Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a post-transcriptional processing event involved in diversifying the transcriptome responsible for various biological processes. Although bioinformatic approaches have predicted a number of A-to-I editing sites in cDNAs, the human transcriptome is thought to still harbor large numbers of as-yet-unknown editing sites. Exploring new editing sites requires a biochemical method to accurately identify inosines on RNA strands. We here describe a chemical method to identify inosines, called inosine chemical erasing (ICE), that is based on cyanoethylation combined with reverse transcription. We carried out a large-scale verification of the ICE method focusing on 642 regions in human cDNA and identified 5,072 editing sites, including 4,395 new sites. Functional study revealed that A-to-I intronic editing in the SARS gene mediated by ADAR1 is involved in preventing aberrant exonization of Alu sequence into mature mRNA.