What Is Inari Sushi and How Can You Make It?

Sushi is a Japanese traditional dish that is prepared using vineyard rice and tucked with different ingredients such as raw vegetables, seafood, sugar, and salt. There is a wide variety of sushi out there depending on the regions and preferences of the people. These differences are mostly characterized by the difference in presentation styles and the ingredients used. With that being said, Inari Sushi is one of the most famous and easiest Japanese Sushi you can make at home. It is a treat for vegan-friendly people. 

What is Inari Sushi?

Inari sushi that is often called Inarizushi is basically sushi that includes rice stuffed inside tofu pockets that are seasoned and deep-fried called Inari Age. The Inari Age is produced with the help of a dashi-based broth in which the tofu pockets are simmered. Once the tofu pockets have been allowed to absorb all the flavors, they are squeezed to eliminate the excess liquid and stuffed with rice. 

Inari sushi generally features a tangy and sweet flavor forming a golden pouch appearance. This makes them the best sushi to be enjoyed at a picnic, home, or on the go. Furthermore, Inari sushi is also found packed in bento boxes. You will find these boxes in Japanese stores that have a combination of different food items including sushi and other food items. 

The Origin of Inari Sushi

In Japan, there are Inari shrines that are dedicated to Inari. These shrines are specifically built to protect the crops. The followers visit the shrines and bring deep-fried tofu pockets or Inari Sushi to be offered to the fox statues on the grounds of the shrine. It is believed that these foxes serve as the messengers of the Inari god and like aburaage. To show gratitude to the Inari god, newly harvested rice was presented as a filling to the fried tofu. 

Tokyo vs Osaka Style Inari Sushi

The Inari sushi in Japan is different in certain areas such as Tokyo and Osaka. Inari Sushi offered here feature different shapes and presentation styles. For instance, in the Tokyo area, you will find Inari sushi that is characterized by straw bag-shaped sushi and sushi rice that is wrapped completely inside the bag. 

Meanwhile, the Osaka sushi features fox ear-like triangle-shaped Inari sushi that is designed in such a way that the rice is exposed at the bottom while the sushi rice can sometimes be found to be mixed with various ingredients. 

How to Make Inari Sushi?

To make Inari sushi, you need some steamed sushi rice with sushi seasonings on top. Then make the dashi-based broth and simmer the tofu pockets in. You can also purchase packaged inari from a local store. Now stuff the sushi rice inside the inari pockets. 

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Inari Age

There is a difference between homemade inari age and store-bought inari age. According to most, homemade inari age is the best option as the store-bought inari age is a bit sweeter. 

If you live far from Japan, then homemade inari age is the best option. You are not going to find inari sushi in bento boxes elsewhere. Plus, homemade inari sushi is relatively healthier and you can adjust the taste according to your preference. 

On the other hand, if you live in Japan, you can easily purchase inari sushi found in local stores. These come in boxes that are stored at room temperature. However, these boxes sometimes contain unnatural ingredients.

Final Word

Inari sushi apart from being delicious and healthy is very easy to make. You can easily make it at home any time of the day and serve it as lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. And since it is light on the stomach as well and allows a combination of different stuffing, you can make come up with different varieties each time to serve the taste buds.