A type of sushi that originated in Osaka, oshi sushi is created by, well, being pressed. With the use of wooden compresses, oshi sushi speeds up the sushi creation process and gives a wide amount of room for creativity.
Individual Oshi Types
The name for battera sushi came from the Portuguese who went to Japan (although the actual type of sushi had been around before they came). In fact, the Portuguese influenced Japan in numerous ways (for example, the word for bread is “pan” in both languages). Battera, as opposed to hako sushi, is upside down and has a layer of aspidistra leaves, which make for its easier removal from the mold. The leaves themselves, however, are not edible. Standard toppings for battera sushi include gizzard shad and mackerel – fish that tend to be strong-tasting and oily.
Battera is most popular for quick dinners, since it stays fresh for days. The suspected reason for this may be that since it evolved in the more inland areas that have no fish, long preservation was a necessity.
Battera is created by salting mackerel, allowing it to stand for six or seven hours, washing it, and marinating it in a vinegar mixture. Then it is placed in the rice and pressed.
Battera sushi is a favorite in the Kinki region, and is from Osaka.
BOZUSHI ("STICK" SUSHI)
Bo sushi is pressed into a long, candy bar-type shape and then cut up into bite-size pieces.
Think: Donatello’s stick is a “bo”.
A specialty of Nara, it is generally a gift that people bring back home from Nara. It is a pressed sushi that layers rice and toppings with plant leaves, such as those of persimmons.
HAKOZUSHI ("BOX" SUSHI)
Hako sushi is made using a wooden rectangular mold, and it is most well-known as Osaka’s definitive style. Hako sushi is pressed into the mold lightly, and then toppings are put on top of the rice. At the end, it is cut into squares or rectangles, and served in cubes.
AKA: Osaka sushi, Kin sushi (“cut” sushi).
In the Toyama prefecture, masu sushi is created by placing rice on a bamboo leaf. Fish are then placed on the rice, and the leaf is folded over. The whole sushi concoction is then pressed into a frame or round trays and weighted with a rock. Like pressed sushi often is, it is then cut up into squares and served.
Azuna sushi is the same as bo sushi (below), but its toppings are put on at a slant, resulting in a stripes that are similar to that of a candy cane.