Boiling water (to remove excess oil from aburaage)
about 300 ml
☆ Soy sauce
Basic sushi rice
Plain cooked rice
600 g (5 rice bowls' worth)
Cut the aburaage in half, then quickly boil both sides for about 30 seconds each. It's quicker if you boil three at a time instead of boiling them all at once.
Place them on a flat plate, then lightly squeeze out the excess water with chopsticks. Put the ☆ ingredients in a pot, then when it boils, add the aburaage and spread them out flat.
Reduce to low heat, cover with a drop lid and then the pot lid, then simmer. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit. Once they cool, they're ready. Lightly squeeze out the excess liquid, then stuff with rice.
Put piping hot rice in a large dish or bowl, then sprinkle in the combined ★ ingredients, mixing with diagonal cutting motions.
Once the rice cools to the touch, stuff the aburaage. If it tears and creates a hole, cut out nori seaweed and set it over the hole from the inside to repair.
For 3 year olds, make hosomaki narrow rolls. If you cut them not vertically, but horizontally in half, they become much easier to eat, and easy to get the child to eat.
You can also vary the rice. Mix rice with golden sesame seeds or use hijiki rice, rice with takana pickles, or mixed rice. Or even rice with cheese (for children).
I also made some tsukudani with wrung-out bonito dashi and kombu seaweed with jako fish and ground sesame seeds. Rice mixed with this has the aroma and flavor of bonito and is a great hit.
Story Behind this Recipe
I've been making these for my kids who have recently acquired a taste for inari sushi.
Take extra care not to tear the tofu wrapping. Don't squeeze out all of the broth from the tofu wrapping; keep them juicy. With the remaining broth, add some Japanese dashi soup stock and a bit of grated ginger, then use it as one serving of somen noodle dipping sauce for your lunch. Or be thrifty and reuse it as stewing broth for koya (freeze-dried) tofu, atsuage (thick fried tofu), and shiitake mushrooms.