Furikake - the ultimate flavouring?

  • By Angie
  • 28 May, 2020
Furikake - the ultimate flavouring?

Furikake in Japanese has come to simply mean ‘sprinkle’. It’s most often made with sesame seeds, seaweed and dried fish however there are variations like gomashio that are vegan friendly. It was created in the early 1900s in Japan as a nutritional supplement to add to food to boost calcium levels. These days it’s a mainstay in most Japanese households. It’s a flavouring like salt and pepper but with added nutritional content!

Most furikake is sweet and salty and definitely always umami. It gives simple white rice that extra kick of flavour. The one I’ve made certainly has that kick of umami from different seaweeds but also has a kick of spice from wasabi coated sesame seeds and ground togarashi chillies and a citrus boost from dehydrated yuzu pulp.

I love furikake. I love seaweed and that ocean umami taste. If you’re in an asian supermarket you’ll notice lots of different types of furikake - ones with more dried fish, some with shiso and most with msg. It adds that extra oomph to your Japanese inspired meal. But it doesn’t need to be Japanese- it goes with most things - eggs, potatoes, fish, poke bowls, noodles… the list could go on! What is great about it is the added bonus of the nutrients you get from consuming Seaweed. The health benefits of seaweed are long and copious and I won’t detail them all here. This is a good peer reviewed study if you wanted to know more detail but a quick google search will find many references. Most of us don’t get enough seaweed as part of our diet and giving our food a good sprinkle of seaweed goes a long way!

After I made my Yuzu Shrub, I couldn’t bear to throw out the pulp - maybe because of the cost but also because of the amazing smell of yuzu. So I decided to dehydrate it and I thought the best application of it was for a furikake. Partly because I’d been holding on to some dried togarashi chillies from Living Earth farm from all the way back in Jan. Also because I had already dehydrated Bergamot skin from last season that I’m still wondering what to do with… maybe a bergamot sugar or salt sprinkle? I didn’t want to hold on to the yuzu for that long! So this Yuzu Furikake was born.

Now for those new to furikake, you can add it to most simple dishes. Even a sprinkle over boiled eggs and soldier toasts works really well! Try making sushi rice or koshihikari rice and adding a splash of rice vinegar or mirin, thinly sliced shiso or any herb you love and then sprinkle the furikake through and roll into balls. It makes a great snack for picnics or kids lunches! You can also try a good shake over homemade fries or popcorn! It doesn’t need to be a Japanese dish to compliment the deliciousness of umami. Try it over your favourite pasta dish or fried breakfast… I will never judge!

Here are some ideas for you to utilize your new furikake addiction!