Seasoned tofu pockets stuffed with rice

Yubuchobap 유부초밥

I’m introducing another easy recipe to you: yubuchobap, made with seasoned fried tofu and rice. It originated from Japan, but it’s very popular lunch box and picnic food in Korea. You can make it very easily at home because these days ready-made kits of ingredients for yubuchobap are sold at Korean and Japanese grocery stores. You may find them in Asian grocery stores, too.


The yubuchobap kit comes with 3 items: seasoned fried tofu, a vinegar-based sauce packet, and a packet of dried ingredients (carrots, sesame seeds, seaweed, etc). Even if you’re too busy to add more ingredients to your rice, you still can make delicious yubuchobap using only the kit. Just mix your freshly made warm rice with the vinegar-based sauce and dried ingredients, and fill each yubu pocket with the seasoned rice!

But I’ll show you how to make more delicious yubuchobap by adding fresh ingredients. I’m also going to show you an idea for a Halloween-themed yubuchobap. Spooky eyes made with white rice! How does it sound to you? It already sounds creepy! : )

If you don’t know how to make rice in a pot, the recipe is posted here.

Enjoy this recipe and don’t forget to make creepy eyes for fun. Let me know if you scare your friends with it.


Yield: 2 servings


2 cups of cooked rice (made with 1 cup of short grain rice), yubuchobap kit, cucumber, carrot, salt, yellow pickled radish, vegetable oil, and canned black olives (for spooky eyes).


  1. Chop cucumber and carrot into small pieces, about ⅓ cup worth. Put it into a bowl.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Squeeze out any excess water 10 minutes later.
  3. In a heated pan, add a drop of vegetable oil and saute the squeezed vegetables for 20 seconds.
  4. Chop yellow pickled radish into small pieces, about 2 tbs worth.
  5. Make 2 cups of rice and put it into a large bowl.
  6. Add the vinegar-based sauce to the warm rice. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.
    *tip: I suggest not pouring all the sauce from the packet into the rice. Add it little by little until you reach your preferred taste.  

  7. Add the prepared vegetables and chopped yellow pickled radish to the rice. Mix it well and cool it down.
  8. Open the package of yubu and squeeze it slightly to drain out the extra sauce.
  9. Open up each yubu to make a pouch.
  10. Take about 2-3 tbs of rice and make oval-looking rice balls.
  11. Fill each tofu pocket with a rice ball.
  12. Dip the top of the pocket with the exposed rice into the mix of dried ingredients. Put each pocket on to a serving plate one by one.

To make creepy eyes!

  1. Fill each pouch of yubu with white rice mixed with vinegar-based sauce. Form into an eye shape.
  2. Cut a black olive in half crosswise.
  3. Insert the half dome of the olive into the center of the yubuchobap
  4. Adjust the shape to make it look like eye!

You could use this as appetizer, too!




  1. kimjongdaence joined 8/15
    Posted August 23rd, 2015 at 4:12 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!!! I used this recipe for my home econs exam and i got an A!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!!

    See full size image

  2. NatSuarez USA joined 10/13
    Posted November 21st, 2013 at 6:38 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I want to try and make this for dinner today :)
    Looks so yummy! I was wondering however, if I have left overs, will it taste good the next day for lunch? Or is it better to keep the empty tofu pockets in a bag for another day?
    Thank you! :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 22nd, 2013 at 10:24 am | # |

      “is it better to keep the empty tofu pockets in a bag for another day?” yes, it is.
      Make it with freshly made rice.

      • NatSuarez USA joined 10/13
        Posted November 22nd, 2013 at 8:09 pm | # |

        Thank you Maangchi! They were so delicious and my husband and I ate them all i one meal :)

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted November 22nd, 2013 at 11:24 pm | # |

          haha, you didn’t leave any leftover!

  3. charlie137 Maine joined 8/13
    Posted August 23rd, 2013 at 1:25 am | # |

    Maangchi, Please Make Citron Tea [Tea in a jar] best thing i ever had! Love Your Sweet, Sharing Nature

  4. Pius Silvanus Medan, Indonesia joined 8/11
    Posted May 30th, 2013 at 3:12 am | # |

    Dear Maangchi, annyeonghaseyo. ^_^

    I wonder if there any appropriate substitute for cucumber, because I had an allergic on it.. Any idea??


