Apparently the loveable creatures can be found in the mountains of China, zoos, and this couple’s refrigerator.

Linguists and foodies are quick to point out that although the word “sushi” is often used by non-Japanese speakers to talk about raw fish, that’s not really what it means. Sushi technically refers to vinegared rice, like what you’ll find under your slice of salmon or inside your tuna roll. Some types of sushi actually contain no fish at all, like inarizushi.

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Made by wrapping vinegared rice in a covering of fried tofu, inarizushi is sweet, filling, and inexpensive. It’s a popular side dish, but as you can see, it’s not really much to look at. Unless you’re eating at the house of Japanese Twitter user @inunokaicyou, that is, where his inarizushi recently looked like this.

@inunokaicyou’s wife recently whipped up a batch of inarizushi and left it in the fridge to chill. She told him to help himself, but when he removed the plate, he found the far left pocket of tofu contained a cute panda, fashioned by adding bits of dried seaweed to the rice, plus a bed of greens for the little guy to lounge on.

Online, commenters have been impressed with Mrs. @inunokaicyou’s clever and creatively affectionate cuisine.

“This kind of playful attitude is so important to hang on to.”
“Your wife is awesome.”
“I think I’m falling for her.”
“It’s too cute. I could never eat it!”
“That panda looks delicious!”

Cynics may imagine that such cutesy antics are proof that @inunokaicyou and wife are still newlyweds enjoying the blissful afterglow of their honeymoon, and that soon enough they’ll settle into a dry, dull routine. In reality, though, @inunokaicyou and his beloved are currently in the 17th year of their marriage. “We’re just a silly otaku couple enjoying life,” he says, and it looks like they’re doing a fine job of it.

Source: IT Media, Twitter/@inunokaicyou
Insert image: Wikipedia/Ocdp

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking panda sushi sounds pretty good for lunch.