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Inari Sushi

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Inari sushi or Inarizushi is a little pocket of fried tofu stuffed with a slightly sweet, seasoned rice. It’s the ultimate Japanese snack that has no raw ingredients and is easy to make at home.

five inari in a row on a cream plate with the one closest open on top to reveal white rice. topped with sesame seeds and in front of red plate and on a teal cloth

If you don’t like raw fish or sushi, you may like inari sushi (ee-nah-ree). But, it can be expensive to buy—I’ve found it pre-made in the sushi section at the grocery store for as much as $1.35 a piece! 

That’s why I prefer to make inari at home for pennies, since my kids can eat 6 pieces in one sitting!

What is inari sushi made of?

Inari sushi is made with only a few ingredients: a little tofu pouch that has been fried and marinated in a sweet and vinegary liquid (called aburaage), sticky short grain Japanese rice, sesame seeds, and some of the seasoning from the aburaage.

The little tofu pouches are made by taking thin slices of tofu, then frying them, which forms a little pocket or pouch. These little tofu pouches are then used for inari sushi, or cut and added to miso soup or udon.

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Is Inari Sushi Raw?

While most sushi usually includes raw fish, inari sushi is not raw and does not contain any fish at all: inari is tofu and rice. 

So, is inari considered sushi? Technically, yes. Sushi is vinegared rice topped or paired with (traditionally) fish, vegetables, eggs, or other toppings. While it doesn’t have those toppings, because it’s prepared with vinegared rice, it’s technically sushi.

side view of five inari on a cream plate and teal cloth background with second from the right inari open to reveal white rice

What does Inari Sushi Taste Like?

The rice tastes similar to sushi rice, which is lightly seasoned with rice vinegar. The tofu pouches are sweet and have a somewhat chewy texture. Filled with the rice, they’re the perfect handheld snack beloved by sushi lovers and non-sushi lovers alike!

Is inari sushi vegan or vegetarian?

Inari sushi is both vegan and vegetarian, as it doesn’t contain any meat or animal products or byproducts.

top view of five inari in a vertical row on a white plate and teal cloth with bottom inari open revealing white rice

How do you eat Inari?

You eat inari with your clean fingers, similar to how you’d eat nigiri sushi. Pick up a piece, take a bite, and repeat! 

Does inari sushi need to be refrigerated?

After assembling, inari can be tightly covered and left at room temperature for up to 2 hours. I recommend eating it immediately after assembling, as the vinegared rice can get hard and dry after a long time. 

I recommend only making as many as you can eat in one sitting, as inari that are refrigerated overnight are usually hard and dry. You’ll want to keep the aburaage/inari pouches and rice separate, and season the rice immediately before assembling.

Where to buy aburaage for inarizushi

You can purchase inari pouches from an Asian grocery store. I usually find them in the refrigerated section next to the tofu blocks. Sometimes, they’re in the frozen section by the frozen fish and sushi supplies. They’re also occasionally found canned in the Japanese food section.

How to make Inari Sushi

This is my simple way of making this dish without having to make seasoned rice with separate ingredients. It might not be the most traditional way, but I find it tastes just as good and it’s way easier.

top view of five inari on a cream plate and teal cloth background with second from the right inari open to reveal white rice
  • Wash and rinse your Japanese sushi rice or sticky short grain rice and cook as directed. I use a Zojirushi rice maker.
  • Fluff the rice with a rice paddle to release some steam and make the rice fluffy.
  • Open the package of inari pouches, and drain the liquid from the bag or can into a separate small bowl or cup. 
  • Transfer the amount of rice you need into a large mixing bowl. I use a little less than ¼ cup per piece.
  • Sprinkle the reserved inari liquid onto the rice, about a tablespoon per every 4 cups of rice. I also sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds.
  • Lightly toss the rice together- you don’t want to smash and abuse the rice to make mochi!
  • Carefully open each pouch in the palm of your hand, and gently fill it with a spoonful of rice. You can use your spoon or fingers to lightly press the rice into the pouch. 
  • Place it rice-side down on a plate, and serve!

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Graphic of 3 Ingredient Inari Sushi with a picture of inari sushi on a plate.
3 Ingredient Inari Sushi at Home

3 Ingredient Inari Sushi at Home

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Inari sushi or Inarizushi is a little pocket of fried tofu stuffed with a slightly sweet, seasoned rice. It’s the ultimate Japanese snack that has no raw ingredients and is easy to make at home.

Ingredients

  • About 1.5-2 cups Japanese sticky rice (or 2.5-3 cups, cooked)
  • 12 Inari/Aburrage pouches, juices reserved
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Wash and rinse rice and cook as directed.
  2. Fluff the rice with a rice paddle to release some steam and make the rice fluffy.
  3. Open the package of inari pouches, and drain the liquid from the bag or can into a separate small bowl or cup. 
  4. Transfer rice into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with reserved inari liquid and sesame seeds.
  5. Lightly toss the rice together, taking care not to mash it.
  6. Carefully open each inari pouch in the palm of your hand and gently fill each with a spoonful of rice. You can use your spoon or fingers to lightly press the rice into the pouch. 
  7. Place the inari rice-side down on a plate, and serve immediately.

Notes

    • Purchase inari pouches from an Asian grocery store. I usually find them in the refrigerated section next to the tofu blocks. Sometimes, they’re in the frozen section by the frozen fish and sushi supplies. They’re also occasionally found canned in the Japanese food section. I highly prefer the refrigerated/frozen kind.
    • After assembling, inari can be tightly covered and left at room temperature for up to 2 hours. I recommend eating the inari immediately after assembling, as the vinegared rice can get hard and dry after a long time. 
    • I recommend only making as many as you can eat in one sitting, as inari that are refrigerated overnight are usually hard and dry. You’ll want to keep the aburaage/inari pouches and rice separate, and season the rice immediately before assembling.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

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