Have you ever heard about "Hangiri" (or "Handai")?
Hangiri is one of essential cookware for traditional Japanese restaurants to make Japanese cuisine, especially sushi. This is why it's also called "Sushi tub".
Once you understand its functionality, merit or maintenance, this magical tub helps you to make upgraded Japanese food. This blog shows you some important points when you use Hangiri.
Hangiri made of sawara cypress is bibulous, durable, soft and light, additionally has high water resistance. This wood is the great material to design since it has less warp.
Being tied up tightly with a copper hoop, Hangiri lets steam from freshly cooked rice go and absorb water to prevent rice from containing too much water. Furthermore, it gives special smell from sawara cypress to rice, which will be a great flavor. Other wood doesn't have this smell so this is the particular merit to use this material.
Before you start to use Hangiri, you will need to do one thing. Don't worry, it's very easy. Just pour boiling water and add 200 cc of vinegar. Then you can only wait until it gets cool. This removes tree resin and unnecessarily strong smell.
Natural wood contains tree resin. Sawara cypress is of course not an exception so resin can appear on the surface sometimes. If it's sticky, pour boiling water or wash it with ethanol or high spirits so that you can remove this stickiness. Stain might stay there but it won't affect your health so no problem to keep using.
Getting tree resin means that wood is alive. Also, this is the source of unique smell of sawara cypress. If resin is completely removed from the material, characteristics of sawara cypress would be gone. When you see resin on your tub, just give it quick maintenance and be happy! That means your Hangiri is truly an awesome product.
Mold is a prime enemy of Hangiri.
To avoid getting it, please make sure to wash well after use. Especially, sugar of the starchy material from rice is the best food for black mold. If it's not washed away and left in the tub, it goes moldy. Also, pouring boiling water to reduce fungus is effective to avoid mold. Either way, dry the tub up in the airy shadow afterwards.
You might now feel it's a bit of hassle but once you use Hangiri, you will definitely realize its benefits and how worth putting effort into the maintenance.
Why don't you get this traditional craft specifically for Japanese cuisine? I promise that you will be amazed with the absolute differences of the quality when it's made with the real cookware.