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Box Sushi: The Square Shaped Sushi You Should Know

I’m fascinated by the wide variety of sushi, each unique in its own way, with the shape playing a crucial role. Sushi chefs often shape these delicacies into tubes or cones, but they can take other shapes as well.

One intriguing variant is box sushi, a traditional Japanese sushi variety that is shaped within a wooden mold resembling a box.

Box sushi involves layering sushi rice and various ingredients within the mold. When pressed, they take up the shape of the mold, resulting in a box shape treat.

Where is box sushi from?

Originating from Osaka, this sushi is also known as “Hako sushi” which is “box sushi” in Japanese.

It can also be known “oshi Sushi” which means “pressed sushi” in English

The sushi box is filled with rice and pressed down. The box could be filled with other sushi ingredients traditionally used as toppings for sushi including mackerel, seaweed, vegetables and shrimp.

This sushi is pressed in such a way that the contents are compact, and once the mold is removed, the sushi takes the shape of a box. 

What is the name of the mold?

Box sushi is made with a special mold where the rice are other ingredients are pressed inside.

The name of the box shaped mold that is used to make this sushi is known as Oshizushihako

The mold can also be is known as “oshibako”

Traditionally, the mold could be made from different types of wood including cypress, cedar and pine.

Nowadays there are plastic molds which are also used to make this type of sushi. The plastic molds are easier to clean.

The box typically has three parts; the top, the bottom and the side walls.

Each of the walls is rectangular in shape. There are also grooves on the side of the box are used to slice this sushi 

To prevent the rice from sticking to the mold, it is soaked in water. 

How are the ingredients arranged?

The top of the mold is taken off and the ingredients are poured into the box one after the other.

The sushi rice is first poured into the wooden mold, followed by the toppings consisting of a variety of ingredients.

The top part of the mold is used to press down the sushi after each layer is laid down.

The sushi is pressed in a way that it becomes compact and takes the shape of the box.

To remove the pressed sushi, the walls are the mold are disassembled followed by the top part.  

The sushi is also cut into squares, and then served.