Inari are fried tofu pouches which you can buy readymade or easily make at home. These are stuffed with vegetables and rice and flavoured with seasoned rice vinegar. They make a great alternative to sushi. If you can’t find inari pouches, it’s easy to make these from regular tofu.
Add an extra 40 minutes to this recipe if you are making your own inari pouches.
For the inari pouches (if making)
- 400g block firm tofu
- 300g vegetable oil for deep frying
- 130ml water
- 4 tbsp white caster sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- ½ tsp instant dashi stock powder
For the inari filling
- 130g sushi rice
- 1 tbsp sushi seasoning or seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 inari pockets
- 1 medium carrot cut into very thin batons
- ½ avocado finely diced
- ¼ cucumber finely diced
for the Sriracha mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- A few strips of nori
- If using readymade inari pouches, start from step 8.
- To make the inari pouches: Extract the excess water from the tofu block by using a tofu press for 20 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the tofu up in kitchen roll, put it on a plate and weigh it down with another plate on top, for 20 minutes.
- Cut the tofu in to thin slices, pat dry with kitchen towel. In a large sauce pan, heat up the vegetable oil to 110°C and deep fry the tofu slices until they puff up.
- Remove from the oil, bring the temperature up to 180°C and then deep fry again until the tofu starts to turn golden.
- Remove from the oil again and allow to cool down completely. Slice a half down the middle to create a pouch.
- In a separate saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, ensuring that the sugar is dissolved. Add the inari pouches and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the inari pouches to cool in the liquid. Once cooled, drain and set the pouches aside.
- Cook the sushi rice as directed on the packet. Once cooked, drain off and decant into a container to cool down for 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, mix in the sushi seasoning or seasoned rice vinegar. The rice should feel sticky once the seasoning in mixed in.
- Open the inari pouch, taking care not to tear it. Line the pocket with the seasoned sushi rice leaving a space in the centre for the filling. Add the carrot, avocado and cucumber.
- To make the Sriracha mayonnaise: Mix together the vegan mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce.
- To garnish: Drizzle with a bit of the sauce and sprinkle over a few black sesame seeds. Serve the rest of the mayonnaise on the side.