Let’s prepare the aburaage, fried tofu pouches. Roll out each fried tofu with a rolling pin. This will make the fried tofu easy to open.
Cut them in half and carefully open the pouches. Repeat the process and make 12 tofu pouches in total.
Let’s remove the excess oil from the fried tofu. Put the fried tofu in a generous amount of boiling water. Cover with the drop-lid and cook the tofu for 5 minutes. This process will remove the excess oil and also soften the fried tofu.
Turn off the burner and remove the drop-lid with tongs. Remove the fried tofu from the pot. Cool them down on a mesh strainer.
Squeeze water out of the fried tofu. Press them firmly between paper towels to remove any excess water.
Put the dashi stock, sugar, mirin and soy sauce to the skillet. Turn on the burner. Stir with a paddle and dissolve the sugar.
Spread the fried tofu in the skillet in four sections. Stack the each section in three layers. Press the fried tofu with the tongs and let them soak in the dashi stock thoroughly. Put the drop-lid on, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the cover and the drop-lid. Flip the fried tofu with the paddle and tongs. Replace the drop-lid. Simmer down until all the dashi stock is evaporated. Turn off the burner. With the drop-lid still on, cool down the fried tofu and let them absorb the dashi stock.
Let’s cut the ingredients for Inarizushi. Slice the carrot thinly. Stack them on top of each other and chop them into fine pieces. Chop the hijiki seaweed into fine pieces. The seaweed normally comes in dried form. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes beforehand, then rinse and drain well before use.
Here we have the dried shiitake mushrooms, which were left soaked in water overnight in the fridge. Squeeze out the excess shiitake liquid. Remve the stems and slice the shiitake thinly. Chop them into fine pieces.
Let's stir-fry the ingredients. Heat the small pot on the burner. Heat the vegetable oil in the small pot. Put in the carrot, shiitake mushrooms and hijiki seaweed. Thoroughly stir-fry the ingredients.
Pour in the shiitake liquid. Add the sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce. Lightly stir with the paddle. Reduce the heat to low and boil it down until all the liquid is evaporated.
Let’s make sushi rice. Cook the rice with 1 tbsp sake and the dried kombu seaweed. Lightly stir with a rice paddle.
Put on the kitchen gloves and remove the inner container from the rice cooker. Put the fresh steamed rice in a shallow bowl.
Pour on the sushi vinegar evenly with the paddle. Quickly spread the rice in the bowl. Move the paddle in a slashing motion to keep the rice from becoming gooey. Continue to stir the rice gently while turning it over.
When the rice is evenly dressed with the vinegar, cover with a tightly squeezed kitchen towel. Leave the sushi rice to rest for a while and allow the vinegar to be absorbed.
While it is still warm, add the carrot, hijiki seaweed, shiitake mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds to the sushi rice. Mix the sushi rice with the paddle in a slashing motion.
Let’s stuff the tofu pouches with the sushi rice. Lightly squeeze the excess stock from the fried tofu. Fold the mouths outward and shape the tofu into pouches.
Shape the sushi rice into a small ball and stuff it into each tofu pouch. Adjust the shape and fold the mouth of the fried tofu. Repeat this process and make 12 pieces of Inarizushi.
Here is a premade omelette sheet. This will turn into an appetizing alternative to the Inarizushi. Wrap the egg sheet around the sushi rice ball like shown in the video. Tie the egg with the string of the boiled mitsuba, Japanese wild parsley.
Serve the Inarizushi and the omelette sushi on a plate. Finally, garnish with the pickled ginger.
How to Make Steamed Rice
Wash and drain 300ml rice (1.27 cups) with a sieve basket. Put the rice in a rice cooker and add 300ml water (1.27 cups), 1 tbsp sake and 5x5cm dashi kombu seaweed (2x2 inch). Let the rice soak in the water for 30 minutes and turn on the rice cooker.
Inarizushi is a perfect filling for bento. Select colorful ingredients and make your bento look visually appealing.
Premade fried tofu pouches in a freezer bag can be stored in the freezer so you can easily prepare Inarizushi any time.
You can also add fried tofu on top of udon noodles, making it Kitsune Udon.
