Hangiri is a beautiful and traditional rice mixing tab that was originally wooden and is used to make sushi rice. It works by absorbing rice water to allow the rice to reach a perfect consistency. The authentic hangiri is crafted out of high quality bamboo or Japanese cypress. These materials make the bowl durable and give it a nice traditional aesthetic. Hangiri bowls are available in different sizes and you can get one with a lid. The hangiri sizes you get depend on the amount of sushi you plan on cooking. The lid maximises the absorption effect so you can prepare the sushi twice as fast.
Most people prefer the wooden or bamboo hangiri. This is because it absorbs excessive moisture and its shape allows the rice to cool faster during the mixing. You can replace the hangiri with a wooden bowl. Do not by any chance use a metal bowl because it reacts with the vinegar and this could affect the taste of your rice. For the perfect sushi rice, use an authentic hangiri.
How to care for your hangiri bowl
Before you use it for the very first time
Before you use your hangiri bowl, you should season the hangiri. This helps remove the bitterness within the bowl. How do you do this? By pouring water and some vinegar and letting it sit over night. The next day, you simply have to pour out the water vinegar and rinse with clean water; do not use any soap. Dry with a soft towel, the direct sun or any kind of heat might crack your wooden bowl.
Before every use
While the sushi rice cooks, you should fill the hangiri bowl with water. Fill it with water and let it sit for 30 minutes. Make sure you drain the water and dab with a clean towel before you add your hot rice to the bowl. A wet hangiri will soak the rice and make it moist. Also, if you do not soak the hangiri properly, your rice will stick to the bowl and it will soak up the seasoning leading to bland sushi rice.
Every time you use the hangiri
It is normal for rice to stick to the hangiri every time you use it. After use, if there is rice stuck to the bowl, make sure you fill it with some warm water and let it sit for a while. Next, use a soft brush or cloth to remove the rice that did not free up with the water.
Do not use any soap or harsh chemicals when you are cleaning out the bowl. Use a cotton cloth to dry up your hangiri every time you wash it. Make sure the bowl airs out adequately before you store it in a plastic bag and away from any heat source.