This traditional Japanese sushi consists of seasoned tofu pouches filled with sushi rice. It is juicy, with a balance of sweet, salty, and sour. Super easy to make, no rolling required! Plus I'm sharing 4 delicious topping ideas!
🍱 What is Inari Sushi?
Inari sushi (稲荷寿司), also called Inarizushi, is a type of Japanese sushi. It consists of seasoned fried tofu pouches, called Inari age, filled with sushi rice.
The thin tofu pouches are often seasoned with soy sauce and sugar, or cooked in a dashi broth, resulting in a tender and juicy texture.
🥣 How to Make Inari Sushi
Inari sushi is probably my favorite type of sushi for two reasons. 1. It's fuss-free and very easy to prepare, there is need for a bamboo mat, just fill pouches and you are done. 2. The tofu pouches add a ton of flavor, and make it a portable and easy to eat meal.
Here is what you will need to make inari sushi:
- Sushi rice - Japanese short-grain rice works best. I highly recommend buying high-quality rice, not the supermarket kind.
- Sushi vinegar - Homemade or store-bought. Here, I made my own with just 3 ingredients: white rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Inari age - These tofu pouches, often sold under the name of "seasoned fried bean curd", can be found in most Asian stores. It is sold in cans, or in packets. You can also buy inari age online.
- Additional toppings - Optional and versatile. Adding a topping is up to you!
The process to make inari sushi is quick and simple:
- Cook the sushi rice: Rinse the sushi rice 2-3 times, or until the water is clear. Rinsing not only yields a better flavor, but also prevents the water from bubbling over during cooking. Once your rice is clean, cook for 7-8 minutes covered, or until no water remains. Next, remove from heat and let it steam for another 10 minutes.
- Prepare the sushi vinegar by heating white rice vinegar, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Once the sugar has melted, remove from heat and transfer to the cooked rice. Let cool at room temperature.
- Fill the tofu pouches with the sushi rice. To do so, shape about ⅓ cup of the sushi rice into a long ball (use wet hands to prevent it from sticking) and stuff a pouch of tofu with the rice. Repeat with the remaining rice and pouches, and enjoy!
If you plan to serve these without any toppings, fold the edges to enclose the filling. Then, place the seam upside down so the bottom of the tofu pouch appears on top.
Inari sushi is delicious as is, but adding toppings take it to another level. Here, I am sharing 4 ways to make different inari sushi. Each one requires some preparation, so feel free to pick your favorite, or make all of them if you have the time!
- Wasabi Mayo Meat Floss: Vegan mayo combined with wasabi paste for spiciness, and topped with homemade vegan meat floss! Definitely my favorite!
- Jackfruit Tuna: Fish-y shredded jackfruit with seaweed and lime juice.
- Beet Pickle: Shredded beet soaked in a vinegar brine adds extra tanginess and earthiness to the sushi.
- Scrambled Tofu: Sautéed tofu infused with nutritional yeast, turmeric, black salt, and served with avocado slices.
Check out the recipe notes for the detailed instructions on how to make the toppings.
Inari sushi is super versatile, so feel free to be creative with the toppings! I'm sure steamed asparagus, baby broccoli, or even vegan smoked salmon would make nice additions!
- Where can I find tofu pouches? Tofu pouches can be found in most Asian stores, or online. The ones I usually get are sold in a packet and contain about 16 pouches.
- Can I make my own tofu pouches? It is possible but it' a long process and requires frying the tofu twice at different temperatures. I highly recommend buying the prepared tofu pouches instead.
- How long does Inari sushi keep? Inari sushi is best served the same day but will keep for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before serving.
- How many calories in a piece of inari sushi? Tofu pouches are pretty low calorie, so one filled inari sushi without topping is approximately 115 calories.
If you have never tried inari sushi, you should definitely try this recipe! It's fun to prepare and makes an amazing weekend dinner! The sweet and juicy tofu pouches goes so well with the vinegary rice!
🇯🇵 More Japanese-Inspired Vegan Recipes
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vegan Inari Sushi (4 Ways!)
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1 and ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoon white rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds optional
- 10 pieces inari age (fried tofu pouches)
- Wash the rice 2-3 times, or until the water is clear. Drain well and transfer the rice to a large saucepan. Cover with the water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook covered for 8-9 minutes, or until no water remains. Remove from heat and let the rice steam for another 15 minutes (with the lid on).
- In the meantime, prepare the sushi rice seasoning: add the white vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat over low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved (do not bring to a boil).
- Transfer the sushi rice to a large baking dish and spread it evenly. Pour in the sweet and salty vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, and stir to combine well. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let cool 1-2 hours at room temperature.
- To assemble: Drain the tofu pouches (inari age). Using wet hands, scoop out about ¼-1/3 cup of sushi rice and shape it into a long ball. Carefully open a pouch of tofu and fill it with the sushi rice. The pouch should be filled to the ⅘. Tuck in the edges of the pouch inside to have nice-looking edges. Transfer to a serving plate and repeat with the remaining rice and pouches.
- You can serve as is, or decorate with your favorite toppings, check out the notes below for topping ideas!
- Inari sushi is best served immediately, at room temperature. It will keep for another day in the refrigerator, but the rice will slightly harden.
Here are 4 topping ideas:
Wasabi Mayo Meat Floss
- 3 tablespoon vegan mayo
- ½ teaspoon wasabi paste
- ¼ cup vegan meat floss
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ 14-oz can young green jackfruit, hard core removed
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegan mayo
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon seaweed flakes
Add the chunks of jackfruit and soy sauce, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Use a spatula to shred the jackfruit. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and add the vegan mayo, lime juice, and seaweed flakes. Stir to coat well. Top inari sushi with the chilled jackfruit "tuna".
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 3.5 ounces (100g) medium tofu, scrambled
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- a pinch of kala namak salt (optional, for an egg flavor)
Top inari sushi with some of the tofu scramble, a few slices of avocado, and sesame seeds.
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ beet, finely shredded
I personally love this Inari sushi recipe because it's pretty low calories. And no rolling needed. Plus, it tastes super good, especially the tofu pouches, so juicy and sweet. This is definitely an amazing dish for our weekend dinners. Thank you!!!
Thanks for your rating Lucy! Inari sushi is also one of my fav!