Day Three: Inarizushi

Happy weekend everyone! I’m making some Inarizushi, or as my boyfriend likes to call it, “Bean Bags!” According to Makiko Ito of Just Hungry, Inarizushi basically is “fried tofu skin (aburaage) that’s been cooked in a sweet-soy sauce based sauce, drained then stuffed with sushi rice.  Inarizushi is also called o-inari-san in Japan, a sort of term of respect and endearment combined.” Like, yum tho.

I actually keep canned Inarizushi in my cupboard pretty much at all times. It’s a delicious snack and it’s great for using up leftover rice. I used to make a bunch and freeze them to snack on later. Today’s recipe calls for what looks like fresh aburaage, for lack of a better term. I was able to find it at my local Japanese grocery store, but I initially intended to use just the canned kind I keep on hand normally. Both look radically different, but I wanted to cover my bases by cooking both. I am comparing the two with the method Chef uses in the video. Let’s see how it turns out!

I set my rice cooker to be ready when I got home from work. I do not have a “drop lid” at home, so I’m improvising with a silicone lid I found randomly in my cupboards. It takes me a couple of them to become used to opening the pockets, I can be pretty lead-handed when it comes to doing things that require a bit of dexterity. A skill that comes and goes for me. As you can see in the picture above, the skins from the can (left) and the ones that I made fresh (on the right) look essentially the same, but the taste and texture is night and day. The homemade ones are thicker and easier to stuff, while the ones in the cans ripped so easily. The texture is also spongier, and it has a better bite than the canned. I wish I had the time to make these all the time, the texture and taste just cannot compare.

As for the rice mixture, I really wish I had just left the sushi rice plain, like I usually do. CwD’s recipe called for sushi rice flavored with shiitake mushrooms, hiijiki seaweed, and carrots. I do not care for the flavor of shiitake mushrooms, unless they are heavily seasoned. I also did not have hijiki seaweed, so I substituted for minced wakame. Not a big fan of the flavor combinations and didn’t enjoy the bean bags as much when I stuffed them. Ah well, at least I tried the recipe! I’ve got like, 300 more to worry about. As my roommate pointed out, they may be better in the Kitsune Udon I’m making next. As it seems, I have plenty of aburaage left, as well as rice. Maybe I will try it out…

See y’all tomorrow!

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