Suribachi is Powerful

Posted on Jul 11, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

This obsolete Japanese kitchen tools, Suribachi & Surikogi, which requires manual labor,  have been used in Japan for over 300 years. I sometimes choose them over food processor because of several reasons. Here I made avocado dressed with tofu dressing with them.

Mortar & Pestle is ubiquitous culinary tools in the world kitchens. The best guacamole is made in molcajete. To achieve the best texture and flavor of nam prik all necessary herbs, chiles and spices are pound in a heavy stone krok. To enjoy the best aroma and texture of pureed sesame or walnuts dressing I use Suribachi & Surikogi. Simple.

Suribachi is a ceramic bowl with a rough, combed pattern in its unglazed interior; the size of the bowl varies from 5 to 12 inches in diameter. Surikogi is a wooden pestle about 10-inches in length. Most Surikogi pestles are made of Japanese cypress wood. My Surikogi is a bit different. This one, which is easily recognized by its bumpy, bark-covered upper surface, is made of the sansho pepper tree, whose edible berries and young leaves are treasured for their pungent (a sort of numbing sensation), delicious flavor and fragrant aroma. At the time of the purchase I was convinced by the store staff that a pestle made from this tree imparts some flavor to the ground materials. My own experience indicates that such flavor enhancement, if it exists at all, is quite negligible. After 20 years of using it there is no trace of it. (Excerpt from The Japanese Kitchen.)

What is good about Suribachi & Surikogi?

  • It does not require electricity
  • No high-pitched electric noise in the kitchen
  • Fun and therapeutic process
  • Produce better flavor and texture of the prepared items than the ones made by food processor
  • Easy to control the texture of the dressing which we are creating – creamy, rough, crunchy,…
  • Easy cleaning up