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Preparation info

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Appears in

Living Shojin Ryori

Living Shojin Ryori

By Danny Chu

Published 2018

  • About

In Japanese, inari means rice load. Inari is the Shinto god of harvest, fertility, rice, agriculture and worldly success. Shinto temples house fox statues believed to be messengers for wishes. Inari-zushi, shaped like mice, are made as offerings to these fox messengers. Others believe inari-zushi look like fox’s ears, symbolising bags of good news.


  • 4 abura-age (7 cm / in by 4 cm / in)
  • 150 g (5⅓ oz) Japanese short-grain rice
  • 3-cm (-in) piece of konbu
  • 160 ml ( fl oz) water
  • 3 Tbsp toasted and ground sesame seeds

Simmering Stock

  • 200 ml (6⅔ fl oz) mushroom dashi
  • 2 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp raw sugar


Prepare Japanese rice by washing and draining in a sieve for 15 minutes. Add konbu and water to rice and soak for 30 minutes. Pour konbu, water and rice into rice cooker and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.

When rice is done, fluff up and add toasted and ground sesame seeds. Mix well. Set aside to let it cool to room temperature.

Flatten each piece of abura-age with a rolling pin and cut into halves to get 8 halves. Gently open each abura-age to form a pouch. Pour boiling water onto abura-age to remove excess oil. Drain well.

Prepare mushroom dashi in a saucepan. Add soy sauce, mirin and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add abura-age pieces. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for at least 3 hours. Before use, gently squeeze out excess liquid (the abura-age pouches should still be moist).

Fill up the abura-age pouches with rice. Wrap up the opening by overlapping the ends and serve 2 pouches per portion.