Way before Everything Bagel seasoning took the food world by storm, Furikake had been seasoning rice for generations of Japanese people. Though it’s still used mostly for rice, it enhances nearly everything it touches, and there isn’t much we can’t sprinkle it on. From avocado toast to popcorn, Furikake adds salty, savory, funky, crunchy bits of goodness. You’ll find a million uses for it, and it makes a great gift for your foodie friends. It’s also easy and fun to make, and as always, homemade beats the bottled stuff by a mile. Today, I’m showing you a pretty typical combination. What makes it a little unique is that we are using leftover ingredients.
I’m one of those people who can scrape together a meal even if the refrigerator looks suspiciously empty. That’s my super power 😉 And I really hate to throw food out, so I’m always finding ways of repurposing ingredients. Upcycling! It’s a thing people-even with food. So after some miso soup and shabu shabu recipe posts left me with bags of spent kombu and katsuobushi (bonito flakes), I knew even our dog Mina wasn’t going to be able to power through all of the leftovers. Furikake to the rescue! And it’s so easy, so come on, let’s upcycle together.
What is in Furikake?
That answer can vary wildly. In Japan, there are literally dozens to choose from at a typical grocery store. Inexpensive ones can be little more than seasoned salt but some upscale versions have wild salmon, chunks of cod roe, or dried scallops. Furikake means “to sprinkle over” so that covers a lot of ground. Virtually any dry combination you can shake to top some bland base is acceptable.
My version has all my favorite little goodies in it. Both black and white toasted sesame seeds, kombu, katsuobushi, schichimi, nori, and tiny dried boiled sardines called chirimen. Once you’ve made a batch, you can always tailor it to your individual tastes. Want it a little hotter? Add more of the schichimi pepper blend or even some dried chili flakes. Can’t get enough of the gloriously toasted nuttiness of sesame seeds? Throw some more in there.
From Scratch Furikake
Making this flavor bomb from scratch is simple. Whenever I make a dashi stock, like when I make Miso Soup or Oden Fish Stew, I save the kombu and katsuobushi and throw them into little baggies to store in the freezer. Then, when I want to make a batch of furikake, it’s there waiting for me. (Of course, you could also start with kombu and the tuna flakes straight out of their containers. The kombu will have to be softened in water first.)
Once all the liquid has been absorbed, and the katsuobushi is dry and crisp, transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, your furikake will last for weeks, and you can keep it in the freezer for months. Of course, with so many tempting ways to use it, it’s not going to last that long.
Try sprinkling some on:
Or use it to give Asian flair to some basic foods: boiled eggs, boiled noodles, sliced avocado, tomatoes, etc. And of course, you can enjoy it in the traditional Japanese way by using it to embellish some plain steamed rice. We want to know what uses you find for Furikake- leave a comment below and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 1 oz reserved kombu (from making dashi)*
- 2 oz reserved katsuobushi (from making dashi)*
- 2 Tablespoons chirimen (dried boiled sardines)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
- ½ Tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
- 1 Tablespoon shichimi pepper blend
- 3 pieces of 2”x3” seasoned nori (either Korean style or Teriyaki flavored works fine)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Cut the kombu and katsuobushi into small pieces. (About the size of a kernel of corn).
- Put the katsuobushi and kombu into a small pan and cook over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes until it is dry.
- Add the chirimen and stir to combine.
- Add sugar, salt, and soy sauce and continue cooking on medium-low heat until the liquid is completely absorbed, and katsuobushi is dry and crisp, about 7-9 minutes.
- Transfer the furikake to a container or bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
- Cut the nori with kitchen scissors into small bits, similar in size to the kombu.
- Then add the nori, sesame seeds, and shichimi pepper blend. Stir to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or freeze it for up to a month.
*When you make homemade dashi or homemade mentsuyu (noodle soup base), put the “used” katsuobushi and kombu in a ziptop bag and save it in the freezer for this furikake recipe. If you have more kombu and katsuobushi you want to use up, simply adjust the amount of seasoning according to your taste.
Keywords: furikake, rice seasoning, japanese, everything bagel, seasoning, seaweed, katsuobushi, spices