Japan Eats


Inarizushi are commonly served as part of a sushi bento (Japanese lunchbox). They are also great for picnics, or as finger food for guests. This particular recipe uses roasted sesame seeds to flavour the rice, but you can also add finely sliced ginger that has been pickled in sweet vinegar. In summer, use boiled edamame (green soybeans) to flavour the sushi rice.


Throw a couple of these into your next bento!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 8 sheets of deep-fried tofu
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

Sushi vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sake


Cook the rice, but use less water than usual. It should still be slightly hard (you’re going to be adding more moisture with the vinegar). Next, pour all the ingredients for the sushi vinegar into a pan. Warm it over a low heat until both the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to cool.

Transfer the rice to a wooden sushi bowl moistened with water. Sprinkle the sushi vinegar all over the rice. Toss the rice with downward cutting strokes until the rice cools. Add the 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds, quickly mixing them with the rice.

Now cut the deep-fried tofu sheets in half. Be careful to slice these halfway down the long side, forming what should be two squares. Carefully open each of them to form a pouch.

Next, boil 1 liter of water in a new pan. Place the deep-fried tofu into the pan and boil them for approximately 1 minute to remove any oil. Once this is done, wash them in cold water and then carefully squeeze each of them to remove any excess water.

Place all the soup ingredients into a new pan and boil them. Put the deep-fried tofu pouches into the pan and cook them for 25 – 30 minutes on a low heat. The tofu should soak up all the soup.

Once the deep-fried tofu has cooled, again squeeze the pouches gently to remove the excess soup. Holding the pouch in one hand, scoop the rice into the pouch with your other hand. Shape the tofu pouch into a small cylinder, sealing the opening by folding the two sides over.

Your inarizushi are ready to serve.

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