I didn't appreciate until I grew older the inarizushi that my mother packed for me for lunch. Inarizushi is known as "brown bag sushi," made of a sweet bean curd pocket stuffed with white sushi rice. It keeps well and is perfect for long trips! I took my inspiration from kurigohan (Japanese chestnut rice) that is popular in Japan in the autumn and shiitake gohan (Japanese shiitake mushroom rice). I filled my inarizushi with plenty of kabocha and shiitake to make a filling dinner on a recent plane trip. It's bite-sized finger food at its healthiest. —passifloraedulis
rice (white, brown, or mixed), rinsed
water to cook the rice
kabocha squash, diced (skin left on, seeds scooped out). Sweet potato (purple, orange, or white) may be substituted.
rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, cut into thin slices
Add rice and an appropriate amount of water according to your regular method of cooking rice, whether on the stove or in a rice cooker. I used a rice cooker.
Add the soy sauce and mirin to the rice.
Carefully layer the diced kabocha and sliced shiitake mushrooms on top of the rice. Do not mix these ingredients in (we'll do it after the rice is cooked); doing so will disturb the ability of the rice to cook fully.
Cook the rice per usual.
When the rice is done, gently mix the kabocha and shiitake mushrooms into the rice.
Allow the rice to cool slightly.
Mix in toasted sesame seeds or furikake to taste.
Open the can of inarizushi. The bean curd pockets tear easily, so gently stuff each pocket with the rice/kabocha/shiitake mixture.
Pack the inarizushi snugly in a tupperware and you are on your way!