Inari Zushi (cone sushi)

Inari zushi or cone sushi, is one of those great grab-and-go foods, most often found in bento boxes or at your favorite okazuya. Sweet vinegared rice with vegetables, stuffed in deep-fried tofu pouches called abura-age. My friend Arnold recently sent me a few okazuya recipes and renewed my interest in making this classic local favorite.  I changed the original recipe somewhat, so this is my process:

Preparing the abura-age:

Cut the abura-age in half to create an opening for the pouch.

De-oil: Since the abura-age is deep-fried, this helps remove the excess oil.
Set a pot of water to boil (enough water to cover the abura-age). When boiling, add the abura-age and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Drain.


  • About 1-1/2 cups dashi or plain water with 1 tsp. of dashi granules
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 2 T. sake
  • 2 T. mirin
  • 4 T. shoyu

Combine ingredients in a pot and set to boiling. Once it reaches a boil, add the de-oiled abura-age and simmer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, take off the heat and allow to cool in the liquid.  When cooled, drain and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid.

Prepare the pouch:
You will need to gently separate the white tofu insides from the outer “skin.” Waste not, want not… so don’t throw away the tofu – chop it into bits and add it to your rice!

Sushi Su for inari
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1.5 T. salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until dissolved well and mixture is clear.

Sushi Rice for inari
3-1/2 cups of cooked, warm rice
1/2 cup sushi su (see above)
1/2 cup minced simmered shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup minced simmered carrots
1/4 cup minced simmered green beans

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.

Stuff abura-age with enough rice to fill.  Serve at room temperature.

This recipe was originally posted on my (now private) blog, in May 2009.

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