How To Choose The Best Hangiri/ Handai/ Sushi Oke?

If you are a Japanese food enthusiast, you probably know about the sushi mixing bowl. But do you know how to choose the best hangiri? 

Using a good hangiri will obviously give you the best quality sushi dishes.

All sushi experts in Japan have their own favorite wooden mixing tub in pursuit of their tastiest flavor.

This article will show you some interesting information about this kind of sushi mixing bowl. Do you have any hangiri?

We provided some tips at maintain your tub as well.

In case you have not got one in your kitchen, we have a high-quality suggestion list below.

Now let’s take a look!

The Top-Rated Hangiris (Recommendation)

#1. KOTOBUKI HANGIRI SUSHI RICE MIXING TUB – TOP PICK

#2. BAMBOOMN SUSHI OKE TUB MAKING SERVING ACCESSORY KIT– BEST AFFORDABLE

#3. ELVOKI BAMBOO SUSHI MAKING KIT– BEST BAMBOO ALTERNATIVE

#4. KICHGATHER 10.6 INCH WOODEN SUSHI RICE BOWL– AMAZON’S CHOICE

#5. JAPANBARGAIN JAPANESE SUSHI MAKING KIT– BEST PLASTIC HANGIRI

#6. KELUNIS CARBONIZATION SUSHI OKE

#7. SUSHIQUIK SUSHI MAKING KIT


Related: 

What Is Hangiri?

Hangiri

Hangiri (also known as a sushi oke) is a traditional Japanese wooden tub used in the final stages of sushi rice preparation.

Its big flat bottom helps spread out hot rice and cool it quickly after pouring in the seasoning while fanning and mixing the rice with a paddle.

Alternativa Hangiri

This gives the ingredient a slightly shinier look while also speeding up evaporation and absorption to keep the rice from being mushy.

Hangiri is used not only in the preparation of sushi rice but also in the preparation of Chirashi (Scattered) sushi.

Hangiri can also be used in the summer to display fresh seafood or to cool cooked somen noodles with ice.

Japanese Hangiri

Source: Nomlist

A good one is usually made of uncoated cypress or cedar with two copper bands binding them together.

These woods are commonly preferred because they slow the growth of mold.

They may be 1 to 3 feet in diameter, but the “sweet spot” for general home use is possibly 16 inches in diameter and 4 inches in height.

This container holds 10 to 12 cups of rice.

Sushi Hangiri

Moreover, a good hangiri is not cheap.

A one-foot can set you back at least $75.00.

If the price is less than $50, it is most likely a cheap knock-off made of pine with fake copper bands that are simply made of plastic.

Or you make sushi on a daily basis, you will need to replace this one in a year or two.

If you are more than just a casual maker, the cost of an authentic hangiri is well worth it.

Hangiri and Ohitsu

Hangiri 40 Cm

When you come to a Japanese restaurant, have you ever seen a wooden tub on the counter that holds the sushi rice until the chef starts shaping it by hand?

It is known as Ohitsu, not Hangiri.

The rice in a wooden tub with a lid is passed to the sushi chef at the counter by a younger staff before the chef begins shaping.

The optimum temperature, or body temperature, is thought to be 37 degrees Celsius.

The ingredients can be kept warm and moist in an ohitsu, which is important for the final dish product.

Hangiri 45 Cm

You may be surprised by this degree of sensitivity to temperature, but the fancier the restaurant, the more they care about the temperature of the rice and toppings.

Some restaurants prepare three varieties of them based on the toppings, changing the temperature to 50o, 40o, or 35o.

Why Do Professional Chefs Prefer Using Hangiri?

There are three common reasons why Japanese professional chefs choose hangiri in their making for tasty food.

Hangiri Cypress Wood

1. Absorption of water:

Since the best hangiri is extremely absorbent, it absorbs any extra water, which helps hold the rice moist and keeps it from drying out.

This results in ideal dishes with just the right amount of hydration.

2. Smell:

The delicate smell of wood complements rice and does not overpower the flavor of the dishes.

Hangiri Sushi Rice Bowl

3. Antibacterial:

Woods with antibacterial properties, such as sawara or hinoki cypress, give you peace of mind when it comes to hygiene.

Chefs use wooden hangiri for these purposes.

This is also why paddles and some other cookware are made of wood.

What If The Hoops Become Loose?

Hangiri Bowl

The copper or stainless steel hoop that wraps around the hangiri ties the bowl together.

When wood absorbs moisture, it expands and contracts.

As a result, the hoop can become loose during the dry winter seasons.

If the hoop becomes unstable or detaches, turn it upside down and softly tap it down with a hammer until it fits back into shape.

