A couple of highlights today. Inarizushi is basically sushi rice stuffed into seasoned abura-age fried tofu wrappers. If you have a Japanese or Korean market nearby, you can often find preseasoned wrappers in the refrigerated section (shaped like rectangles or triangles). Just gently open them up and fill with seasoned sushi rice (cooking tips below). A fun variation on normal inarizushi is to fold down the top edge, stuff with seasoned rice, and top with anything you like. Toppings can be really creative: I’ve seen shrimp, cucumber, ornate food art that makes little characters sitting in the inari “boats”, soboro (fried and seasoned ground meat — think dry Sloppy Joe filling), etc. Think outside the box with this kid favorite!
You can speed up morning sushi or rice ball prep by freezing cooked rice; below I review a couple of Japanese food containers specially designed for freezing and reheating rice in the microwave oven.
Contents of preschooler lunch: Inarizushi stuffed sushi topped with pink sakura denbu and sauteed ground pork and barbecue sauce. Steamed broccoli with vinaigrette, plum tomatoes and grapes round out the meal. Sakura denbu is a sweet powder of ground codfish that’s often used in chirashizushi and children’s bento lunches. Adds a nice shot of pink when you’re packing by color.
Morning prep time: 13 minutes, using frozen rice, pre-packaged abura-age seasoned tofu wrappers, an individual-sized portion of frozen ground pork, and premade barbecue sauce. In the morning I microwaved a small portion of frozen rice, flavored it with seasoned rice vinegar, and made a couple of inarizushi with the lip turned down to leave the rice exposed at the top. (Read on for packing details, cooking tips, a review of rice containers for freezing, and an additional pizza bento lunch.)
Continue reading Post ID 430