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Inari-zushi, thin deep-fried tofu pouches filled with sushi rice, is popular throughout Japan, enjoyed on picnics and other outings. It differs slightly by region, with shapes from oblong to triangular forms, and filling variations that include adding sesame seeds or lotus root pickled in sweetened vinegar to the rice.

(per serving)

Ingredients (Makes 20)

  • 400 ml / 1 2/3 C japonica rice
  • 440 ml / 1 5/6 C water
Sushi vinegar
  • 40 ml / 2 T + 2 t grain vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 10 abura-age thin deep-fried tofu*1
Abura-age simmering liquid
  • 360 ml / 1 1/2 C dashi stock
  • 5 T granulated sugar
  • 3 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 40 g / 1.4 oz. burdock root
  • 40 g / 1.4 oz. carrot
Simmering liquid for burdock root/carrot
  • 120 ml / 1/2 C dashi stock
  • 2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 2 T roasted white sesame seeds
  • *1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml


  1. 1

    Wash and drain the rice; cook with 440 ml water.

  2. 2

    Mix sushi vinegar ingredients and fold into the hot cooked rice and allow to cool.

  3. 3

    Cut each abura-age in half into two squares. Place them in boiling water in a saucepan for 5 minutes to remove excess oil. Drain, cool, then squeeze excess water out by hand. Open the cut edges to form a pouch.

  4. 4

    In a pan, place the abura-age pouches together with the abura-age simmering liquid ingredients. Cover with a drop lid or parchment paper and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is nearly evaporated; drain.

  5. 5

    Scrub the burdock with a brush. Using a knife, shave off short thin slivers while rotating the burdock root (see photo). Allow the shavings to fall directly into a bowl of water. Soak for 5-10 minutes to remove bitterness and then drain.

  6. 6

    Peel the carrot and cut into 4 mm- / 0.15 in.-cubes. Simmer the burdock and carrot in their simmering liquid over medium heat until they are tender and the liquid is nearly evaporated. Remove from heat, allow to cool and drain.

  7. 7

    Add the burdock, carrot and roasted sesame seeds to the sushi rice and fold in gently. Divide the rice into 20 portions, to form 20 small oblong mounds of rice.

  8. 8

    Fill each abura-age pouch with a mound of rice. Gently press the rice into the corners of the pouches with thumbs (see photo). Fold over the open edges of the pouches and place on a plate to serve.

  1. *1Canned pre-seasoned abura-age for inari-zushi may be used.

Recipe by Kikkoman Corporation

Vol. 34

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