Inari Sushi with Lotus Root

Inari is the name of the harvest god. The dish is made to look like a straw bag as an offering to the Inari god.

Inari Sushi with Lotus Root
Photographed by Masaya Suzuki

Recipe by
Reiko Yamamoto







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Makes 20)

  • 600 ml rice
  • [Seasoned sushi vinegar]

    • 4 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
    • 3 1/2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 g lotus root
  • 10 g kikurage wood ear mushrooms (dried)
  • 10 abura-age
  • 5-6 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Ginger pickled in sweet vinegar (store-bought), as needed
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • Just under 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce



Combine all of the ingredients for the [seasoned sushi vinegar] and dissolve the solids. Rinse the rice and let it soak in water for one hour. Drain in a strainer, then cook with slightly less water than ordinarily.



When the rice is cooked, transfer to a handai sushi tub or a bowl while it is still hot. Add the [seasoned sushi vinegar] and mix it in, using a cutting motion with a spatula, while fanning it to cool it.


Peel the lotus root and chop it finely. In a saucepan, combine the chopped lotus root, 3 tbsp each of rice vinegar and sugar, and 180 ml of water, then simmer briefly.


Cut the abura-age into halves and spread open to make pockets, then blanch in boiling water. Drain in a strainer and let cool until safe to handle, then squeeze the excess water out by pressing with your hands. In a pot, combine the abura-age halves, 400 ml of water, just under 1/2 tsp of salt, 3 tbsp of sugar, and 2 tbsp of soy sauce, then simmer for 10–15 min over medium heat.


Rehydrate the dried kikurage wood ear mushrooms in warm water and cut into large chunks. Simmer briefly in the leftover liquid from simmering the abura-age.


Add the drained lotus root, kikurage wood ear mushrooms and sesame seeds to the sushi rice, then mix in. Make 20 rice balls, shaping them into smallish cylinders.


Lightly squeeze the simmering liquid from the abura-age and stuff the rice balls into the pouches. Fold the edges of the pouches over to seal them, then put them down with the open side down. Serve garnished with the ginger pickled in sweet vinegar.