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2013 at 1:13 pm | # |

      How about chopped spinach? Blanch some spinach and rinse it in cold water. Then squeeze out excess water.Chop it up and add a pinch of salt and mix. Then add to the rice. If this is too much work for you, just skip it. I use cucumber for color and crispy taste. Good luck!

  5. Blessed Singapore joined 4/10
    Posted August 25th, 2012 at 3:08 am | # |

    When I buy the tofu pockets, they do not come with the seasoning, What should I do?
    Do you have recipe for the seasoning powder and also the seasoning for the rice.
    Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2013 at 1:15 pm | # |

      You can make your own seasoning stuff. How about roasted sesame seeds and powdered kim (seaweed paper). You can add more delicious stuff like powdered dried shrimp.

  6. martoufmarty Manitoba, Canada joined 2/10
    Posted October 28th, 2011 at 12:45 am | # |

    These look delicious! I’d love to give this a try, but I’m afraid no one would eat them. My mother can’t eat tofu or really any soy products due to medical issues, and my dad and sister really do not like tofu. At all.

    Maybe I just won’t tell my dad and sister that it’s tofu ;)

  7. aroco017 joined 3/11
    Posted June 26th, 2011 at 12:55 pm | # |

    Dear Maangchi,

    I ate yubuchobap at a picnic with the children I teach and wanted to find out how to make it… when I was in the grocery store I found a package and tried it at home! I came across your recipe after I had already made it, you can check out my attempt here…

    I didn’t realize that sticky rice would work best, I found this rice at a health food store here (in Korea) and I don’t really know what it is but I really like it!

    Hope you are having a great day!

  8. Han Di Mexico joined 3/11
    Posted March 26th, 2011 at 11:00 pm | # |

    Hello… i liked the recipe… well.. dont want to look so dumb.. but… waa im from mexico and i would like to do this… the problem is i dont know how to cook rice… and i cant find a recipe where i could learn… korean rice.. waa.. hope you to help me… Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 28th, 2011 at 7:02 am | # |

      Check this out please :
      You will have to find short grain rice (known as sushi rice) though. Good luck!

      • HereinPDX joined 3/11
        Posted May 4th, 2011 at 11:29 pm | # |

        If cannot find short-grain rice (arroz), medium grain will work too. Growing up in Hawaii, my mom never did use short grain, always “calrose” medium grain. It was not until I moved to California (and started cooking on my own) I realized how many kinds of rice there are!
        Thank you Maangchi! I love your show. I made samgak kimbap today. Took me some searching to find the kit here in Portland Oregon!

  9. Sriwanti Jakarta, Indonesia joined 12/10
    Posted February 22nd, 2011 at 11:56 am | # |

    I really want to make this but i cant find the colourful dried seasoning here and i dislike olives, so…. :((

    btw anyway we can make yubu by ourself? maybe just cut tofu thinly and deep fried then dip in some kind of sweet sauce?? (wats in the sauce??)

  10. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11
    Posted February 16th, 2011 at 12:20 am | # |

    I just made these – they are very very tasty. Much sweeter than I expected which I think is a combination of the radish and the tofu. I will definitely make these again! Thanks as always Maangchi :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 16th, 2011 at 9:12 am | # |

      I saw the photo on the Flickr group. I will feature the photo soon. It looks great. You exactly followed my directions. : )

  11. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10
    Posted January 24th, 2011 at 10:42 am | # |

    I made these because I love Inari and they turned out great even though I couldn’t find a yubuchobap kit.

  12. Brigitte Montreal,Canada joined 1/10
    Posted October 30th, 2010 at 11:08 am | # |

    Yay!I just bought the kit!im gonna cook it tomorow for halloween!Im also gonna make squash pancakes tomorow

  13. leeemur SF Bay Area joined 7/09
    Posted October 29th, 2010 at 7:06 pm | # |

    I love cooking rice in pot instead of the rice cooker because I love noorongji! When I was a kid, I like putting sugar on noorongji. xD
    Wow, I love yubuchobap! However, I didn’t know how to make them until now, and I couldn’t eat the ones at the supermarket because they usually contain a lot of MSG and I get headaches and start vomiting every time I eat those. Now, I can eat them without worrying about getting sick!! I love you Maangchi!!! I’m going to run to the supermarket after submitting this so I can enjoy some yubuchobap and noorongji later!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 29th, 2010 at 11:23 pm | # |

      I love you, too! Happy cooking!

