Japanese Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Tofu: Inari Sushi

Total Time:
1 hr
30 min
30 min

4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup short-grained sushi rice
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium-small carrot, diced
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 9), stemmed and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 ounce Japanese yellow pickled daikon (about a 2-inch-long piece), diced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 12 prepared deep-fried tofu pockets (inari-age), patted dry on paper towels and opened
  • Daikon radish sprouts, for garnish, optional
  • Ground sasho pepper, as needed (see Cook's Note)
  • Serving suggestions: Pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce
  • Whisk the vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

  • Combine the rice, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Wrap the pan's lid tightly with a small kitchen towel and cover the saucepan. (Make sure the towel's edges are folded up well away from the heat.) Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

  • Remove the rice from the heat (don't uncover) and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer it to a large bowl. Add the vinegar mixture and toss with the rice, using a wooden spoon. Spread it out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Fan the rice continuously with a fan or magazine until cooled. Cover the rice with a damp towel.

  • Pour about 1 inch of water into a large saucepan and set up a collapsible steamer inside. Bring the water to boil, put the carrots and mushrooms in the steamer, cover, and steam until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer the carrots and mushrooms to a large bowl, add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, and stir to combine. Let cool.

  • When the vegetable mixture has cooled, add the cucumber, pickled daikon, lime juice, and lime zest and toss to combine. Add the rice and, using a rubber spatula, lightly mix with the vegetable mixture.

  • Set a small bowl of water beside you. Lightly wet your hands and form the vegetable rice into 12 small football-like shapes. Stuff the rice into the tofu pockets and press the sides together. Stuff a few tuffs of radish sprouts in the sides, if using. Stand the tofu packages up on a serving platter and sprinkle with the sansho. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.

  • Cook's Note: Sansho is Japanese-style Sichuan pepper, available at Asian and health food stores. It's a fragrant, lemony pepper that's literally zippy on the tongue, but without spicy heat. We use it to finish a variety of dishes, from soups to rice to meats.

  • Copyright 2005 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

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