My husband loves sushi, but given the fact that I don't really like fish that much, raw fish is just a step too far for me. On the other hand, I really like the seasoning of much of Japanese cooking. So when Rebecca Vandevelde said she was going to make us some inari sushi it seemed like a perfect idea. Inari sushi is a very simple dish of sushi rice stuffed into deep fried tofu skins.I think Rebecca's idea was to have the vegetables hot and the inari at room temperature, but after tasting them, I decided the vegetables were fabulous as they were so we ate the whole dish at room temperature. It was a warm day and this just seemed like a wonderful light spring lunch. Don't be fooled by the plain looking inari, there is lots of flavour there.
As Rebecca points out, this isn't strictly a bento, which is a box having a number of compartments with different dishes in each section, but still, it was presented beautifully all in one container. Rebecca says feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, her list is a suggestion. If you want a vegan dish, then substitute another sweetner for the honey.
Teriyaki Vegetable and Inari Sushi Bento
For the Terikyaki Vegetables
2 Tbsp mild honey
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red peppers, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1/2 bunch swiss chard, chopped
1. Mix honey. mirin, sake and soy sauce together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a wok or a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering and add vegetables. Stir fry until vegetables are cooked most of the way through, add teriyaki sauce to taste. Cook until the sauce has thickened a bit and the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
For the Inari Sushi
2 cups short-grain glutinous rice (often just labelled "sushi rice)
Add 2-3 Tbsp rice vinegar
Inari shells (often sold as ajitsuke inari age)
Sesame seeds for garnish
1. Rinse the rice in cool water until the water runs clear and cook in a rice cooker with an equal amount of water (or in a pot with slightly more than an equal amount of water).
2. When rice has cooled a bit, add vinegar and salt to taste. Stuff the skins with rice.
Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, cold or at room temperature.