  14. Cookingmom Minneapolis,MN joined 10/10
    Posted October 23rd, 2010 at 11:25 am | # |

    I discovered your site by accident and I love it…excited to try new recipes. I’m half Korean and I usually cook by instinct trying to recreate some of the dishes my mother cooked when we were children. Never actually had a video or pics. I also love your style! I posted a variation of the spinach salad using kale instead…it’s my version but I love it.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 29th, 2010 at 11:26 pm | # |

      I can tell you are good at cooking because you say you cook by instinct! Nice meeting you!

  15. eviLeviathanMaybe Philippines joined 4/10
    Posted October 22nd, 2010 at 4:45 am | # |

    Maangchi.. while simmering the nooroongji.. can I add sugar? haha! the nooroongji reminds me of the pop rice here in the Philippines!

  16. sunie joined 10/10
    Posted October 22nd, 2010 at 12:16 am | # |

    wha~ it looks so yummy~! is it ok if I soak the rice for an hour…? I want to soak the rice while I’m in class kkkk

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 22nd, 2010 at 11:19 am | # |

      haha, it’s ok, of course! Even overnight soaking is ok. I meant at least 30 miuntes.

  17. leahangel Seattle, WA USA joined 9/10
    Posted October 20th, 2010 at 1:11 am | # |

    Oh I love inari/Yubu chobap! I didn’t know they made kits, that makes it even easier :D I think the eyes would be good for Halloween.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 20th, 2010 at 9:53 am | # |

      ooh,whoo, you are ready to surprise your friends on Halloween day!

  18. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
    Posted October 17th, 2010 at 11:00 pm | # |

    Aha .. inari .. i was just thinking about what the word . I had this for the first time when i was pregnant !!
    I definately want to try making this , since you’re saying it’s popular for lunch box , that would be good lunch box for my son :)
    Can i just fix the rice in the rice cooker instead of the pot ?? it shouldn’t make any difference , should it ?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:16 pm | # |

      haha, are you kidding? Of course you can use your rice cooker. I have my own rice cooker but I’m showing how to make rice without a rice cooker in this video for those who don’t have a rice cooker. If you want to eat nooroongji (burnt rice and the tea), make rice with a pot. : )

  19. amythecarr Seoul, South Korea joined 10/10
    Posted October 17th, 2010 at 10:44 pm | # |

    I am living in Korea and I really like this kind of Tofu. They often have it in soups and stuff, but I cannot figure out how to buy it. I’ve tried a few times but I always end up with fish curd! What is the name of this kind of tofu in Korean?!?! (not necessarily for the pockets but in general…)


  20. yieroo joined 3/10
    Posted October 17th, 2010 at 4:03 pm | # |

    Great recipe but Maangchi could u please make kalbi tang soon?it’s getting cold and would be nice to eat that soup in this cold winter thanks

  21. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10
    Posted October 17th, 2010 at 2:38 am | # |

    Thank you Maangchi, for another delicious recipe. I used to eat these a lot in Asia. I have tofu pouches in my pantry, I’ll make some pickled radish and try it out.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:21 pm | # |

      How did your yubuchobap turn out? I’m sure you and your family enjoyed it. Are you making homemade pickled radish? awesome!

  22. Moxiesoup Atlanta, GA joined 7/10
    Posted October 16th, 2010 at 3:11 pm | # |

    A Japanese friend of mine made these for us once. They are so yummy! Definitely looking for the kit at the market today. :D

  23. KillDeer Hamilton, Ontario joined 9/10
    Posted October 16th, 2010 at 3:08 pm | # |

    I would be worried if the olive didn’t taste like olive!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:22 pm | # |

      haha, u are right! “oops it tastes like monkey’s eyeball?” eww! : )

  24. valnaples joined 8/10
    Posted October 16th, 2010 at 1:22 pm | # |

    hahaha!!! What an adorable recipe and video! Thank you! Loved it when you are talking about the eyeball!!! Will check to see if Asian market carries the yubu kit! Thank you, Emily for another fabulous recipe video! Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:23 pm | # |

      Thanks, let me know the result if you make it.

  25. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09
    Posted October 16th, 2010 at 11:33 am | # |

    Supercute! The olive tastes like olives :-}
    This is a great apetizer, i find the tofu pouches in the store and it’s called Inari there.

    • Epicurean Adventure Minneapolis, MN joined 8/10
      Posted October 17th, 2010 at 1:58 pm | # |

      Inari (稲荷) is the Japanese name.
      In Japanese, these are called “Inarizushi” (稲荷鮨)
      Literally, sushi stuffed into seasoned tofu skin.


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