Foxy Lady

inari-zushi today:

My second-last weekend of Perth cookery classes is upon me. Soon I’ll be on the road. I’ve kept my favourite classes till the end.

The theme of today’s class is “The Wheat-free Vegetarian”. I’ve got a whole lot of delicious dishes from Thailand, Peru, Italy, Maharashtra, and one of my favourites from Japan, Inari-zushi.

Japan was — and according to some people, still is — filled with fox spirits, mischievous and lascivious creatures that take the place of fairies, poltergeists, and succubi.

According to local tradition, the more virtuous of them join the court of Inari, the goddess of the rice harvest, and become her messengers. On certain holidays, worshippers travel to Inari’s shrines and offer the multitude of statues of foxes plates of thin slices of fried tofu stuffed with rice, their favorite food, to honor and to placate them.

One would expect such sophisticated and dangerous creatures to demand an equally sophisticated dish, but fried tofu stuffed with rice — kitsune-zushi, “fox sushi,” or Inari-zushi, “Inari sushi” — is one of the simplest sushis out there. Lightly sweet, vegetarian, and fully cooked, it’s excellent for long trips, and it’s so simple to make that even beginner sushi chefs find it a breeze.

It’s always a great experience making these delightful savouries with a group; today we are flavouring them with kombu and sesame, and serving them with a pickled seaweed salad, pink preserved ginger, wasabi and a soy dipping sauce.
Posted by Kurma on 22/9/07; 11:12:02 AM

Life and Travel

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