Blog, Spring Food

Triangle Shape Inari sushi (Kansai Style)

Have you ever noticed there are a few different shapes for Inari sushi? Those aburaage pouches stuffed with seasoned sushi rice.

You may be familiar with the cylindrical shaped ones but today I decided to make the triangle shaped ones popular in the Kansai region of Japan. The exact origins of Inari sushi are unknown but its name is reference to the Inari shrines all across Japan which are dedicated to the kami (deity) of business and prosperity and are associated with foxes the guardians of such shrines.

It is said that foxes like to eat Inari and the triangle shape of Inari sushi are likened to the ears of a fox.
However I decided as it was golden week they also could look a little like a samurai warrior helmet which are a popular symbol around Tango no Sekku (also known as boys day). I decided to make triangular Inari sushi to celebrate.

To make the triangular shape you will need the rectangular frozen variety of aburaage pouches that are fried but not seasoned. Defrost them and slice them corner to corner.

Then lay them in a sieve and pour boiling water over them to get rid of any oil from the cooking process.

Next add to a pan 200 ml of kombu shiitake dashi, 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of mirin and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Start to heat the dashi to dissolve the sugar then add your aburaage pouches. Simmer for 15 minutes and then leave in the stock to cool for a few hours to absorb the flavours.

Wash two rice cooker cups of Japanese sushi rice until the water runs clear, leave to air in a sieve for 10 minutes then transfer to a rice cooker with three rice cooker cups of water. Leave to soak for at least an hour then cook your rice. Note: The plastic rice cup that comes with the rice cooker is 3/4  cup (180ml) this amount is called ichi go in Japanese.
When your rice is done take your aburaage pouches and gently squeeze out the liquid and leave in a sieve while you prepare your rice.
Tip your rice into a bowl or hangiri (cypress wood sushi bowl) if you have one. Sprinkle over some sushi seasoning and using a slicing motion cut into the rice to combine. As you’re cutting the rice with one hand cool down the rice with a fan with the other hand. Add some toasted sesame seeds and you are ready to fill your aburaage pockets.

You will need a bowl of fresh cold water placed to one side to wet your hands to stop the rice sticking. Take one of the pockets and part the edges wet your hands and take a ball of the sushi rice roll it in your hands and place this in side the pocket. Take the pointed end and tuck this inside and fold over the other side to cover. Turn the pocket upside down so the triangle top is pointing up.

Repeat until you have filled all your pockets. I decided to make them look a little more like samurai helmets by adding a little decoration of lotus root and tsukemono pickles. Serve as part of a Golden week meal or any time you like. They are perfect for adding to a bento on the go.