Furikake, the star ingredient in Japanese cuisine, is capable of bringing an umami zing to even the simplest and plainest of meals. Read on to learn about furikake and its diverse culinary applications.
What is Furikake?
Furikake is a popular Japanese rice seasoning that works equally well as a garnish, topping, and condiment. It’s prepared from a mix of dried fish, nori seaweed, bonito flakes (dried fermented fish), sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. Furikake is also available in other types, incorporating one or more of these ingredients such as wasabi, shiso, miso, powdered eggs, Okaka (the re-dried soy sauce-dipped Katsuobushi flakes), vegetables, fish bones, and mushrooms. All ingredients must be dried, and crushed, leaving a vivid, flaky mixture, known as furikake.
What Does Furikake Taste Like?
Furikake is packed with bold, savory, and umami flavors coming from dried fish, bonito flakes, monosodium glutamate, and seaweed. Today, furikake is available with a variety of add-ons that gives it different undertones ranging from fruity to spicy to sweet. On top of its complex flavor profile, the coarse texture of furikake offers a hearty crunch owing to the multiple dried ingredients in it.
How to Use Furikake?
Furikake is an all-purpose seasoning that can be added to just about any meal, however, in Japanese cuisine it is specifically used over Onigiri (rice cake), boiled rice, and fish fillets. Our recipes for White Fish Rice Bowl and Salmon with Chile Crisp are perfect candidates for this classic Japanese blend.
In addition to the dishes mentioned above, the umami-packed flavors in furikake complement soups, stews, and gravies. Try sprinkling some furikake over our Miso Soup, Beef Pho, or even our simple Carrot Soup, and experience that flavorful punch for yourself.
Today, the culinary uses for furikake are quite diversified as many people in Japan and Hawaii like to add it over their daily meals from breakfast to lunch and dinner. It’s more or less becoming this generation’s “salt and pepper” seasoning and is a pantry staple for more and more people throughout the United States, notably the West Coast.
Furikake can be topped over snacks like roasted vegetables, avocado toast, Tofu, roasted-crispy chickpeas, nachos, and eggs. One of our favorite ways to eat it is sprinkled over hot, buttered popcorn.
Where to buy Furikake?
Furikake can be easily found in basic form as well as in many different variations from your local Asian grocery stores. However, if you’re having trouble finding furikake, you can always order it online.