I really really like the fried tofu parcels used to make oinari-san, I wouldn't know how to make them, a Japanese friend told me ages ago, but it seemed quite involved... maybe one day, but for the time being they can be bought in Japanese/Asian stores :-). This pack contained 16 tofu parcels.
The parcels are usually filled with sushi rice, but they can also be uses as "containers" (see the image on the packet) and I really liked this brand: not a single parcel broke when I was opening it! I decided to used them with rice and asparagus. The asparagus were simply steamed, and then I cut them and placed then in a bowl with the liquid of the tofu parcels (they are sealed in an sweetish sauce which I thought was a waste to discard).
Wash the sushi rice (or Japanese rice) several times in cold water, until the water runs clear, and then cook it by absorption. The doses are about 1 and 3/4 (three quarters) cups of sushi rice for 2 cups of water, but that depends on the type of pot. You need a pot with a good lid, or you will loose too much steam. I kind of regulate myself by ear now, since I know my pots and pans. Bring the pot to boiling point, lower the heat and simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Once the rice is ready pour it into a bowl and stir it with a wooden spatula, cooling it with a fan if you can. I then add some ready made sushi vinegar, about 2 tablespoons, but this is my personal taste. If I don't have sushi vinegar I use 2 tbsp of rice vinegar, a little sugar and a little salt (to taste, and I don't like to use too much sugar or salt!).
I filled the parcel with rice and then I placed a couple of asparagus tips on each one, and a dollop of Japanese mayonnaise. I had a lot of stalks left, so I placed one or two, plus some rice, inside some more tofu parcels, and wrapped them up with a chive. I think that these were the prettiest!
In the end I only had some rice and a few asparagus left, so I made a frittata with egg, soy sauce and the leftover asparagus, and cut it into strips.
I used the frittata strips to roll up some sushi with the asparagus frittata inside.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©