Washoku Wednesday: Furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)

IMG_5210(The entry by Courtney this week made me chuckle, as we are currently traveling to Tokyo with packets and packets of furikake in tow for my daughter’s daily rice portions! She loves it … now you can too!)

I use to wonder how Japanese could just eat steamed rice …then I discovered furikake! Furikake to Japanese is what soy sauce is to (many) westerners on white rice. Sprinkle a little on and suddenly you’re enjoying a flavorful bowl of rice.

Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning that is sprinkled on rice. The ingredients can vary but the standard ingredients are nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and soy. Additional ingredients can include spices like shiso, chiles, sugar, dried fish and more.

Living in Japan, I was able to find furikake everywhere and in so many flavors! Since moving to the States, I’ve had to hoard my stash of beloved furikake (from Nishiki Market, Kyoto) until I ran out. Cue the sobbing…

But fear no more, I found this furikake receipe which is awesome. And from this recipe, I’ve been playing and tweaking it slightly. A favorite so far is a mixture of white and black sesame. Next time, I think I’ll try adding some chiles to up the heat a bit. Hope you enjoy as well!

Homemade Furikake
From Toyko Terrace

1/3 cup nori sheets, broken up into small pieces
1/2 cup white or black sesame seeds
1 cup loosely packed bonito flakes (fish flakes), broken up into small pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
2 or 3 drops toasted sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds and bonito flakes. Add the soy sauce and mirin and stir to evenly coat the sesame seed mixture. Add the nori and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture in and even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the mixture is dry and slightly toasted. Keep an eye on it while it cooks to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Let the furikake cool for about 2 hours before transferring to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks. If it lasts that long.

Furikake Kettle Corn from Food Republic
Yeah…so what can be better than furikake and kettle corn?! Yum!

Furikake French Fries from Steamy Kitchen
I love furikake and I love French fries so what’s not to love about this recipe! (P.S. Yes all these western furikake recipes seem to be glutinous!)

Furikake Salmon from Food Network
Apparently this is a popular way to serve up salmon in Hawaii. I just did sprinkled my salmon with furikake one night and later realized there was a recipe that made it that much better!

Furikake Brussel Sprouts and Shrimp from Feasting at Home
An easy and delicious meal that the whole family will love…my one-year old daughter adores it!

Ahi Furikake from Round Trip Kitchen
Toss over a bed of greens (sautéed or not) and enjoy a simple yet flavorful dinner.

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