket, but you’d be very surprised what a sweet taste it takes on. The texture of the tofu paired with the sushi rice makes for a fun side and can be found in many bentou, (弁当).
There are a lot of variations on the main recipe, though. Sesame seeds, vegetables, mushrooms, sardines—It has a great umami to work with. If you’re someone who isn’t into sushi, or even if you are, we definitely recommend trying this—there’s no way you can go wrong with rice and tofu, especially with the sweet seasoning.
How To Make Inarizushi | いなり寿司の作り方
Online, you might find recipes telling you a complicated way of creating inarizushi, but honestly, all you need …. is to go to your local Japanese/Asian food market and pick out a can of ‘INARIZUSHI-NO-MOTO’ (いなり寿司の素) — We’re not sponsoring any specific brand… unless a great brand wants to sponsor us, then we’ll promote inarizushi-no-moto until the twelfth of forever– But, they’re very easy to buy, premade—Inarizushi-no-moto would be the pre-seasoned, pre-fried aburaage pocket that the rice and/or fillings go inside go in~ It’s usually soaking in its own juices, having a lovely time in there.
PROTIP: If you don’t take the entire can in one use, then you’ll want to store it in the liquid from the can or it will dry out instead of the nice easily chewable texture of its proper form.
From there, if you already know how to prepare sushi rice, you’re set! And, if not—We’ll cover that in another post, since there’s some specifics you might want to know~
We hope this explained what Inarizushi is and hopefully encouraged you to have some!
Thank you so much for reading!