Abura Agé (Fried Tōfu)
Japanese culinary culture is
filled with references to foxes and their fondness for abura agé (fried tōfu). Names of dishes made
with fried tōfu will often allude to this
Sometimes you see the word itself, kitsuné (fox) as part of the name of the dish. Kitsuné udon or soba are soup-noodles garnished with sheets of fried tōfu that have been simmered in a (slightly) sweet soy broth. The color of fried tōfu is often referred to as kitsuné iro or "fox-colored."
Other times you will encounter the word inari. Inari-zushi are sweetly soy-simmered pouches of fried tōfu stuffed with vinegar-seasoned (sushi) rice. Inari shrines are dedicated to rice cultivation; fox-figures guard the entrance to these shrines.
At other times, the word Shinoda will appear on menus. When it does, Shinoda is capitalized because it is the name of a place, Shinoda
Forest, near present-day Osaka. The forest is the home to many legendary foxes, including one
female fox that changed to human form and married a hunter (foxy lady!)
Fox-Guard at Shinoda Mori Jinja (Shrine)