I might be a vegetarian, but I do sometimes eat Rilakkuma. When I do eat him, I make sure he is made out of Japanese sushi, so I feel a little better about myself. My Rilakkuma is all organic and it’s surprisingly easy to make. The two main ingredients are rice and “Abura age”, which are not too hard to find! So today, we are going to make Japanese Inari-zushi(いなり寿司), shaped into a Rilakkuma. If you have an urge to eat cute bears without feeling guilty, I recommend you adding Rilakkuma Inari zushi in your recipe box.
Inari Zushi is a type of Japanese sushi, a rice-ball wrapped with a deep-fried Tofu called “Abura-Age“. Kids love this thing because it’s often cooked with a bit of sugar 🙂 Abura-age is pretty easy to find at any Asian market!
- ・1.5 cup rice
- ・2 tbsp rice vinegar
- ・2 eggs
- ・1~2 your favorite sliced cheese
- ・6~8 sheets Inari
- ・1 big sheet Nori(dried seaweed)
- ・1 slice of carrot
1: Make sushi rice. Cook rice with 3 cups of water with steamer or pan and wait until ready. Add rice vinegar to the cooked rice and mix well. This is what we Japanese call “Sumeshi(酢飯)” , meaning sushi rice. Now you know how to prepare rice when you cook sushi! *thumbs up*
2: Prepare the Inari. Make sure the color is exactly like Rilakkuma 😉
3: Shape the Rilakkuma head. Scoop the sushi rice into a plastic wrap like this, and squeeze it tight! If you don’t squeeze tight enough, it will look strange and also difficult to eat. I find it much easier using plastic wrap rather than my own hands to make a real tight rice ball.
4: Make the ears. This is the hard part! First, scoop a little amount of rice with a small spoon and place it on both corners of Inari. Then push it with a back of the spoon to make it look like an ear. Inari is real fragile. If you push too hard, it might break apart, so be very careful!
5: Close the inari sheet. Tuck the bottom of inari underneath the rice and hide the edge by shaping it nice and round. Now you have a beautiful bear shape right in your kitchen!
6: Make the facial part. Use the Nori(seaweed) puncher for Rilakkuma’s eyes, nose, and mouth. You can use scissors if you don’t have a puncher. Then shape the cheese into Rilakkuma’s mouth. I used a cookie cutter.
7: Make thin omelet for the ears. I used the edge of a boba(tapioca) straw to cut out. It was the perfect size for the ears I found in my kitchen.
8: Place all your hard work on the plate. This part is super fun! Sometimes I screw up and make one of my Rilakkumas looks like he just had a shot of tequila, which made me laugh so hard! This is the moment where you can feel all the little effort is finally coming together. So don’t forget to have fun 🙂
I had a little extra fun and made one of them “Korilakkuma” (I heard a rumor that she is Rilakkuma’s sister) I made it look like she is wearing Rilakkuma’s head, which is scary when I think about it, but then again, it did look extra-cute with the rest of the Rilakkuma Inaris. So, I guess it’s okay. If you want to make her as well, just fold the top part of inari and expose the rice-ball a bit. Then place the face as you want it.
Also, don’t waste the rest of thin omelet you just made for the ears! Roll and cut it into a bite size. Then place the thinly cut carrot as a mouth and nori(seaweed) for eyes. I used a nori puncher this time as well. This omelet guy is Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma’s friend, “Kiiroitori“. He’s a cute little bird who likes pancakes 😀
Here you go, the cutest Sushi in the world, “Rilakkuma Inari“! It’s absolutely fun to make and I’ll guarantee that you can make everyone on the table smile. The only thing I wish I could change about this food is the hesitation. It’s just simply too cute to eat.
Happy cooking everyone!