Douse it with water after it has been restored to its correct position, and it will fit snugly back into place.

Best Hangiris Shortlist (Updated List)

Product imagesProduct namesEditor's ratingPrice
KOTOBUKI HANGIRI SUSHI RICE MIXING TUB4.6Check
Price
BAMBOOMN SUSHI OKE TUB MAKING SERVING ACCESSORY KIT4.5Check
Price
ELVOKI BAMBOO SUSHI MAKING KIT4.6Check
Price
KICHGATHER 10.6 INCH WOODEN SUSHI RICE BOWL4.6Check
Price
JAPANBARGAIN JAPANESE SUSHI MAKING KIT4.6Check
Price
KELUNIS CARBONIZATION SUSHI OKE4.2Check
Price
SUSHIQUIK SUSHI MAKING KIT4.4Check
Price

*Please notice that the reviews and ratings of the following products were recorded on the writing date by the editor. Ratings can be changed over time.

Best Hangiris: Choose Your Right One

Franchise Hangiri Sushi

#1. KOTOBUKI HANGIRI SUSHI RICE MIXING TUB – TOP PICK

See Latest Price

Key features:

  • 4 different sizes
  • Made in Japan, handmade by professional experts
  • Material: Japanese cypress wood

Kotobuki is an excellent choice for a ‘Made in Japan’ hangiri.

They tie it together with Japanese cypress wood and a copper side.

You can choose from different sizes, but I believe the larger models are a better value.

However, you have to check how much space you have before buying it.

This is highly recommended for preparing dishes for 2 – 4 people.

The best things are it helps the rice has the cypress wood fragrant and also absorbs the right amount of moisture.

Users reviewed that it is easier to cool and season them, and easy to clean up as well.

Pros:

  • High quality handmade from Japanese artisans
  • Functional for absorbing water
  • Last long and durable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Easy to crack
  • Copper rings become loose easily
  • Water leaking at the bottom

#2. BAMBOOMN SUSHI OKE TUB MAKING SERVING ACCESSORY KIT– BEST AFFORDABLE

See Latest Price

Key features:

  • 5 different sizes
  • Includes a hangiri tub, 2 bamboo mats, 2 bamboo paddle, 2 bamboo spoons, 4 bamboo round dishes, 4 bamboo square dishes, 4 split bamboo plates.
  • Material: Pinewood (hangiri) and bamboo
  • Plastic band

If you are on a tight budget and just need something to cook rice with, bamboo products can be good options.

Since bamboo is more widely available, it can be sold at a lower cost.

This choice provides you with everything you need to get started making sushi.

Furthermore, natural bamboo is eco-friendly, efficient, and extremely durable.

Although it does not have the same aromatic and anti-mold properties as cypress, it still can get your work done.

Moreover, you will get a full-making set that helps you on all making stages, from preparation to the final.

The best thing is you can own all of these kinds of stuff at a price that just under $30.

Some users do not really link the bamboo stuff, however, with that affordable price, the whole set is a great deal.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Full set of sushi cookware
  • Sushi mats are preferable
  • Well made and sturdy

Cons:

  • Plastic ring
  • The plates are too short
  • The bottom of the plates are not flat

#3. ELVOKI BAMBOO SUSHI MAKING KIT– BEST BAMBOO ALTERNATIVE

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Key features:

  • 16 pieces set includes 1 knife, 1 hangiri, 2 paddles, 2 spoons, 2 rolling mats, 4 small round dishes, 4 small square dishes.
  • Plastic band
  • Hangiri material: Bamboo

Elvoki Bamboo Making Kit is our best suggestion for bamboo alternatives.

Not just the hangiri sushi rice bowl, it is a full well prepared to make set for the starters.

With 16 pieces included inside this set, you will not have to worry about buying other kinds of stuff. You can totally make your delicious plates from this kit.

However, the knife is quite cheaply made.

It is still sharp enough to deal with fruit.

Before using it to make sashimi or sushi, you may have to put it through a whetstone.

Besides the knife, generally, the whole set is fantastic.

Because the bowl may shake a little bit when using, you should place a towel under it, or use some clay underneath to make supports so they can remain stable.

Even so, they are still adorable and perform reasonably well.   

Pros:

  • Ideal for 1 – 2 persons
  • Cheap price
  • Great set for sushi starters

Cons:

  • The bowl is too small
  • Some customers complained that it looks like cheaply made
  • Came with the mats had tiny holes like being bitten by insects

#4. KICHGATHER 10.6 INCH WOODEN SUSHI RICE BOWL– AMAZON’S CHOICE

See Latest Price

Key features:

  • 5 different big sizes
  • After-sale guarantee
  • Material: High quality imported white wood refined
  • Plastic band

Have you ever considered buying a big bowl for a home Japanese food party?

