Age Sushi (Bags of Rice)
Age (ah-gay) are fried tofu (bean curd) puffs. For this recipe, the age are sliced in half crosswise to make pockets into which the rice mixture is stuffed. Susan Tsuji's family calls them "bags of rice." The recipe below is about half of what Susan makes on the show.
1 pkg age (fried tofu puffs, about 10 per pkg)
3 cups Japanese sushi rice, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce (approx)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Mirin (rice wine)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
Shredded red pickled ginger
Slice age in half crosswise; set aside.
In large saucepan, cover rice with 3 cups water (as a general guide, measure equal amounts rice and water; Susan checks by placing hand flat on surface of rice and if water comes up to wrist, it is the right amount.) Bring to boil; boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, cook rice and water in rice cooker if you have one.)
Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine stock and soy sauce (not too much soy sauce or it will darken age too much). Stir in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Season with salt and mirin to taste. Add age and cook, turning occasionally, until slightly softened. Remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, in saucepan of boiling water, cook grated carrots until tender-crisp; drain and season with salt to taste.
Transfer rice to large bowl. Stir vinegar into remaining sugar; gradually pour into rice, using rice paddle to gently fold liquid into rice while someone else fans rice to cool it (by fanning, the rice mixture will eventually turn glossy). Gently fold in cooked grated carrot.
With moistened fingers, stuff rice mixture into age pockets. Garnish with pickled ginger.