Saturday, September 8, 2012

Inarizushi and Cucumber Sushi

Today was meant to be the welcome party for Aji's playground, but the weather interfered and the party was rained out.  But not until after I had made inarizushi for the party.  I did not manage to take any photos of the inarizushi, but I am sharing how to make it.  For dinner, I used the same rice and made cucumber sushi, which was a big hit with the girls.

Step One: Rice Mixture
I make a brown rice mixture.  I always use brown rice, hijiki seaweed, and a vegetable.  Sometimes I add millet, quinoa, sesame seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, you get the idea.  Adjust the amount of water to the amount of rice, millet, quinoa that you are using.

2 (rice) cups brown rice
1-2 T dry hijiki
1 cup shredded zucchini (or other vegetable)
4.5 (rice) cups water

I set this in my rice maker with a delay start so that it is ready in the morning.

Step Two: Making Inarizushi
You need to purchase inarizushi-no-moto (like here from Amazon) or make your own from auberage.  I haven't been able to find unseasoned auburage, so I buy the seasoned cans of the inarizushi-no-moto from the local Korean natural grocery store.  
When I'm making a large batch of inarizushi, I use the liquid from the can to mix with my rice mixture.  When I'm just making a few for my kids' lunches, I use a reasoned rice vinegar (sushi vinegar).  Not much is needed, enough to mix with the rice to add a little flavor, and let the rice cool a little bit so that you don't burn your hands stuffing the inari.
After mixing the liquid with the rice, then to make the inarizushi, you take one piece of the inarizushi-no-moto out of the can, and gently open it, taking care not to tear it, making it into a little pocket.  Then, you take some of the rice mixture and stuff it into the pocket.  You can either stuff it to the top or stuff it a little less and fold over the edges of the pocket.  I always leave edges to fold over.  If you stuff the rice to the top, you can add sprinkles of gomassio or something else to the open rice.
When I make inarizushi for the girls' lunches, I use two stuffed pockets for each lunch.  Today I made 10 pieces for the party, which we ate for lunch with friends.

Step Three: Making Cucumber Sushi
One large cucumber makes four large pieces for the girls' dinner
I take the cucumber and partially peel it, but you can leave the skin on or peel it completely.  The girls and I like the stripes from the partial peel.  Then, I cut the cucumber into four sections that are 1.5-2 inches long.  Using a spoon or a knife, cut out the center (seeds) of each cucumber piece.  Take some of the rice mixture and stuff the cucumber.  Sprinkle black sesame seeds gomassio on top and serve.  Yum!
I served this with pecans and avocado for the girls' dinner tonight.  They had a lot of fun eating these, although I may make the cucumber pieces a bit shorter next time.  :)

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