Furikake, Japanese (rice) seasoning is mainly made with nori, sesame seeds, and bonito flakes and is great on rice but this flavor bomb can be used on any dish where you want extra umami.
This recipe is easy to make at home with ingredients you can trust!
White rice was a staple in my house when growing up. It was always quick to prepare side dishes to go with the rice and very inexpensively too. So when I had to cook for myself in college, rice + (insert any vegetables) or a sprinkle of Furikake was a quick way to fix a cheap meal for a "starving college student."
If it wasn't a bowl of kimchi ramen, rice with Furikake was often the meal du jour. Don't judge. At least the kimchi was homemade.
What is Furikake?
Furikake is a very flavorful seasoning that mainly consists of nori, sesame seeds, and bonito flakes. There are variations of this umami-filled seasoning but often, store-bought versions have sugar, MSG, soy, and others. And blech. Who wants all that?
I admit I did use store-bought ones like this in college but even $3.00 a jar added up quite a bit since I was using it so much.
But as I got older, I found out, it's so easy to put together the ingredients at home for cleaner eating. Instead of MSG and sugar, I added my own twist for extra flavor and you'll love how it tastes on everything.
What ingredients are in Furikake?
The main ingredients are: nori (read about the different types of seaweed in my post on Sea Veggies Primer but for this seasoning, you'll need:
- Seaweed sheets called Nori),
- Bonito flakes - dried tuna flakes
- Sesame seeds
- Black sesame seeds
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
You could use small dried shrimp (below) too but it's optional if you're allergic to shrimp or you can't find it in an Asian market near you.
This type of shrimp is very light and airy and not dense like other Asian variety. I bought this package from H-Mart, a Korean market, and I like the fact that they are wild-caught shrimp and not farmed.
I use the mortar and pestle to crush them before adding to Furikake for extra flavor. You could also use shrimp powder if you can't find whole shrimp.
Crumble two sheets of nori into small pieces between your hands or you can also use about 6-8 squares of seasoned seaweed snacks.
Personally, I like using the seasoned seaweed for extra flavor and since I use this quite often I don't have to worry about oils getting rancid. But if you don't use it frequently, the oil might taste funky if left at room temperature after a few months, so refrigerate for longer shelf life.
How do you eat Furikake?
Like I said, this was one of my favorite ways (and cheap!) to eat a quick meal in college. Hot steaming rice with a couple of sunny side up eggs, sprinkled with Furikake goes a long way. And come to think of it, it's still one of my favorite meals! And guess what? Furikake goes really well with Cauliflower "Rice" too.
And if I didn't have tofu or seaweed to add to miso soup, I'd just sprinkle a little bit of Furikake! And voilá! It added more umami than just adding plain seaweed! I would have this warm bowl of miso soup along with my rice and I'm good until the next meal!
If you can't have soy, Furikake would go well with any bland broth. I sprinkle it on bone broth sometimes to add umami.
You wouldn't want to read a long post with all the pictures of food I use this seasoning in but trust me when I say, I add this to hamburger, pizza, meatloaf and even on pasta. It's that good. You'll want to make this to add a burst of umami on all your food.
Here's how to make this magical condiment that goes with practically everything.
If you don't want to make your own and you don't have any on-hand, you can just crumble up some nori (seaweed) and add some sesame seeds. I also use togarashi as a substitute.
It is crunchy, salty, and slightly nutty and earthy. Since it has seaweed in it, it has a slight seafood taste to it.
No, you don't have to refrigerate furikake - it is shelf-stable.
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Japanese Seasoning Furikake
- ¼ c Bonito flakes
- 2 sheets UNseasoned Nori
- 3 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp roasted black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon crushed dried shrimp or powder (optional)
- 8 squares Seasoned Seaweed Snack (See Notes below)
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well
- Store in a glass jar in a cool and dark place. If using unseasoned nori, Furikake should last for a few months. If using seasoned seaweed, Furikake will last for a couple of months.