Remove the firm stringy fibers of the snow peas. You can also use snap peas or string bean pods instead. Add salt to a pot of boiling water to help keep the peas from getting soggy. Boil the snow peas for about 1 minute. Remove and strain the peas with a mesh strainer.
Boil the firm tofu in the same pot. As shown, tear the tofu and submerge it in the boiling water. This parboiling process will reduce the water in the tofu and also help it absorb the flavor.
When the inside becomes hot, remove and strain the tofu with a mesh strainer.
Let's cut the ingredients. Cut the snow peas into 1cm (0.4") pieces using diagonal cuts. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices. Then, cut into relatively thick strips.
Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Save the shiitake liquid for later use. Remove the stems. And cut the caps into fine strips.
As for the chicken breast, cut into 1cm (0.4") cubes. Cut the white part of the long green onion into thin circular slices.
Let's make the Iri Dofu. Heat the sesame oil in a pan. Add the white part of long green onion. Stir-fry until the onion is slightly browned and it starts to grow more fragrant.
Add the carrot. Then, add the shiitake mushrooms.
When the sesame oil is distributed evenly, add the chicken. Continue to stir-fry.
Now, the chicken is cooked. Remove the excess water from the tofu with a paper towel. Then, add the tofu. Roughly break the tofu into smaller pieces while sauteing.
Lightly season the tofu with salt. If you are a health-conscious person, you can definitely leave it out but a pinch of salt makes a big difference and brings out the savory flavor. Stir-fry on high heat and reduce the liquid.
Add the sugar, salt, soy sauce and shiitake liquid. The savory shiitake broth should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you add too much liquid, you will need to spend more time to reduce it.
Thoroughly stir-fry the ingredients and reduce the excess broth. Then, pour the beaten egg over the mixture.
When the edges begin to firm up, gently distribute the egg. Add the snow peas and quickly mix.
Now, it is ready. Ladle the Iri Dofu into a bowl.
When you use the Iri-Dofu as a bento ingredient, be sure to stir-fry thoroughly to reduce the broth and cook the egg completely.
To rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in water and store in the fridge overnight. You can also freeze the rehydrated shiitake to keep them on standby.
Yakisoba noodles are commonly served by vendor booths at festivals and also when people go out camping in Japan. This is a simple, delicious and healthy recipe and you can eat plenty of healthy vegetables.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice into 1cm (0.4") slices across the grain. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices and cut into 2mm (0.1") strips. Tear the shimeji mushrooms into small pieces. And slice the long green onion into 2cm (0.8") pieces.
Let's make the curry sauce for udon noodles. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Add in the white part of the long green onion sliced diagonally. Saute the onion to make it sweet and tender. When the onion is deliciously browned, remove and save it on a plate.
Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pot. Add the onion, carrot and shimeji mushrooms. Lightly cook the ingredients. When the oil is distributed evenly, add in the beef slices. Continue to saute the ingredients.
When the redness in the meat has disappeared, reduce the heat to low. Then, add the curry powder. Stir-fry and bring out the aroma. The curry powder will easily burn so turn the heat off or maintain the lowest possible heat.
Now, pour the dashi stock into the pot. The curry has a strong flavor so you should use a relatively rich and savory broth to compensate. Add the sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Combine the sauce. The usukuchi soy sauce helps to retain the presentable color of curry sauce but you can also use regular soy sauce.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, remove the foam. When the vegetables soften, reduce the heat to low. Thoroughly stir the diluted potato starch and add it to the broth a little at a time. If the heat is too strong, the starch will instantly clump up before it can be distributed.
Now, the sauce slightly thickens. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, add the long green onion. Now, the curry sauce is ready.
Let's make the curry udon. Place the frozen udon noodles into a pot of boiling water. Loosen up the noodles. Then, boil for 30 seconds.
Remove the pot and quickly place the udon into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into a bowl.
Pour the hot curry sauce over the udon along with the ingredients. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves.
Usukuchi soy sauce is both saltier and lighter in color than regular soy sauce. It is often used in dishes that feature the colors of ingredients to help keep them from darkening.
Some people may have difficulties to find mirin so we intentionally made this recipe without using it. Hope more people can enjoy this delicious curry udon noodles!