Sushi comes in many forms beyond the traditional rolled slices seen in most Japanese restaurants in America. Inarizushi and Oshizushi are two popular alternatives to enjoy your sushi ingredients.
Inarizushi and Oshizushi
Instead of the traditional seaweed-wrapped sushi roll, inarizushi uses a pouch of fried tofu to contain the sushi rice, vegetables and seafood. The fried tofu skins, called aubraage, can be found at any Japanese grocery store.
Before the aburaage is used, it must be blanched and de-oiled. Then, the pouches are cut in half by gently prying the sides apart. The bags are then filled with traditional sushi ingredients like shari rice, vegetables and seafood.
Inarizushi can be served in fried pouches that hide the ingredients inside, or open faced bags. Careful not to confuse inarizushi with inari maki. The latter is a sushi roll, filled with fried tofu. If you’re making your own inarizushi, be prepared to shell out some money for fresh or frozen aburaage.
These items are sometimes expensive in certain stores and areas. You can buy canned skins, though fresh and frozen options are fresher.
Types of Sushi: What is Oshizushi?
Oshizushi is another unique take on the traditional sushi ingredients. This form of sushi comes in a square shape after all of the ingredients have been molded in a wooden box. These wooden molds are small, and result in sushi that’s often in a shape around 1 to 2 cubic inches in size.
The wooden oshizushi molds typically have three pieces, including a box with vertical slits for slicing and two flat pieces. Before putting any ingredients in the box, sushi chefs usually include a piece of plastic wrap above the wood components.
On top of the plastic wrap, shari rice fills approximately 2/3 of the box. Next, place the ingredients into the box. The plastic wrap can be used to press down the ingredients snugly into the box. Then, lift the sushi squares out of the box using the sides of the plastic.
Making oshizushi at home is a great way of preparing and presenting sushi. Your guests will be impressed, particularly if they already have an affinity for sushi. By offering a familiar taste presented in a new way, you’ll throw a great sushi party.