Hey there. Here is a photo of a box of inarizushi, or o-inari (below, just “inari”) that my in-laws sent me. Made of local rice, vinegar and pouches from Kyushu, Japan, I could rest assured that it was a helluvalot safer to eat than what they deem “safe” to eat at the Tokyo stores — okay, things aren’t as radioactive as they say, but there’s plenty of other things fish and veggies absorb from the wild that are bad for you. There was no fish in these inari sushi dumplings, as they are made with sushi rice stuffed into a sweet bean curd pocket.
I used to not like this kind of sushi, because the restaurant types I ate, mainly at “WEST” (ウエスト) were so darn sweet and probably full of chemicals and preservatives I could do without. I warmed up to inarizushi after I tasted my mother-in-law’s secret recipe.
I might have mentioned before that sushi refers to the rice, not the fish. Hence, if you want to start getting used to the sour-sweetness of sushi rice, or are vegetarian, inari is a pretty good choice.
Some inari have sushi rice that is closer to chirashizushi, in that it contains vegetables and is stronger tasting. The inari featured here are the pure-white rice type, which I prefer since it cuts down on the overall sweetness.
Try inari if you have the chance!