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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet Potato Inari Sushi

I love sweet potatoes: baked, mashed, sautéed, grilled, or deep fried. I just discovered that they also make a delicious stuffing for inari sushi.

Inari sushi are made by filling abura-age, fried tofu skin pounches, with rice and vegetables. Abura-age is sold in Asian markets and in the specialty aisles of major supermarkets, either in cans or in a dry pack.

You've probably seen inari sushi at a sushi bar and wondered what they are. Usually they're served rice side down, so from the top they look like wrinkled footballs.

They're actually made out of thin pieces of fried tofu, joined together on three sides to make a pocket. They're soft and sweet and usually stuffed with white sushi rice. Sometimes flecks of vegetables like carrots are added for color.

Besides being tasty, they're a good bargain. For less than three dollars you can make two dozen of these healthy taste treats.

Sweet Potato Inari Sushi

Taking a western approach, I sauté the sweet potatoes in olive oil with a little garlic. The sweet potatoes give the inari sushi a unique flavor that works equally well as a snack or a party appetizer.

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes


2 sweet potatoes, medium sized, washed, peeled, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, washed, peeled, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled, mashed, finely chopped
1 can or dry pack abura-age or inari sushi, 20-24 pieces
2 cups cooked rice, preferably Japanese white rice or organic brown rice
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Sauté the sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic in the olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Mix together with the cooked rice.

When you open the can of inari sushi, you'll find two dozen flattened tofu wrappers. Use your fingers to carefully open each one. Gently rinse them with water and pat dry. Spoon in the sweet potato-rice mixture, being careful not to tear the tofu skin.

Serve at room temperature or warmed in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes.


jessmerk said...

Do you recommend canned inari or is making it from age better? I am going to a sushi rolling pot luck party tonight and am looking for ideas.

caldoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
caldoria said...

Deleted previous comment because I'm a perfectionist!
Jessmerk, My opinion: I love inari-zushi and have made it with both canned and the uncanned abura age. I prefer the latter. It's more labor intensive, but I can season it as I want. Of course, the canned does provide convenience. I like some brands more than others, though. Can't remember the names...I hope your pot luck was fun!