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.
Let's make the Tebasaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and the grated garlic and ginger root in a pot. Turn on the burner. Stir evenly with a spatula.
Bring it to a boil to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn the heat to low, reducing the sauce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add the vinegar and stir with the spatula.
Let's prepare the chicken wings. Place the chicken wings onto a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press with your hands, removing all of the excess water.
Remove the paper towels and sprinkle on the salt. Lightly pat the salt onto the chicken. Flip it over and sprinkle on the salt again, lightly patting it.
Place the chicken into a bowl. Add the sake and ginger root juice. Rub the seasonings into the chicken thoroughly. After seasoning the chicken, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Press the chicken with a paper towel to lightly remove the excess liquid. Put the potato starch into a food storage bag. Place the chicken wings into the bag. Shake vigorously to coat the chicken with the starch. Place the chicken wings onto a cooking tray.
Let’s deep-fry the Tebasaki chicken. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop in a sprinkle of sesame oil for added fragrance and taste. The amount of the frying oil should be enough to almost cover the chicken wings.
Remove the excess starch from the chicken. Place them into the pot while the oil is still cold. Deep-fry the chicken without stirring until the surface is cooked. This will help hold the starch in place while cooking.
When the temperature begins to rise, ladle the hot oil over the chicken to cook thoroughly. The hot oil tends to splash so be careful not to burn yourself.
When the edges of the chicken begin to brown, flip them over. Deep-fry the chicken evenly until golden brown. Place the chicken onto a cooling rack. Turn off the burner.
When they are still hot, put the chicken wings into the bowl of Tebasaki sauce. With a paddle, toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve the Tebasaki chicken wings on a plate. With a kitchen brush, coat the chicken with the extra sauce.
Sprinkle on the toasted white sesame seeds and a generous amount of the coarsely ground black pepper. Finally, top with the sansho pepper powder and red chili powder to taste.
Be sure to drop in the chicken when the oil is still cold. This will help the chicken heat up slowly, cooking the inside with the juices while deep-frying the outside to a golden brown.
This recipe allows you to make plenty of Tebasaki chicken wings without any trouble. You should definitely try it on Thanksgiving Day.
First, make a space in the center of the sticky rice flour and add the sugar to the spot. Pour in about half of the water and dissolve the sugar.
Mix in the flour from the center to the outside while gradually pouring in the rest of the water. If the dough is too soft or too firm, it’ll be difficult to wrap the filling so add the water a little at a time. Mix until all the flour is moistened.
Rub your hands with a small amount of sesame oil and remove the dough. Roll it into a cylindrical shape. And cut the dough into 5 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.
Press the center of each dough ball, making an indention. Enlarge the hole until the anko ball fits.
Add the anko, sweet bean paste and spread the dough around it.
Make sure that the dough has an even thickness and shape it into a ball. Repeat the process for the rest of the anko balls.
Slightly dampen each dango. And coat it with sesame seeds.
Gently press the dango and the sesame seeds together. If the dough is relatively soft, wetting might not be necessary. Repeat the process and you’ll have 5 goma dango.
Let’s deep-fry the dango. Heat the oil to 140~150 °C (284~302°F) and place the dango into a pot. With kitchen chopsticks, rotate the balls while cooking. This will help the dango to rise evenly, giving them a round shape and even color.
Treat the goma dango gently like your first date so the sesame coating does not fall off. Cook the dango for a total of 4 to 5 minutes and then turn the heat to hight.
A tip to making crispy goma dango is to deep-fry at relatively low temperature and then bring up the heat at the end. If the oil temperature is too high, the sesame seeds will burn before the dough cooks.
When the surface is deliciously browned, they are ready. Remove and drain the excess oil.
The anko mixed with walnuts or ground sesame seeds is also delicious so you should definitely try it out.
You can also use pumpkin or sweet potato paste instead of the bean paste.
The freshly-made gooey dango are delicious but the sweet bean paste inside is piping hot so be careful not to burn your tongue.
Let’s make the sushi vinegar. Combine the rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve well.
Next, cut the shiso leaves in half lengthwise and remove the stalks. Stack the leaves and cut them into thin strips. Cut the beni shoga, thin strips of pickled ginger into fine pieces.
Place the fresh steamed rice into a bowl. Pour the sushi vinegar over the rice. With a rice paddle, toss to coat using a slashing motion to avoid crushing the grains.
When the vinegar is distributed evenly, slightly cool the rice with a fan. Flip the rice over and continue to cool the rice. This will help give the rice a glossy texture and remove the excess moisture.
Add the toasted white sesame seeds, shiso leaves and beni shoga. Combine all the ingredients evenly.
Place the shime saba, Japanese marinated mackerel on a baking sheet and sear the skin thoroughly with the kitchen torch. To make shime saba, fresh mackerel fillets are covered with salt and then, after removing the salt, the fillets are marinated in vinegar. Lightly cool the shime saba with a fan.
Cover a bento box with a plastic wrap and place in the shime saba with the skin side facing down.
Add a small amount of vinegar to a bowl of water and wet a rice paddle with it. Place the sushi rice onto the shime saba and distribute.
Add in the tororo kombu, thin long flakes of dried kombu seaweed softened in vinegar before shaving.
Cover with a plastic wrap. And thoroughly press the rice using a divider attached with the bento box.
Wet the paddle and place the rice into the bento box again. Distribute evenly. Cover and press it again. Let the sushi sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes, allowing the ingredients to firmly attach together.
Flip the bento box and remove the pressed sushi. Wet the blade of a knife thoroughly. Make a cut in the plastic wrap and then slice off the oshizushi. You should clean the blade each time you cut off a slice. If the blade is coated with rice, it will be difficult to make clean cuts.
Now, remove the plastic wrap. Arrange the oshizushi onto a plate. Finally, garnish with the autumn colored leaves.
Packaged shime saba is widely available in Japan and it is enjoyed as sashimi or sushi. Alternatively, you can use grilled mackerel seasoned with salt or smoked salmon.
Searing the skin of shime saba is optional but the nice and crispy outside will definitely stimulate your appetite.
If the shiso leaves are not available, you can use cucumber instead. Let salted cucumber slices sit for a while and tightly squeeze out the excess liquid before adding.