Suribachi and Surikogi The Suribachi is the Japanese version of the mortar and pestle. It consists of an earthenware bowl glazed on the outside. The inside of the bowl has a ridged pattern to facilitate grinding. It is used with a wooden pestle called "surikogi". Wood is used to keep the pestle from wearing down the ridges in the mortar. In Japanese cooking the suribachi is used to crush sesame seed as well as for various pastes. (Read more about the history and uses of the suribachi)
Sesame seeds are widely used in Japanese cooking from sushi to dressings and sauces. The sesame seeds are so frequently used that there are a couple of specialized tools designed for the little seeds.