Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inari Zushi ( Cooked Fried Tofu Stuffed With Sushi Rice)

Do you like INARI sushi?

We have various types of sushi or rolls in Japan, thick with seaweed outside roll is called FUTO-MAKI, square shaped using cured mackerel is called HAKO-ZUSHI, all different fish and other ingredients on the bed of sushi rice is called CHIRASHI-ZUSHI.

This sweet simmered tofu pocket sushi is a popular picnic dish and lunch box favorite. It is cooked with sugar or mirin, dashi, and soy sauce.

There are cooked packages available in Japanese markets, and I sometimes buy and keep in the freezer.

Inside is sushi rice, you can mix with sesame seeds, shiso leaf, pickled ginger... any thing you think is good.

The other day, I put shiso leaves and cheese in it. Some Japanese people might think that I am crazy, but when I first eat it, ( that was over 20 years ago!) that wasn't too bad.

That was one of the classes when I was taking in my junior collage year. I think that the cheese was called "processed cheese"( which two or more different kind of cheeses are mixed and reshaped into a semi hard type cheese, this is the most popular cheese in Japan back then and the only one I knew.) That idea blew my mind, I thought that it is weird combination, but the taste wasn't as bad as I imagined.

What do you think? Would you like to try it?

Talking about cheese, I have never tried any other kind of natural cheeses until I learned in one of the classes I was taking. Gouda, Cheddar, Brie, Emmenthar...That was my first encounter with the world of cheese for me.

Anyway, I cut a nice Cheddar into tiny cubes and mixed with sushi rice. The rich Cheddar and stickier short grain rice both have kind a similar texture and shiso gives a fresh accent.

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