You can tie them up with kanpyo instead of using toothpicks
If the toothpick is long, the aburaage may tear, so cut off each end with kitchen scissors. Using a piece of kanpyo to tie the ends would be even better!
Open up the aburaage so that they become pouches. Pour boiling water over to drain the oil, and stuff with the mochi. Secure closed with a tooth pick. (See Hints.)
If the toothpick is long the aburaage bag may tear, so cut off each end with kitchen scissors. Using a piece of kanpyo to tie it up would be even better!
Put the stuffed pouches in a pot, add 500 ml of water and bring to a boil.
Just before it comes to a boil, add the sugar and mirin. When it comes to a boil turn the heat down to low, and put in a small lid that sits right on top of the contents of the pan (otoshibuta or drop lid). Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn the pan as shown in the photo halfway through, and simmer for another 5 minutes. If you let the sugar penetrate slowly, the mochi won't get hard easily.
Take the drop lid out and add the soy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or so. Be careful not to let it burn!! (If there's too much liquid, reduce slightly).
If you want the mochi to be even meltier when cool, cut each mochi in 4 pieces, use 8 pieces of aburaage, and the same amount of flavoring ingredients.
Story Behind this Recipe
I make this inari-mochi when we get tired of eating ozouni. When he was in school, this was the one thing he would always eat if it was in his bento, so I made this often. I got the inspiration for it from my mother.
In step 7, if the heat is too high it may burn, so when the liquid has reduced a lot turn off the heat. You can eat this when it's cool, but if you want to re-heat it it's best to do so in the microwave. If you cut the mochi in half, the sugar will penetrate it better and it won't become hard.