Ben Tiven, Inarizushi
Start with someone’s recipe for sushi rice; for example, here is Mark Bittman’s:
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- ⅜ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt, plus a pinch
- 1 piece konbu (kelp), about 3 or 4 inches square
- 2 cups short-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon sake, optional
- Combine vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons salt in a container and shake or stir until dissolved. Add konbu and let sit about 30 minutes before removing konbu and covering container. Let sit for at least 2 hours and up to several days. (Room temperature is fine.)
- Wash rice in several changes of water until water runs clear. Combine with sake, a pinch of salt, and 2 1/2 cups water (if you’re using a rice cooker) or 3 cups water (if you’re cooking it on stovetop). Cook until water is absorbed, 38 minutes in a rice cooker, about 25 minutes in a covered pot over medium-low heat.
- Turn rice into a large bowl, preferably wooden, and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, a wooden paddle or spoon, gently fold sweetened vinegar into rice, a little at a time. You will probably need about 1/2 cup for this amount of rice, but a little bit less or more is fine. Rice should be glistening and moist but not wet, and sweet but not overly so. Use immediately with sushi toppings of your choice.
- Substitute in Haiga rice — its better tasting and more nutritious
- Open can of Inari (I’ve gotten used to Shirakiku brand, with brilliant orange labeling), drain the syrupy sugar water, and gently open and pack each piece of folded tofu with a fist-sized clump of rice.
- Top with shrimp; chopped spring onion; black sesame seeds; or rice spice (like nori komi furikake or similar), and serve with pickled ginger.
Note: Served best with pickled daikon (or, of course, other types of sushi!), otherwise its all a bit too sugary.
Why? Its been a longtime favorite, and today both spouse and child like it as well. Combines main course + dessert in one. (!)