Literally meaning ‘to sprinkle over’, furikake is the delicious seasoning traditionally used to top cooked rice, fish, meat or eggs. I love it on steamed rice or okaya. Some would say I’m addicted to the stuff!
You’ll find a wide variety of furikake in the Japanese section of Asian grocery stores. But if, like me you find MSG makes you thirsty and cranky, these packets are best avoided. Instead, while you’re in Japanese food isle, pick up the ingredients below and make your own.
This is a loose and adaptable recipe, which is quick and simple to make.
2 tablespoons, sesame seed (white and/or black)
2 sheets nori (seaweed/laver)
2 tablespoons shaved bonito (fish) flakes
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Start by toasting the nori quickly over a flame (if you have a gas cook top) or in a large heavy based pan. It only needs a second or two over the flame. Toast the sesame seeds in the pan, shaking or stirring frequently. Once they start to become golden, remove from the pan immediately as they burn easily.
If you have a powerful mini food processor (spice grinder or possibly a Nutribullet type blender), grind the nori and bonito flakes on high. Otherwise finely shred them by hand with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Then, mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Taste for flavour balance and add more salt or other ingredients as desired. Store in an airtight jar.
More umami: add shitake powder (or grind dried mushrooms to a powder).
For a kick: add a decent pinch of wasabi powder, Sichuan pepper or Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7 spice blend).
Vegetarian/vegan – use shitake and/or miso powder instead of bonito.
I love furikake on steamed sushi rice, as a quick meal with Japanese pickles, eggs or even canned tuna. I’ve even added it to egg/mayo sandwiches.
Gourmet Traveller has some inventive, non-traditional uses for furikake.
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