KichGather Wooden Sushi Rice Bowl is an Amazon’s choice for you.

These products are the best hangiri rice bowl that can meet your expectations.

The big-size tubs serve to absorb moisture from freshly cooked rice and help to cool quickly, making it ideal for preparing and mixing the rice with seasonings or sauce.

One more advantage is that this product has no bad odor that can affect the food’s flavor.

This product of Kichgather also comes with an after-sale guarantee.

If the product has any issues or you do not like the quality, you can require a replacement or even a 100% cash refund.

Pros:

  • Large sushi hangiri
  • After-sale guarantee with replacement or 100% refund
  • Perfect for home meals
  • No odor

Cons:

    • Easy to crack in a few places up and down the sides
    • People do not like the plastic band

#5. JAPANBARGAIN JAPANESE SUSHI MAKING KIT– BEST PLASTIC HANGIRI

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Key features:

  • 2 options: Wood and plastic
  • Plastic set (11.5 inches) includes: 1 plastic lacquered hangiri rice mixing bowl, 1 bamboo sushi rolling mat, 3 plastic rice spatulas
  • Wood set (10.5 inches) includes: 1 wooden hangiri tub, 3 bamboo rolling mats, 3 bamboo paddles

How about making rice in a plastic bowl?

Give JapanBargain product a try.

Overall, it does its work well in mixing it with seasonings.

However, because being made of plastic, it can not absorb water like wooden ones.

Frankly speaking, this kit gives you everything you need as a basic sushi kit.

If you are not too strict on choosing a mixing bowl, this is the best hangiri option because it is lightweight and affordable as well.

After using, please rinse it thoroughly immediately and then use a tiny drop of dish wash soap.

Pros:

  • Big size
  • Durable
  • Included rolling mat and spatulas

Cons:

  • Can not absorb water
  • Hard to clean up

#6. KELUNIS CARBONIZATION SUSHI OKE

See Latest Price

Key features:

  • Size: 7.87 inches (20 cm) diameter
  • Has a deep liner and lid
  • Material: High quality imported white wood refined
  • With stainless steel inner basin
  • Sturdy copper bands

Kelunis Carbonizaiton Hangiri Sushi Oke is a new but promising product in this market.

The first thing that captured our attention is its look.

This product has an accent and traditional look because being made of sawara cypress wood materials.

Moreover, it has a sturdy copper band on the exterior surface that wins all the plastic bands.

This product has stainless steel inner basin if you want to store food as a displayer.

However, you can still use the wooden hangiri by itself if you want to mix ingredients together in a traditional way.

One more bonus is that this Kelunis product comes with a lid, which makes it perfect to maintain the rice’s warm temperature.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Absorb moisture quickly and allow the rice to cool fast
  • Accent and traditional appealing
  • Has a lid

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • New to the market so that it does not have many reviews

#7. SUSHIQUIK SUSHI MAKING KIT

See Latest Price

Key features:

  • The complete kit includes everything to make sushi
  • Material: Plastic
  • Has the training frame guide to help
  • Durable
  • Fast clean up
  • Includes Rolling mat, stand, 2 end caps bowls, cutting guide, rice guide, spoon.

If you are finding a sushi-making kit that can make your kids find it interesting, the SushiQuik Making Kit is perfect.

Different from the other products in this list, this is an all-plastic kit that suitable for sushi beginners or children.

This set includes an innovative frame that can help you in the layering of sticky rice, conventional fillings, and seaweed nori sheets.

Roll the mat to form a log, then cut it into perfect sushi bites with the cutter.

Pros:

  • Unique
  • Convenient
  • Easy to clean
  • Fun for kids

Cons:

  • Not really a traditional hangiri set
  • The slats are too big to make a tight roll
  • Not really easy for beginners
  • Not dishwasher safe

How To Season And Prepare Your Best Hangiri For Use Each Time?

Hangiri Cypress

1. Before you use it for the first time

Consider seasoning you would season a cast-iron skillet, except you use water and rice vinegar instead of bacon grease or lard.

It is also needed if you want to do everything correctly and handle it correctly from the start.

Fill it with water and ¼ cup rice vinegar and set it aside overnight to season.

The next day, drain the water and thoroughly dry it before setting it up.

2. Before using it each time to make sushi rice

Hangiri Tub

Fill the hangiri with water and set it aside for at least 30 minutes before using it, or when your rice cooks. Before adding some hot rice, make sure to drain all of the water.

It is usually a smart idea to turn it over and let it drip for a few minutes so there is not too much water in it and the rice soaks it up and becomes mushy.

