Soba Inari are deep fried tofu pockets stuffed with soba both seasoned in a sweet and salty dashi based broth. Quick and easy to make, these are refreshing and perfect for the summer! They also make great additions to bentos and packed lunches.
One of my all time favourite dish is Inari Sushi (inarizushi). You're probably familiar with inarizushi, you know those deep fried tofu pouches stuffed with seasoned rice vinegar? Just about any sushi restaurant has it on the menu and they're absolutely delicious! Of course, they're even better when homemade. My grandma, sister and I used to make heaps of inari age every summer and stuff them with both seasoned rice and soba!
While I love making inari zushi at home, it does take some time to make. Thats why during the summer, I love making Soba Inari! Cold soba noodles are a staple during the summer so it totally makes sense 😂.
What is Soba Inari
Soba Inari is similar to Inari Sushi but stuffed with seasoned soba instead of vinegar seasoned rice. Think Zaru Soba (Japanese cold soba noodles) meets Inari Sushi or a cold version of Kitsune Soba. It's made with inari age which are pieces of aburaage (fried tofu pockets) that has been simmered in a sweet and salty dashi based broth and soba noodles that have been dipped in the remaining seasoned liquid.
Why you'll love Soba Inari
- Soba Noodles are nutritious! They're a good source of manganese, thiamin and high in soluble fibre. Not only do that also contain a good amount of plant based protein, but their amino acid profile is well balanced and even contains lysine (which many other grain-like seeds lack). Plus, buckwheat noodles are a great gluten free noodle option for those that require it.
- Easier to make than Inari Sushi. When making Inarizushi, you have to make the seasoned rice as well which is a lot more time consuming. But with soba inari, all thats required is cooking the soba noodles (which takes just 5 minutes), dipping it in the reserved inari age seasoning and stuffing it.
- Packed lunches and bentos. Soba inari are the perfect add-ins for lunches and bentos! And they make a great hand held on-the-go type of meal.
Alright, have I convinced you to try these? Let's make them!
How to Make Soba Inari
Like I mentioned above, soba inari are much quicker and easier to make than inarizushi. I always have Inari Age in my freezer making the process even faster but if you don't have any prepared, here is my homeomade Inari Age recipe.
- Inari Age: Deep fried tofu pouches seasoned with sugar, mirin, soy sauce and a kombu dashi based broth. You can either use homemade or store bought.
- Inari Age seasoning liquid: Be sure to save the remaining liquid as you'll need it to season the soba noodles! If you decide to use store bought inari age or forgot to save the seasoning liquid, you can also use mentsuyu (tsuyu) or store bought tsuyu.
- Soba Noodles: Japanese buckwheat noodles! You can also use matcha soba noodles for a pop of colour and variation.
As far as toppings go, you can really add whatever you like! I do highly recommend adding some scallions or green onions though for flavour. I've listed some suggestions below, but my favourites are tempura scraps for crunch and toasted sesame seeds!
- Cook Soba Noodles: it takes abut 5 minutes and then quickly rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking and to cool.
- Fill the fried tofu pouches: open the inari age all the way to the bottom using your fingers and getting the corners too. Stuff the pouches with soba filling about ⅔ of the way. Add in your choice of toppings.
- Seal: fold the top flap down over the bottom flap. Then bring the right and left side toward the middle and set on a plate to keep them in place.
You can also opt to keep them open like I did here. For a cleaner look, tuck the rims inward.
If you love inarizushi and cold soba noodles, these are callin' for you! They're fun to make, fun to eat and are great additions for packed meals and bento boxes. You can make enough for a full meal alongside some miso soup and vegetables or serve them as a side dish. I mean hey, they even make a satisfying snack! I hope you try and love this soba inari dish as much as we do 🙂
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
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Soba Inari (そばいなり)
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 10 pieces 1x
Soba Inari made with deep fried tofu pockets stuffed with soba both seasoned in a sweet and salty dashi based broth. Quick and easy to make, these are perfect for the summer and to pack in bento boxes!
- 1 recipe of inari age (richly seasoned)
- leftover inari age seasoning liquid*
- 2 bundles of dry soba noodles (150g)
- agedama (tempura bits)
- toasted sesame seeds
- Japanese pickled
- pickled ginger
- perilla leaves
- Cook the soba noodles following directions on package. Drain the water using a strainer and then rinse with cold water to cool.
- Open the inari age all the way to the bottom with your fingers. Add soba noodles to fill ⅔ of the pouch. Add desired toppings.
- To close, fold the top flap over the bottom and then fold the right and left corners to the middle. Place on a plate sealed side down. You can also opt to keep it open by tucking in the rims for a cleaner look. Repeat until all inari age pieces are used up.
- Serve and enjoy!
- *If you do not have the leftover seasoning liquid, you can also use homemade mentsuyu or store bought tsuyu.
- Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: side dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: vegan, japanese
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 105
- Sugar: 3.3g
- Sodium: 430mg
- Fat: 2.6g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 16.3g
- Fiber: 0.04g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: soba inari, soba, aburaage
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Really easy to try and I like that I did not waste anything with this recipe 🙂
Thank you for sharing Lisa!
So much fun making this recipe. Delicious and easy to make. Thank You for sharing Lisa San. Definetely I will try the other recipe.
Super easy and tasty! I also put chill oil + fried garlic + white sesame on top besides the one with leek and tenkasu on top. I’ll definitely make it again!
Such a unique way to use soba! I also use this with nori and it tastes great