Monday, January 10, 2011

Inarizushi (稲荷寿司)

I was thinking of what to make for lunch, and remembered I had some inari (fried tofu pouches) in the freezer. I love Japanese food, and the preparations for inarizushi is really a very simple process.

I simply defrosted the inari pouches in the refrigerator the night before I made my lunch, and the next day, I cooked up some rice to fill the inari pouches. While inarisuzhi can be filled with just rice alone, I like to top mine with meat soboro and iri tamago, which are pretty simple to prepare too.

A simple lunch at home...
Iri tamago; Riceballs; Inarizushi; Cucumber salad

I thought that lunch shouldn't be without vegetables, so I made a simple cucumber salad. Use a mandolin to thinly slice up some Japanese cucumbers, sprinkle some salt and mix and set aside (this is to draw out the water in the cucumber and keeps the slices crunchy) for at least 20 minutes. Rinse with water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Season with salt, pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce and shichimi. Mix. It's really a breeze to prepare rights?

I had tons of leftover rice after filling the inari pouches, so I seasoned them with vegetable-flavoured onigiri seasoning and rolled them into 1/8 cup size balls. I used my hands to roll them as I didn't have round rice balls molds. The rice was so sticky! I had to keep a bowl of water beside me, and kept wetting my palms before rolling each rice ball to make sure that the rice didn't stick to my hands.

Filling the inarizushi

As I was planning to top my inarizushi with meat soboro and iri tamago, I half filled the tofu pouches with rice, leaving some space for my toppings. The recipe for the meat soboro is listed below, while the recipe for iri tamago can be found here

Basic meat soboro (adapted from Just Bento)
250g ground pork
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce

Heat the sesame oil in the pan. Add the vegetables and stir fry until softened. Add the meat and brown well.
Add the sugar and mirin, mix. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Let simmer until the liquid is almost gone, but the meat is still moist. Taste for seasoning at this point and add a little soy sauce or salt if you think it needs it. (Keep in mind that it’s made to eat with something bland, like rice, so it should be quite strongly flavored.)

I've made this meat soboro countless of times already, mostly throughout my uni days, in my previous bento craze days. ;) I used it as a topping for sanshoku bento, inarizushi and even noodles. It's a really versatile but simple topping for many different dishes. Just be sure to pair it with milder flavour sides as it is pretty salty eaten on its own. There were leftovers, so the next day, I boiled some plain noodles, drained them, and just added the leftover meat topping on the noodles and mixed them up. An even easier to prepare lunch. Delicious!


  1. Follow up: I got everything at the market, no problem. First I made the scrambled eggs. Mine weren't the beautiful yellow you got - they were a little brown from the soy. But they tasted great!

    Today I made the soboro, and it is delicious. Definitely salty, but since I'll be making rice and it has to provide flavor for that, just right. In fact, I think I'll make it and use it on noodles for dinner some nights.

    Thank you! Great recipes, and great instructions.

  2. YUM! Thanks so much. I've made a shopping list and am going to try this for next week's lunches. I just started making onigiri, and this will go well with it.


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