Inari sushi or pockets of fried tofu are filled traditionally with sushi rice, as I’ve done here and here and somen noodles or non-traditionally with grains such as quinoa. You could even use couscous if you wished, I think.
It’s been ages since I made any however, and I keep running across a can of the pockets in my pantry. I did some net surfing and ran across a very tasty sounding Korean adaptation of the classic Japanese recipe.
You can use sushi rice for this recipe but the recipe I based this on used a medium grain Arborio rice which is used in Italy for risotto or even a Spanish paella. And, the rice is flavoured with a combination of sauteed and seasoned vegetables that make it suitable to serve as a side dish or even a single dish meal.
And here are some more traditional inari sushi I made last week with plain sushi rice and topped with spicy shredded fake crab legs, masago (capelin roe) and egg salad.
Korean Inari Sushi (Yubu Chobap)
1 can (16 pockets) or 1 package (20) seasoned frozen bean curd pockets
Rice – enough rice to fill 16 to 20 tofu pockets or as a side dish to serve 4-6 people
1 cup Arborio rice
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
In a large bowl, rinse the rice several times in cold water, using your hand to stir the grains. Drain.
Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the salt and the drained rice. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring several times.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle the rice vinegar over the top, folding the vinegar gently through the rice with a spatula. Allow to cool, uncovered.
Seasoning Sauce for rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Vegetable Mixture – fills ~20 bean curd pockets
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 medium (1/2 cup) carrot, minced
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6-8 dried shiitakes; rehydrated, drained, and minced or 4 oz cremini mushrooms, minced
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or mirin
Furikake for garnish or stir 2 tbsp into the rice and vegetable mixture at the end
NOTE: Instead of the mushrooms, you can use 1 green pepper or 4-6 green onions. For a meat version, use 1/4-1/2 pound ground beef.
Heat oil in large saute pan on medium high heat. Cook the carrots first for about 1-2 minutes, push aside and add the onions. Saute until the vegetable are tender. Make a well in the center, add the shiitakes and garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the sauce mixture to shiitakes and the Shaoxing wine. Mix all the vegetables together in the pan.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.
Mix together the rice, vegetables and furikake, if desired.
Fill the bean curd pockets with as much filling as you want!
Serve hot or at room temperature.