inari sushi on plates

Inari Sushi いなり寿司

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Learn how to make inari sushi at home with homemade inari age and sushi rice. It’s easy to make and so delicious!

What is Inari Sushi?

Inari sushi is a popular type of Japanese sushi where sushi rice is stuffed inside a sweet and savory fried tofu pouch. You can usually find it in the deli section of Japanese markets with other sushi. It’s often made with just plain sushi rice, but it can be dressed up with colorful toppings or mix-ins. It’s easy to make, super delicious, and perfect for bentos or picnics.

Kanto vs. Kansai Inari Sushi

In the Kanto region (Tokyo), inari sushi is shaped like a straw bag – rectangular like the ones in these photos. In Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe area), inari sushi is shaped like a triangle (to mimic the shape of a fox’s ear) or other ingredients are added to the rice. Kansai inari sushi is also lighter in color and seasoning, while Kanto style is very sweet and salty.

inari sushi ingredients

Key Ingredients

  • Inari Age I used my homemade inari age, but you can also use store-bought.
  • Rice Please use Japanese short grain rice! Long grain rice will not work.
  • Sushi Vinegar I make my own sushi vinegar with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Also called seasoned vinegar.

How to Make

Note, this is an abbreviated method. See the recipe card for full details.

  1. Wash and soak rice, then cook.
  2. Mix in sushi vinegar while fanning the rice to help it cool. Continue until the rice is cool enough to handle.
  3. Divide rice into the necessary amount. Wet your hands with some sushi vinegar and shape the rice into oval balls to fit in the inari age.
  4. Remove excess liquid from the inari age. Gently open it and place a rice ball inside. Press rice to fill the corners of the inari age. Fold over excess inari skin and place seam side down, or tuck inari skin behind the rice and add toppings.

Tips for Success

Cook rice with slightly less water ⟶ Add water to a little bit under the water line on your rice cooker, since we will be mixing the rice with vinegar after cooking. If you use the same amount of water as normal, your rice will be more wet and mushy.

Use a “slice and flip” method to mix the rice ⟶
Don’t stir the rice since this will break the grains. Instead use a rice paddle to slice the rice and flip it to distribute the vinegar.

Shape rice into oval balls to stuff into inari age ⟶
I used to just spoon the rice into the inari age straight from the bowl, but this can result in uneven/lumpy rice inside. Instead, divide the rice into sections and shape them into ovals first. Then you can just stuff this into the inari age in one go.

Be gentle with the inari age ⟶
Inari age rips easily, so don’t be too forceful when opening it or stuffing the rice in.

Inari Sushi FAQ

How long does inari sushi last?
Homemade sushi is best served immediately, but the inari can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 hours covered or wrapped in plastic wrap. For longer storage, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. The rice will dry out a bit in the fridge, so pop them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to soften. They can also be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in a freezer-safe bag for up to a month.

How do I reheat frozen inari sushi?
Microwave from frozen until heated through. Be aware that overheating will cook off the vinegar in the rice, so it may lose some flavor.

Is inari sushi vegan/plant-based?

This recipe is plant-based, however some store-bought or restaurant versions can contain fish if they use a fish-based dashi.

Is inari sushi gluten-free?
The inari age is typically made with soy sauce, meaning it’s not usually gluten-free by default. However, you can make your own inari age with tamari to keep it gluten-free.

More Japanese Rice Dishes

If you try out this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Inari Sushi

Learn how to make inari sushi at home with homemade inari age and sushi rice. It's easy to make and so delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 12 inari sushi


  • rice cooker
  • sushi oke or large mixing bowl
  • rice paddle
  • uchiwa/handheld fan
  • cloth to cover the rice


  • rice cooker cups (225g) Japanese short grain rice
  • 3 tbsp sushi vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • 12 inari age


  • Wash rice: Place rice in a large bowl. Add water and move your hand in a circular motion a few times to wash the rice, drain the water, and wash again. Repeat 3-4 times until the water isn't so murky anymore.
  • Soak then cook rice: Drain rice and place in your rice cooker. Add water to a little under the 1½ cup line (or use the water line for sushi rice if your rice cooker has it). Let the rice soak for 30-60 minutes, then cook (use sushi rice setting if available).
    Tip: Cook the rice with slightly less water than usual since we add vinegar to it after cooking.
  • Prep equipment for making sushi rice: If using a wooden sushi oke*, moisten it under running water first and wipe off any excess water. Make sure you have a rice paddle, cloth to cover the rice, and preferably a handheld fan or Japanese uchiwa fan.
  • Add sushi vinegar and cool: Transfer the cooked rice to a sushi oke or large bowl and pour the sushi vinegar over. Use a rice paddle to gently slice and flip the rice to distribute the vinegar. Continue this slice and flip motion until the rice is cool enough to touch. If possible, use one hand to mix the rice and use your other hand to fan the rice to help the rice cool more quickly. You can mix in the sesame seeds too if using.
    Tip: Don't stir the rice or you may break the grains and the rice will turn mushy.
  • Cover rice: If not using right away, place a damp cloth over the rice to prevent it from drying out.
  • Shape rice: Divide the rice into 12 pieces. Add a tablespoon of sushi vinegar to a small bowl and wet your hands with it so the rice doesn't stick to you. Shape each piece of rice into a long oval so that it fits inside the inari age.
  • Stuff inari age: Gently press out excess liquid from the inari age. Open the inari age and place a rice ball inside. Gently press the rice down to fill the corners of the inari age. If there is excess inari age skin at the opening, fold it over to cover the rice and plate seam side down. Alternatively, if you want to add toppings to the rice, tuck excess inari age skin in behind the rice.
  • Serve: Best served immediately, but you can cover or wrap the inari sushi and keep at room temperature for a few hours. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 days (though the rice will harden) or frozen for up to a month. Reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition per 1 inari sushi: 120 kcal | 3.5g fat | 0.5g sat fat | 18g carb | 2g added sugar | 3g protein | 224mg sodium

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

Save for later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.