Gluten-Free Inari Sushi

Hurrah! April 26th kicked off the 30 Days to a Food Revolution blog event hosted by Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang. Over 30 days, 30 different food bloggers (including yours truly), will share recipes and tips for making the shift from processed foods and unhealthy foods to the foods our bodies need and love. To follow the event, just visit www.thewholegang.org each day for the next month.  My day to share is May 18.

Today I was craving sushi. And not the roll kind. When I was young and my grandparents would come to visit, the first stop we HAD to make after picking them up at the airport was Mizuguchi's Sushi Store in Hilo. I remember glass display cases full of sushi and Japanese treats. When we stopped in, Grandpa Q went all out. We never left the store with anything less than two big boxes and my favorite—cone sushi (inari sushi: sushi rice in a pocket of fried soybean curd). It's not a powerhouse of nutrition, the soybean curd is fried, but I wanted a special snack today and this was it! If you roll sushi, inari sushi would make a great complement to your next sushi platter. If you've never made sushi, this is a great one to start with.

I am so very grateful for the Asian and Islander population in Cheyenne that supports the Golden Dragon international grocery store. It never ceases to amaze me what the place carries—and in the middle of Wyoming! The only item for this recipe that you'll need to visit an Asian grocer for is the Aburage (fried tofu packets, see picture below). Everything else you should find easily at your local grocery store. There is seasoned Aburage and unseasoned. I definitely recommend buying the UNseasoned as the seasoned has some questionable ingredients in it. I've provided directions for the way I season it below.

PREPARE THE ABURAGE FRIED TOFU POCKETS

Heat the following in a large saucepan. Add aburage. Simmer 10 minutes (flipping once), then transfer gently with slotted spoon to plate and chill.

2/3 cup WATER
1 tablespoon HONEY
1 tablespoon BRAGG'S LIQUID AMINOS
1 tablespoon WHITE COOKING WINE or MIRIN JAPANESE COOKING WINE
2 dashes gluten-free FISH SAUCE (I use Thai Kitchen found in the Asian cooking section of most grocery stores)
1 package (1.1 ounce) OAGESON FRIED TOFU POUCHES (4 pieces). See picture below.

This is the brand I bought. Note "Gluten-Free" and no mystery ingredients.

PREPARE THE SUSHI RICE | In a small bowl mix:

3 tablespoons RICE VINEGAR
2 tablespoons liquid HONEY
1 teaspoon SEA SALT
Sprinkle vinegar mixture over and fold into:
2 cups cooked (and still warm) brown organic short-grain BROWN RICE
2 tablespoons of finely shredded CARROT (optional)
1 tablespoon SESAME SEEDS (optional)

ASSEMBLE SUSHI | With kitchen shears or a sharp knife cut the chilled tofu pockets diagonally into triangles. Fill each pocket with rice mixture and serve. Oishii desu ne!

MODIFIED DIET CONSIDERATIONS: This recipe contains soy. Vegan dieters should substitute honey with agave. The fried tofu packets probably are not made with non-GMO soy beans. Sources online provide directions for making aburage from scratch. You could then make aburage using organic non-GMO tofu.