Let’s face it, as delicious as a hot steamy bowl of rice can be, it can also get a bit bland sometimes. Enter furikake, the solution to all your bland rice woes. Furikake is a rice seasoning that gives your plain old rice a boost of umami-rich flavor. Typically, furikake includes a blend of katsuobushi (dried and shaved bonito flakes), nori (toasted seaweed), and sesame seeds. But you don’t have to stop at rice. Furikake seasoning can be used to flavor everything from popcorn to veggies to dips and more.
If you want a few simple and easy ideas for how to use furikake, we’ll show you all the ways you can use furikake to season, garnish, and top your food. The most basic way to use furikake is to season rice. If you want to take it to the next level, try making onigiri or spam musubi. Onigiri are a popular Japanese snack consisting of shaped rice balls, sometimes filled with tuna salad, salmon, and umeboshi (salted preserved plums), and wrapped with nori. Spam musubi is similar, though it takes a different form. It consists of rice brushed with a teriyaki-like sauce, topped with furikake and pan-fried Spam, then wrapped in with a thin strip of nori.
Using quality rice will make all the difference when preparing your rice balls. We recommend using Nishiki Premium Medium Grain rice or Tamanishiki Super Premium Short Grain rice. The difference between these two is the length of the rice grains which will result in a stickier rice. Short grain rice tends to result in stickier rice, making it ideal for sushi rice. Medium grain rice is versatile and great for use in onigiri or any rice dish.
Beyond onigiri, make roasted veggies with honey, garlic, miso, and soy sauce. Then top with furikake for even more flavor. Elevate your avocado toast with a sprinkle of furikake. Or more simply whip up a quick batch of fried eggs, top with soy sauce and a dash of furikake and you’ve got a simple and delicious breakfast. Or take it a step further. Make yourself a donburi, rice bowl, with teriyaki chicken or cooked salmon, some stir-fried veggies, and that beautiful runny fried egg topped with furikake.
Need new ideas on how to cook salmon? Try this one. Take one salmon filet and cover it with a thin layer of Japanese mayonnaise, then top that with furikake of your choice. The mayonnaise does the same thing olive oil would, provides flavor and keeps the salmon tender and delicate. The furikake adds another dimension of flavor. Cover the cooked salmon with a teriyaki glaze for even more umami goodness.
Upgrade your snacks. Try making furikake kettle corn inspired by the popular snack mix served at Roy Choi’s LA restaurant, A-Frame. Combine kettle corn, corn pops, finely chopped dried pineapple and cooked bacon together. Top with melted butter, furikake, cayenne pepper, and chopped chives or shiso. The combination of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors are sure to satisfy.
Furikake is a great accompaniment to any dish. You might be wondering where you can pick up this magical seasoning blend. You can get furikake at Bokksu Market, your Japanese grocery one stop shop. Try Seto Fumi furikake for the most classic flavor of furikake. For a slightly different take on the classic, give Katsuo Fumi Bonito a shot. This flavor contains even more katsuobushi for double the umami flavor. If you really want to shake things up, Kikkoman’s Shoyu furikake is the way to go. This flavor includes soy sauce, fried garlic, roasted onion, and sesame seeds that will give any dish an umami kick.
So the next time you order groceries online and avoid lengthy drives to and from your local Asian grocery store. Add a tin of furikake to your Bokksu Market cart. We know you’ll love it.
By Melanie Totenberg