Since most high-quality ones are made of untreated cypress, putting rice in it without first soaking it in water would cause the rice to stick to the wood.

The water acts as a nonstick coating on the wood which prevents the tub from absorbing too much of the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt mixture.

Hangiri Rice Bowl

You have to be careful when soaking the wooden paddle and 2 or 3 kitchen towels (one to cover your sushi rice later and one to keep by your side to use as you make the rice).

Using clean, used, lint-free, odor-free towels to ensure that no fumes or scents are added to your sushi rice.

 3. After use, thoroughly wash and dry the sushi oke.

Hangiri Oke Wooden Sushi Rice Bowl

If there is rice stuck to it when you are done, fill it with warm water and set it aside for a bit.

To extract sticky spots, use a sponge or brush.

However, do not use a steel or wire brush, it can damage the wood surface.

After cleaning, entirely dry it with a towel before turning it upside down in a dish drainer or propping it on the side of a bowl to allow airflow underneath.

The last thing you want is for the hangiri to grow mold spots when it is still wet.

Even, do not dry the tub in the sun, it may warp.

Hangiri Amazon

If mold appears, rub some lime juice into the affected area.

If that does not work, you can still sand it with soft grit sandpaper.

However, I would advise against going overboard.

The copper hoop or the wood will become loose over time.

This is how moisture shrinks or expands the hangiri.

If this occurs, just take a piece of wood and gently tap it back into place.

If you just want to use it sometimes, consider hydrating with either water.

You can lubricate the exterior with mineral oil.

Hangiri Alternative

A good quality hangiri would offer you several years of faithful service if it is properly seasoned and washed after each use.

How to use and maintain your best hangiri efficiently:

Choosing Your Best Hangiri: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Possible To Mix Sushi Rice In A Metal Bowl?

Best Sushi Hangiri

To keep the grains of sushi rice properly apart (and prevent a clumpy mess), the rice must be cooled while it is seasoned.

Use wooden or plastic utensils and bowls, metal paddles can ruin the rice, and metal bowls will react with the rice vinegar seasoning, giving it an off-taste.

2. Can I Keep Sushi Rice Overnight?

El Hangiri

As a result, if you want the sushi to taste better, do not keep the sushi rice in the refrigerator overnight.

If you refrigerate the sushi rice, it can become dry and lose its sticky texture.

If you keep it at room temperature, bacteria that are harmful to your health will most likely develop.

3. Can I Use Hangiri In A Dishwasher?

Como Limpiar Hangiri

Certainly not. Unfortunately, one disadvantage of owning wooden cookware is that it must be hand washed.

We suggest cleaning your sushi oke with soap and warm water as soon as you finish using it.

4. What Are Some Common Materials Of The Hangiri?

Cypress Hangiri

The majority of sushi experts choose wooden or bamboo hangiri tub.

This is due to the fact that it retains extra moisture and its form helps the rice to cool faster during the mixing process.

A wooden bowl may be used in place of the original bowl.

If you use a metal bowl, it may react with the vinegar, which will change the flavor of your rice.

We recommend using an authentic hangiri for the rice.

5. What Size Hangiri Is Suitable For Me?

Donde Comprar Hangiri

It depends on your purposes and the number of regular servings.

A 30cm (11 ¾ inches) hangiri bowl can hold up to 3 cups (volume after cooking) of rice, while a 39cm (15 ¼ inches) one can hold up to 10 cups.

And a hangiri 60cm makes up to more than 30 cups.

Normally, if a person just makes rice for himself, a 10 – 12 inches bowl is enough.

What Size Hangiri

Source: Chefswonderland

Conclusion

We hope now you can know more about how to use a hangiri in making sushi, not only at restaurants but also at home.

If you still do not know which one you should choose, we recommend our top pick KOTOBUKI HANGIRI SUSHI RICE MIXING TUB.

This product is 100% handmade and imported directly from Japan.

Thus, you do not have to worry about its quality.

For a quick and convenient making kit, give SUSHIQUIK SUSHI MAKING KIT a try. We think your kids will love it!

If you want to improve your sushi skills, one best hangiri is a good place to start.

Though it can seem insignificant, the addition of cypress scent and moisture balance may improve the overall quality of rice.

There are less expensive options available, and they do work, but bamboo does not equate to cypress.

Choose the model that best meets your requirements and ability level.

You can always upgrade to better ones in the future.

Further Reading: 

2 Comments

  1. I am a fan of Japanese food, especially sushi. This time, I will try to buy a Hangiri and make this cake myself. After that, will invite everyone to try it to see if it tastes good. If all goes well I will report back to you. Thank you for recommending such a great tool.

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