My name is Kiyoko, one of the chefs at Your Sushi. I hope you find my tips of how to get the best out of your Handai useful. (Buy Here)
1. Before you use it
– Using it for the first time: Let’s give it a gentle wash with a tiny amount of washing up liquid and a sponge. Handai comes in with a really nice natural smell of wood. So rince it very well to remove the strong smell of washing up liquid. Then dry it complete before storing it.
– For rice mixing Fill your Handai with tap water nearly to the top for about 30 min. and then empty it before you fill it with rice. Soaking in water will give the inside of the Handai a non-stick coat effect. Handai is made of untreated wood. If the cooked rice is introduced when it’s dry, the majority of the rice end up just sticking to the surface and wasted!
2. How to use it
– For mixing the cooked rice with sushi vinegar/ingredients, etc. So that you can mix without squashing the rice, fill the handai with with just a few scoopful of rice. You need enough room to move the rice around so avoid overfilling it in the first instance. If the flavoured rice is going to remain in Handai for long, then covering it with a moist tea towel would prevent the rice from drying up. Cling film is fine but the condensation inside would not look so good.
– Using Handai for serving dishes. Handai would look very nice on the table serving sushi rice, rice dishes, or anything, really. But you might not want to serve dishes with liquid of strong colours as the untreated wood of Handai get stained.
– Handai for room decoration. You could fill it with water and some nice looking stones, glass pebbles, etc. to make a mini water feature.
3. How to maintain Handai
– After using it for mixing/servicng rice. You would find quite a few rice grains sticking to the surface, dried up and a bit difficult to remove. Do not panic. Just soak it in warm water for a while and evrything should come off easily. If you are in a hurry, you might want to give it a rigorous scrub with a brush. That’s OK. However, steel brush or steel wire sponge are not suitable. These are too hard and will damage the surface.
– Rince well to remove residual washing up liquid. Dry completely and store for the next use. If left damp, black mould will soon start to develop. Keeping it dry while in storage is important!
Handai should last for many years if cared properly and becomes part of your life! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need further assistance in any aspects of sushi making.
Happy sushi making!