Japanese Inari Sushi (いなり寿司) & Simmered Yellowtail with Radish (ぶり大根)

July 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm 3 comments

I went to the mall this morning to do a couple of errands (and to revel in the abundant air-conditioning), and as I was leaving, I noticed what looked like a clump of dried mud on my bicycle. Wondering how mud had gotten on my bicycle, I bent down for a closer examination and discovered that it was in fact a wasp’s nest.

Let me just repeat that for emphasis.

A wasp built its nest on my bicycle.

My only means of transportation.

And I didn’t notice until I’d already been riding it for several miles.

That’s so wrong in so many ways.

Upon making this discovery, I let rip a series of loud profanities in the general direction of said wasp’s nest, and as a result, frightened the little old Japanese lady who was, unknowingly to me, walking by at the time.

Upon reaching home, I ran upstairs, thoroughly pissed by now that a wasp had DARED to build its nest on MY bicycle, grabbed the can of wasp/hornet spray from our apartment, ran back down the stairs, and proceeded to spray the daylights out of that nest. I showed no mercy. I sprayed til it was dripping.

After waiting to see if anything came out to attack me (nothing did), I then began fearfully poking violently stabbing the nest with the metal end of my bicycle lock. It started breaking off, and much to my horror, wasp larvae started falling out. I then shrieked like a girl and pranced around because it was gross applied even more force to my stabs and managed to break the whole nest off. I then sprayed the twenty or so larvae until they were well coated in wasp spray and I could stop prancing around in disgust.

Needless to say, it was a trying matter.

*        *        *

Last week, despite being sick and spending the whole week lying around weak and pitiful-like, I still manged to cook dinner and take pictures of some meals. Go me.

One night, I made Japanese for dinner. Here’s what we had.

Inari-zushi (sushi rice mixed with sesame seeds and stuffed inside of pieces of fried abura-age tofu that have been simmered). I love inari-zushi. There’s just something about that mixture of sweet and salty from the abura-age combined with the vinegary sushi rice that just really hits the spot in summer.

Simmered Yellowtail with Japanese giant radish (buri-daikon). This is a delicious, light fish dish. The fish, radish, and shreds of fresh ginger are simmered in a mixture of stock, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin (sweet cooking sake). It’s not arranged very pretty in this picture, but in my defense, I was sick, and simply didn’t care. It really is a lovely dish though.

Here’s two simple side dishes, cold tofu with ginger paste and soy sauce poured on top (picture taken before soy sauce was added), and a cucumber and wakame seaweed salad with a sweet vinegar dressing.

And what would a Japanese meal be without a hot steaming bowl of miso soup? Exactly.

I’m going to share with you a recipe for the inari-zushi and the simmered Yellowtail.

Inari-zushi (いなり寿司) (serves 2 – 3)

  • Vinegared sushi rice, cooked with about 1 1/2 c. white rice (usually you can buy sushi vinegar and just add that to the cooked rice)
  • 6 slices abura-age fried tofu
  • 3 Tbsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/4 c. stock (I use Japanese bonito stock, available in powdered form in most Asian markets)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cooking sake
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  1. Prepare the vinegared sushi rice.
  2. Place the abura-age slices on a cutting board, and one at a time, roll a chop stick over it to make it easy to open. Cut each abura-age in half length-wise, and carefully open each pocket with your fingers.
  3. Boil the abura-age pieces in water for 3 – 4 minutes to remove excess oil. Remove and then place them in a pan with the stock. Add the sake and sugar, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce to the pan, and cover with a drop-lid, or parchment paper cut in the shape of the pan, and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. When most of the liquid is gone from the pan, drain the abura-age and let cool for about 5 minutes. Lightly squeeze the abura-age to remove excess moisture.
  6. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the sushi rice and mix well.
  7. Fill each abura-age pocket with the sushi rice. Adjust the shape with your hands, and fold over the opening. Serve.


Simmered Yellowtail with Japanese Raddish (serves 2)

  • 2 single serving fillets of Yellowtail (Japanese Amberjack)
  • 10 oz. Japanese raddish
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 1 2/3 c. stock (again, I use Japanese bonito stock)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking sake
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  1. Cut the raddish into 3/4 inch chunks.
  2. Cut each fish fillet into 2 or 3 pieces. Blanch the fish pieces in boiling water for about 1 minutes, and then drain and place in a bowl of ice water.
  3. Add the stock and radish pieces to a pot and bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, add the sake and sugar, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and thinly sliced pieces of ginger to the pot. Cover with a drop lid (or a piece of parchment paper cut into the shape of the pot) and simmer until the radish is a caramel color and tender, about 5 – 8 minutes.
  5. Remove the fish, radish, and ginger to a serving plate and cover with a little of the sauce from the pot. Serve.




Entry filed under: Japanese food, Recipes, Seafood. Tags: , , , , , , .

Menu Plan Monday for July 11 – 15 (and my recovery from the cold from hell) Overnight Cold Oatmeal: An Epiphany in the Form of a Creamy Delicious Breakfast Food

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. B  |  July 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    OHHHH you use the REAL ponzu sauce. the GOOD stuff…it costs like 698yen? something insane like that. i used to buy it…before we had a kid and could afford such luxuries…hehhehhhhh

    • 2. The Joyful Kitchen  |  July 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      It is the good stuff! We got that last time we visited my husband’s family. His dad always takes us to the supermarket while we’re there, and tells us to get whatever we want, so I got that, lol! Normally we buy the cheap stuff!

  • 3. B  |  July 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    totally the good stufffff!!!


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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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