Let's make chirashi sushi Or what we like to call "zushi". Did you know that the biggest error made in making sushi at home is the consistency of the rice and vinegar. Wooden sushi oke or called hangiri or handai is specifically designed to absorb excess moisture and allow the vinegar to mix evenly with the rice. Ours are made from Sawara a variety of the cypress tree. The sawara has less cedar scent and taste than the hinoki cypress. Cooks prefer the sawara wood when cooking so the scent doesn't overpower the rice. The hinoki cypress is used in the furo bath basins. It's more popular with the hot springs known as Japanese onsen. Cypress are waterproof and resistant to rot and give off the most wonderful fragrance when wet.
As soon as you open the package containing the oke you can smell the wood and see the natural oils of the wood leave a ring in the box. Do not be fooled by smaller wood hangiris made in China. It may be less expensive but it is not as deep, not made of cypress and is not held together with a copper band. It will NOT get better with age but WORSE and you will be disappointed. Buy the real thing. This size is restaurant size however we are not talking about huge homestyle meals. Restaurant size in Japanese terms is ideal for home use.
Details: 15 1/2" in diameter and 3 1/2" in depth the hangiri wooden sushi oke is bound by copper and finely handcrafted in Japan.