Friday, February 10, 2006
Inari zushi is a favourite treat for Japanese fox spirits (kitsune). They are served to kitsune statues at shrines as a method of pleasing and appeasing these tricksie little vixies. I LOVE inari zushi. I would treat favourably ANYONE who gave me inari zushi. Does that make me a fox?
Unfortunately there are no people around here to feed this fox so I had to make my own. Like other kinds of sushi, making this kind is a bit time consuming and best not accomplished on a busy day. This recipe is an adaptation from my new recipe book: The Japanese Kitchen, by Kimiko Barber
1)Make dashi from scratch: Put one piece of postcard size kombu and 4 cups of water in a sauce pan. Heat gently and take out the kombu when it begins to float to the top of the heated water. Raise heat. When the water come boil, take off the heat. Add a handful of bonito flakes and let them settle at the bottom. Once all are settled to the bottom, strain broth through a fine strainer lined with paper towels (about 3-5 minutes for all the bonito to settle)
2) Prepare the sushi rice
3) Once the rice is cooking, open a package of deep fried tofu pockets (I use Sunrise tofu puffs). Roll a chopstick over each piece of tofu to make it more malleable (plastic chopstick works better than wood)
4)Gently open one end to make a pouch and place each opened pocket into a bamboo strainer or colander. Pour a lot of boiling water over them to remove the excess oil.
5) Mix together 1 cup dashi, 4 tbsp granulated sugar, 6 tbsp soy sauce (I ended up using tamari), 3 tbsp sake, 3 tbsp mirin in a bowl. Then pour mixture over tofu in the medium saucepan. Simmer over a low heat until most of the liquid is reduced (~ 20-40 minutes). Let cool, then drain. (At about this time the sushi rice should be cooling too. Letting it cool outside in the wind helped speed the process)
6)In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds with cooked and cooled sushi rice*. Take about two tbsp of the rice mix and fill in the seasoned pouch. Don't overfill the pouch. Carefully fold the edges of the pocket inward. With a Sunrise pack this will create 9 large Inari-zushi. If you decide to cut them in half before boiling in the sauce it will create 18 ( in this case only use one tbsp of filling).
* I mixed some of the rice from a suggested additional filling in another book: chopped crab stix and cucumber.
The Frog wasn't totally impressed, finding it a bit sweet for his taste but I didn't care. That meant more for foxy little me ;)