Inari-zushi, a kind of sushi made with sweet and spicy deep-fried tofu

It is a kind of sushi made by stuffing rice in a sweet and spicy deep-fried tofu which was simmmered with soy sauce, mirin, dashi stock, sugar.

The rice to be packed inside is generally seasoned with vinegar, salt, and sugar, plus ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweed, but it may not contain any ingredients.

It’s food of common people, so it’s not available at high-end sushi restaurants, but you can eat it at conveyor belt sushi restaurants and udon restaurants, or you can buy it at food supermarkets and convenience stores.

What is Inari-zushi and and can I eat it?

Materials of Inari-zushi

Deep-fried tofu soybeans, cooking oil, soy sauce, mirin, soup stock, sugar

Sushi rice rice, vinegar, salt, soy sauce, vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed

Gluten-free Low-gluten Wheat-free Low FODMAPs High FODMAPs
with Beef with Pork with Daily with Egg for Vegetarian
Restaurant Fast food Food supermarket Convenience store Drug store

Inari-zushi is sushi that can be eaten by vegetarians

Inari sushi is a kind of sushi made by stuffing sushi rice in sweet and spicy deep-fried tofu.

It was offered at food stalls as a fast food for the common people 200 years ago, and is still a popular dish for the common people. Deep-fried tofu is sliced ​​tofu fried in oil and is used in various dishes in Japan. The only ingredients are soybeans and vegetable oil.

If you make a cut in the fried tofu, which is sweet and spicy with soy sauce, mirin, dashi, and sugar, it will be shaped like a bag. Inari-zushi is completed by filling this with sushi rice. The size is a little smaller than “Onigiri”, and 5 pieces are enough for 1 person.

Inari-zushi is often made with only vegetable ingredients, and meat and fish are rarely used.

Commonly used are vegetables such as carrots, burdock roots, lotus roots, beans and sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms and hijiki seaweed. The one containing 5 kinds of ingredients is sometimes called “Gomoku Inari (5 kinds inari)”. There are also inari-zushi that does not contain ingredients.

Try to eat Inari-zushi!

How much ?

$ 2~3, for 5 pieces

Where can I eat Inari-zushi ?

  • Bento corner at food supermarkets and convenience stores
  • Conveyor belt sushi restaurants, some udon shops

It’s a kind of sushi, but it’s not on the menu at high-end sushi restaurants.

Precautions when eating Inari-zushi

For gluten-free people with celiac disease

Soy sauce is used when thin fried tofu and ingredients are simmered. As you know, soy sauce uses wheat as a raw material, but the proteins is hardly left in the product because they are decomposed during the brewing process. It seems that the amount of gluten contained in Inari-zushi is small. It is up to you to decide whether to eat.

For gluten-free people other than celiac disease

Inari-zushi contains a small amount of gluten, so it’s okay to eat it. In Japan, it is said that people with wheat allergies can eat soy sauce.

For vegetarians

Most inar-zushi does not use animal ingredients. In rare cases, small fish may be used, so please check before eating. Also, if you do not eat animal foods for religious reasons, be careful about the fish contained in the dashi stock.

Japanese writer’s comment for Inari-zushi

The name of Inari sushi comes from “Inari Shrine”. The fox is considered to be the messenger of the Inari god, and deep-fried tofu is said to be a favorite of foxes.

Therefore, deep-fried tofu is often offered as an offering at Inari Shrine. The sushi is made from this fried tofu, so it was named “Inari sushi”. For the same reason, udon with deep-fried tofu is called “kitsune udon (fox udon)”.