Do you love sushi? If so, do you wonder how it is made? To start with the rice has to be the exact texture to be rolled up with the other ingredients. To achieve this the answer lies in the type of bowl you use to cool the rice – Hangiri.
Some people use plastic bowls, but wooden bowls are so much better. The top sushi chefs use wooden bowls which are called hangiri. They are large, flat and shallow bowls that look like old-style barrels. All restaurants need to have hangiri bowls to make the best sushi.
So why do chefs use hangiris to cool their rice down? Well, first of all, the surface area is large which leads to even cooling. Secondly, the shallow depth of the hangiri allows the rice to cool quickly.
So why shouldn’t you use plastic bowls for your sushi rice? The answer is simple. Yes, plastic bowls also absorb heat, but the advantage of a wooden bowl is that in addition to absorbing heat it also absorbs excess moisture. Metal and plastic bowls don’t do this.
Are hangiri bowls made from a specific type of wood or will any wood do? The answer is no; any type of wood won’t do. Hangiri bowls are made from cypress which is a native tree in both Japan and Taiwan. Also, it can be ash or oak wood. It is used to make these bowls because it resists mold, rot and insect infestation. It also doesn’t warp which is important as you want your rice bowl to be the right shape so that the rice cools properly.
If you make sushi at home at least once a month you should invest in a hangiri bowl. If it’s less a plastic bowl will do, but not a metal one as it absorbs virtually no moisture. A hangiri bowl may be expensive but it is worth it in the long run and they do make smaller sized bowls for use in the home.
It’s important to note that the hangiri bowl is not dishwasher safe and should be washed by hand.
The Root of Good Sushi
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The Root of Good Sushi
- Boil and cook rice
So how do you make good sushi rice in your hangiri bowl? The answer lies in getting the perfect mixture of seasoned rice. What you need to do is cook 2 cups of rice with 2 cups of water. Bring it to the boil and cook on a moderate heat for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice stand for 15 minutes.
- Rice seasoning
In the meantime, you will need to make the rice seasoning. Combine ¼ cup white wine vinegar with ¼ cup rice vinegar, ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt. Heat up until the sugar dissolves and then you will have your perfect rice seasoning.
- Stir the rice in the hangiri
Place the rice in the hangiri wooden bowl and stir in the seasoning. While you are doing this, fan the rice so that any extra moisture is evaporated. The rice needs to stay moist but not soggy and saturated with the seasoning.
- Make sushi
Now all you have to do is get a bamboo mat or even a towel will do, and wrap the rice around whatever you fancy. The normal choice is raw fish, but you can also go for raw veggies. Carrots, cucumber, and avocado are great choices.
As we have tried to show, a hangiri wooden bowl is the best choice for making rice that is intended for sushi. There is no better way of getting that sticky consistency of sushi rice.