Tempura Inari Sushi/天ぷらいなり
Enormously popular in Japan, singer/actor Takuya Kimura’s 40th birthday is today (11/13). I had a huge crush on him and the group ‘Smap’ that he belongs to for a long time. He goes by the nickname ‘Kimutaku’ which almost belongs in the Japanese dictionary, he has that caliber of famousness. Sometime ago, I couldn’t wait to listen to the newly purchased female artist’s CD while my husband was driving, one of her song phrase went like- I will find a new boyfriend better than Kiumutaku (what the heck???) - then he whispers “I love you” it was so unexpected to hear his voice, I freaked-out and released a small scream. That was not a small scream my husband says now-What? What’s wrong? was my husband’s reaction. Oh! it’s nothing , I thought you were gonna hit that squirrel back there. I got information that Smap was on tour at the same time that I was in Japan in 2002. I asked my cousin in Fukuoka to obtain a precious Fukuoka Dome ticket. With neither of us belonging to their fan club, it was hard to come by. My cousin called the ticket center for three straight days and no luck. It was a huge let down but the tour was traveling upward and so was I. Determined, I called my friend in Tokyo for help. Hallelujah! Her husband found it on line - someone selling just one ticket for regular price. Usually, tickets were sold as pair and more than the list price so I was really lucky. My proper, well educated friend was not interested in that sort of silly thing, so she just lent me her coat and wished me luck. I managed to ignore her sigh behind my back. She was a bit worried that I would get lost but the special concert train was scheduled and I followed a sea of people walking toward the magical kingdom, I mean stadium.
What in the world! I love deep fried foods but this is over the top. Inari sushi is near perfect as is and frying it sounds so wrong, right? Talk about extra gazillion calories added to it. However, I’ll hold my opinion until I taste it.
Ingredients and direction for 10 Tempura Inari Sushi
Preparing sushi rice
Special equipment : Kimutaku fan (just kidding) – something to blow the air.
- Just cooked warm rice about 2-1/2 cups
- Sushi vinegar 2-3 Tablespoons or you can make your own by mixing well 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- White roasted sesame seeds 1/4 cup or less
Put warm rice in a wooden pail or large bowl, sprinkle vinegar over the rice paddle. In a cutting motion, quickly move the rice around - do not press the rice with rice paddle - and cool by fanning at the same time -this step works better if you have assistance. Add more sushi vinegar if you like stronger flavor. Sprinkle in sesame seeds and combine. Cover the rice with a moist towel. Set it aside.
Seasoning the bean curd
- 5 Fried bean curds/油揚げ
- 1/4 cup Mirin
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-1/2cup water
- Boil about 3 cups of water in medium pan.
- Lay the bean curd on a flat surface then using chopstick or small rolling pin go back and forth for 2-3 times-this will open the inside. Cut in half.
- Submerge bean curds in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to remove oily residue. Drain the water and let the curds cool until safe to handle.
- Arrange bean curd in a spiral fashion on the bottom of pan, with the bean curds overlapping.
- Add mirin, sugar and 1-1/2 cup of water to the pan and put a drop lid/落としブタ (see picture below) on it, cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and put drop lid back on. Simmer for 6-7 minutes more at the lower heat. If you do not have a drop lid then make one with heavy aluminum foil to fit inside of pan. Leave the folded side up for easy removal.
- Turn off heat and cool bean curds in the pan. Do not skip this process.
- Make 10 small cylinders with sushi rice about 2-1/2 x1 shapes there might be some left over, it does not have to be neat, this makes easier to stuff into bean curds. Sandwich cooled bean curds with both hands and gently press out some of the juice over the pan.
- Stuff each cylinder of rice into the bean curd and gently press into the corners, close by folding over the opening flaps. Repeat for remaining bean curds. Now that’s Inari Sushi!
Frying Inari Sushi
- 10 Inari Sushi
- Flour or corn starch for coating 1-2 Tablespoons
- 1 Egg
- Nori powder (ao nori)/青海苔 about 1teaspoon (optional)
- 1 cup Weak power flour or cake flour
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Oil for frying
- Heat oil in heavy skillet or pan to 338F
- Beat egg in a large bowl then pour cold water in, mix well.
- Add nori powder and flour. Mix just until blended. Set it aside.
- Coat Inari Sushi with flour. Dust off excess.
- Dip dusted Inari Sushi in egg mixture.
- Fry in oil until crisp. Place on the paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Serve with sliced lime or tempura sauce.Verdict-So so. It’s not worth the extra effort nor the calories. Shoot! I should not fry all the inari sushi. Took too much time for above. I simply steamed Costco crab legs as a main dish.
Sushi from the past
kinpira gobo (burdock) inari sushiSeasoned tuna cucumber cupsSkinny Inari rolls From top- sesame seed, shibazuke and edamameAlthough I haven’t lost my ‘young at heart’ attitude, I try acting my age. I’m still his fan but in a not so exciting (crazy) way. After all, I’m married and want to be cool and not to be screaming. That’s called maturing.We’re having gray days lately but splash of color from nature is welcoming.There is moss growing on our Japanese maple tree. I discovered a seed poking through it. It will be interesting to see what kind of plant it is. I hope it’s a magic bean.Conversation on Saturday: I think we should clean up leaves, I suggested. What for? Not every leaf has fallen yet, said my husband. Right, you would think that. But you’re going to clean up this year, yah? Probably…it depends he replied. So...not gonna happen today? You got that right.