Off the Beaten Plate: Inari at Dondon

Inari at Dondon, 2223 Louisiana St.

Inari at Dondon, 2223 Louisiana St.

It's no secret that Off the Beaten Plate has a tendency to skew toward the sinfully indulgent. (Remember deep-fried s’mores?) But things took a turn for the sacrosanct earlier this week when we sampled a dish with holy origins during a lunchtime trip to Dondon.

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I’m talking about inarizushi, a Japanese dish of fried tofu stuffed with sushi rice that you’ll find on the Dondon menu as simply “inari.” Apparently, these sweet little pouches take their name from the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu — the more you know, as they say.

While we’re on the subject of inari, here’s an inari-making tutorial from one of my weirder YouTube obsessions, Cooking with Dog. It’s a Japanese culinary show hosted by a poodle (!) named Francis, and in case you weren’t able to surmise this based on my description, it’s brilliant. Watch and enjoy.

Where to get it: Dondon, 2223 Louisiana St., Suite E (northwest corner of 23rd and Louisiana streets)

What you'll pay: $2.95 for an order of two

Try it with: A warm, comforting bowl of udon noodles (the restaurant offers a few different options, all of which are served in broth)

Also on the menu: Plenty of donburi rice bowls and udon options, plus a chicken salad and sides like edamame, miso soup and ice cream — both green tea and red bean flavors.

— Off The Beaten Plate highlights some of the more exotic, oddly named or inventively concocted dishes from local menus. Know of an offbeat item we should check out? Email reporter Joanna Hlavacek at jhlavacek@ljworld.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/hlavacekjoanna.

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