Japanese Hand Pockets filled w/ Rice, Shitakes and Sesame

March  3, 2012
Author Notes

I can eat these any time and they make perfect travel food- no utensils needed. Chewy rice with the tang of rice wine vinegar and a touch of sugar, smoky slivered shiitakes,minced crunchy vegetables and nutty sesame seeds. This is also a great dish to make with little kids. Their small hands are ideally suited for stuffing the small pockets, and they are perfect lunch box treats- to show their schoolmates.


  • Makes 18
  • 1 can or package (16)Aburage (tofu skin pockets),rinsed thoroughly and squeezed
  • 3 cups Cooked sushi rice or short grain brown or white rice, tossed with rice wine vinegar and sugar ( like sushi rice)and cooled
  • 1/2 cup dried shiitakes, poached til tender, sliced thin and minced, OR 1-2 cups fresh shiitakes, sauteed and minced*
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 7/8 package pickled gobo(burdock root)*, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces OR 1/2 cup sliced carrots, steamed til pierceable, cooled and minced
  • 1 package or can of pickled Kampyo(gourd ribbons), finely chopped
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup smoked trout or cooked salmon, chopped, OR tobiko(flying fish roe)
In This Recipe
  1. Thoroughly combine rice through seafood.. Taste and add seasoning if needed.Gently open tofu skin pockets and gently stuff with rice mixture, leaving 1/2" unfilled. Fold over top if packing for travel.
  2. Note: If rice has been prepared in advance, refrigerated and hardened, sprinkle with a little water and microwave for 30-60 seconds til room temp and chewy.
  3. Notes: All these ingredients can be found in a Japanese store, but you can also choose to use more readily available ingredients(zucchini, beets, celery, sugar snap peas, drained cucumber etc.) No rules!

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  • BoulderGalinTokyo
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.