Inarizushi (Rice-Filled Tofu Pockets)

These deep-fried bean curd pouches stuffed with vinegared rice are a beloved Japanese comfort dish.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    1 hour 45 minutes


By Masahiro Kondo

Published on May 9, 2024

Inarizushi is widely popular throughout Japan among children and adults alike. Aburaage—deep-fried tofu pockets—are simmered in a sweet-savory dashi-soy sauce broth, then stuffed with tart vinegared rice. Nara, Japan-based tofu maker Masahiro Kondo, who helms the food company Miki Tofu, suggests making his inarizushi recipe for a filling snack or component in a lunchtime bento box. Look for the pockets fresh or frozen in a Japanese grocer, or online.

Featured in “Meet the Makers Preserving the Past in Nara” by Megan Zhang.


  • 2 cups Japanese short-grain rice, washed
  • One 4-in. kombu square
  • 6 aburaage (fried tofu pockets)
  • 1½ cups dashi
  • 3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Black and white sesame seeds, for garnish


Step 1

To a rice cooker, add the rice and fill with water to the indicated line. Place the kombu on top, set aside to soak for 20–60 minutes, then set the machine to cook.

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut each tofu pocket in half, and insert your thumb into the opening of the cut side to separate the skin and create a pouch. Boil the tofu pockets, stirring occasionally, until softened and pliable, about 10 minutes. Strain and transfer to a plate.

Step 3

In the empty pot, bring the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and return the tofu pockets to the pot, arranging them in a flat layer on the bottom. Simmer, flipping occasionally, until the liquid has nearly evaporated, 15–20 minutes. Pour the tofu pockets and remaining liquid into a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 4

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Remove the kombu from the cooked rice (reserve it for another use, such as simmered kombu, if desired). Stir the vinegar mixture into the rice until just incorporated and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 5

With wet hands, form about 1⁄4 cup of rice into an oblong ball, pressing lightly so the grains hold together (don’t squeeze). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining rice.

Step 6

Working with one tofu pocket at a time, open the slit and stuff a rice ball inside, pressing to fill, then fold over the excess tofu skin to loosely seal. Transfer the inarizushi seam-side down to a plate, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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