Rice Stuffed Tofu Pockets (Inari Sushi)

Rice stuffed tofu pockets recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Assemble: 10 mins
  • Yield: 20 pockets (10 servings)

Inari sushi is made by filling a pouch of seasoned fried tofu (abura age) with sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god, Inari, who is said to have had a fondness for tofu. Deep-fried tofu pouches became so popular in Japan that by the 1980s, 300,000 to 450,000 pouches were made every day and roughly 1/3 of the soybeans used for tofu were used for the deep fried pouches. 

These tofu pockets are a portable, healthy, everyday vegetarian dish. You can dress these up any way you wish, as this is just the most basic recipe to make inari. Some of the most common inari stuffings include steamed vegetables with rice and furikake, radish, and rice.

These are traditionally Japanese, but they were also very popular in Korea because of the long 19th-century colonization of Korea by the Japanese.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice (sushi or medium-grain rice)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 sheets Korean seaweed laver (gim, crumbled)
  • 10 square inari tofu pockets (cut in half)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for rice stuffed tofu pockets
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Cook rice in rice cooker or in a pot on the stove. 

    Cook rice
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Once the rice is done, fluff the rice with a spoon.

    Rice is done
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Let rest with the lid on for another 10 to 15 minutes.

    Cover rice
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. In a bowl, combine sugar with the vinegar, whisking to combine.

    Combine sugar with vinegar
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  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 Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Fan with a fan or magazine and when it's cool enough to handle, mix in the vinegar-sugar mixture to the rice. Keep fanning as you combine.

    Fan
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Then, mix in the crumbled seaweed laver.

    Mix in seaweed
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Wet your hands with rice vinegar so the rice doesn't stick to you and loosely separate the rice into 20 portions.

    Wet hands with rice vinegar
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Shape each into an oval and press firmly into the inari pockets.

    Shape into oval
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck