Do you know 'oshizushi'? It's one of the oldest types of Japanese sushi where rice and delicious toppings are pressed together and cut into bite-sized pieces. It's common to find regional variations and it's fun to make at home too!
This natural wood mould is called an 'oshizushihako', or 'oshibako' for short, and is used to make 'oshizushi' or pressed sushi.
The press comes in three sturdy parts: The base, the sides of the box that fit over the base and the top press.
This one is completely unlacquered or varnished and made from Japanese hinoki cypress. All the joints are made with traditional woodworking methods without screws, nails or glue. Because of this, you can really enjoy the natural colour, grain and aromatic scent of the wood.
There are many recipes and methods for making oshizushi but, in simple terms, you layer toppings, fillings and sushi rice into the mould, pressing it down firmly at each stage before turning it out and cutting into equal pieces. The video on this page shows clearly how this is done.
Fish, nori, sesame seeds and thinly cut vegetables all make good toppings but you can experiment with anything that will lay flat in the press!
The mould comes with cutting marks to help you achieve six equal portions but you can also turn out the pressed strip and cut it by eye.
The outer dimensions are 21cm (8½") long by 7.4cm (2⅞") wide and 5.8cm (2⅜") high. The inner dimensions of the box are 18cm (about 7") x 4.4cm (about 1¾") x 3.1cm (1¼"). If you cut the sushi into six pieces each will measure approximately 3cm (1¼") by 4.4cm (1¾"). The height, of course, will depend on your toppings!
Made in Japan.
Not recommended for the dishwasher, please rinse up by hand.