Inariage 稲荷揚げ

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  • Simmered in sweet and savory dashi-based broth, Inari Age is seasoned deep-fried tofu pockets used for making Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon Noodle Soup.

    Inari Age on a white plate.

    Were you able to guess today’s recipe based on the picture?  If you were, then I would say you are an expert in Japanese food!

    They are called Inariage (稲荷揚げ) or Sushiage (寿司揚げ) and “Age” here is not pronounced like “age” as in “your age”, more like Ah-geh. Let’s talk about what they are, how to use them, and of course, how to make them.

    The ingredient itself is deep-fried tofu pockets or called Abura Age (油揚げ). When you read “deep-fried tofu”, most people would recall thick square deep-fried tofu used in Asian dishes. Those are called Atsu Age (厚揚げ) in Japan.  However, these deep-fried tofu pouches are flat and come in a package similar to the picture below.

    Abura Age, Fried Tofu Pouches in a package.

    Abura Age are made from soybeans and is made by cutting tofu into thin slices and deep-fried two times, once at a lower temperature first and then at high temperature last. The tofu skin becomes so thin that it creates hollow space inside the skin (similar to pita bread), which allows you to stuff different ingredients in these tofu pockets.

    When Abura Age is cooked in dashi stock seasoned with sugar and soy sauce, we call them Inari Age or Sushi Age.

    I usually make a lot and freeze them so that I can save time when I make Inari Sushi or Kitsune Udon.

    Various Recipes Using Inari Age

    Inari Sushi |

    Inari Sushi

    These tofu pouches absorb sweet and salty umami flavors into the tofu during the simmering process and when you bite into Inari Sushi, you get to enjoy the amazing harmony between rice, tofu skin, and the sweet and salty flavor.

    A dark bowl containing udon noodles in dashi broth topped with deep fried tofu, fish cake, green onion, and sprinkle of shichimi togarashi.

    Kitsune Udon

    You can also use Inari Age as a topping for the udon noodle soup. Usually, store-bought Inari Age is too sweet for my liking so I like to make my own Inari Age. It only takes 15 minutes to cook and it is a very simple process.

    Inari Age on a white plate.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    3.72 from 7 votes
    Inari Age |
    Inari Age
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    20 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins

    Simmered in sweet and savory dashi-based broth, Inari Age is seasoned deep-fried tofu pockets used for making Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon Noodle Soup.

    Course: Condiments, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: abura age, tofu pocket
    Servings: 12 Inari Age
    Author: Nami
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Use Kombu Dashi for a vegan/vegetarian version.

      Inari Age Ingredients
    2. Cover the Abura Age with plastic wrap and roll the rolling pin (I used a pestle) over the Abura Age. This step helps to open the pouch easier.
      Inari Age 1
    3. Cut the Abura Age in half.
      Inari Age 2
    4. Add the Abura Age in boiling water and cover with Otoshibuta (drop lid). Boiling for 3 minutes should be enough to reduce the smell and oil from Abura Age's deep-fried oil before cooking in dashi soy sauce.
      Inari Age 3
    5. Discard the water and quickly rinse Abura Age under cold water. Squeeze the excess water out.
      Inari Age 4
    6. In a large pot, combine dashi stock, sugar, and soy sauce and bring to a boil.
      Inari Age 5
    7. Add the Abura Age in the pot and place Otoshibuta.
      Inari Age 6
    8. Cook the Abura Age on medium-low heat for 15 minutes until the liquid is 90% evaporated and absorbed into the Abura Age. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

      Inari Age 7
    9. Gently squeeze out the liquid (but not completely) and save the liquid in a separate bowl. You use this liquid to make Inari Sushi. If you don’t make Inari Sushi now, pack liquid and Inari Age in a separate airtight container.  You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and the freezer for up to 2-3 weeks.
      Inari Age 8
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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