Inari Sushi: Rice Stuffed Tofu Pockets

Rice Stuffed Tofu Pockets (Inari Sushi)

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Assemble: 10 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 20 pockets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
153 Calories
3g Fat
28g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 48mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Inari sushi is made by filling a pouch of seasoned fried tofu called aburaage with sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who is said to have had a fondness for tofu. These tofu pouches are a portable, healthy, everyday vegetarian and vegan dish. You can dress these up any way you wish, as our recipe is just the most basic recipe to make inari. Use your imagination and other ingredients you have at hand to prepare your own version of inari sushi.

Deep-fried tofu pouches are very popular in Japan. By the 1980s, close to 300,000 to 450,000 pouches were made every day and roughly one-third of the soybeans used for tofu were used for them. Today, the love for these tasty pockets continues. In the United States, these pouches are widely available in the refrigerated aisle in Asian supermarkets but can also be bought canned from online retailers.

For other fun lunches with aburaage, use our recipe as a template and think of steamed vegetables, furikake seasoning, radishes, avocado, thinly sliced seaweed, bamboo shoots, or meaty treats like crab, pork, or fish to make other wonderful and filling versions. Any way you choose to eat them, these pockets are great for an office or school lunch box, they keep well overnight if refrigerated, and can be eaten cold.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sushi rice, or medium-grain rice

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 sheets nori, or gim, crumbled

  • 10 square inari pockets, cut in half

Steps to Make It

Make the Sushi Rice

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for rice stuffed tofu pockets

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Cook the sushi rice according to instructions in a rice cooker or in a pot on the stove. 

    Cook rice

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Once the rice is done, fluff the rice with a spoon.

    Fluff rice after cooking

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Let rest with the lid on for another 10 to 15 minutes.

    Cover rice in the pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. In a bowl, combine sugar with the vinegar, whisking to combine.

    Combine sugar with vinegar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Transfer the rice to a very large wooden bowl or salad bowl. Spread out in a thin layer so that the rice cools.

    Transfer rice to bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Cool the rice using a hand fan or waving a magazine back and forth, and when it's cool enough to handle, mix in the vinegar-sugar mixture to the rice. Keep fanning as you combine.

    Fan rice to help it cool

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Assemble the Inari Sushi

  1. Mix the crumbled seaweed into the seasoned rice.

    Mix the seaweed into the seasoned rice

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Wet your hands with rice vinegar so the rice doesn't stick. Divide the rice into 20 portions, either by weighing the total amount and neatly dividing it by 20 or by eyeballing 20 little zeppelin-shaped balls.

    Rice and seaweed in zeppelin-shaped balls on a wood board

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Shape each portion into an oval and press firmly into the inari pockets. Repeat the process until you have used all the rice and pockets. Serve immediately.

    Rice stuffed tofu pockets (inari sushi)

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Enjoy.

What to Serve With Inari Sushi

To make a complete lunch of these tasty treats, here are a few ideas on what to serve with it:

  • Soy sauce or tamari is a good option, depending on if you need the meal to be gluten free or not. Many tofu pockets are gluten free but double-check the label before buying if there's a wheat allergy in the house.
  • Wasabi is a great addition, as each guest can add a dab or two into each pocket, depending on their spice tolerance.
  • Steamed vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, and snap peas, are an ideal side to these pockets.
  • Sesame seeds, white, black, or both, add some crunch and nutrition to the pockets, so sprinkle some on top if desired. Alternatively, serve with furikake seasoning.
  • A bowl of miso soup is also a welcome addition to an inari sushi lunch.

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