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Five flavours » Ingredients, Japanese » Furikake: Japanese rice seasoning

Furikake: Japanese rice seasoning

Furikake ふりかけ is Japan’s answer to zaatar or dukkah. Whereas those middle eastern condiments are mainly associated with bread, furikake is associated with, you’ve guessed it, rice.  Although some types of furikake are delicious on salads or vegetables, you’ll most often come across this savoury mixture on top of a bowl of steaming rice, or in onigiri.

The flavourings vary with ingredients such as bonito (a type of fish shavings), nori, sesame seeds, dried egg, salmon or chicken, wasabi being the most common. My favourite pre-made packet includes shiso, a Japanese herb related to basil, and umeboshi, pickled “plums”.

It’s easy to use furikake. The meaning of the name in Japanese alludes to the fact that you simply “sprinkle” as much as you want on top of your rice in the bowl. Be mindful that it is quite salty stuff, so a little goes a long way. Also, certain flavours have small, hard pieces (like dried umeboshi or salmon) that need to be mixed in and left to sit for a minute or two to soften. When using mixed into rice, either for serving in a bowl or when making onigiri, put the furikake in the rice after it is cooked, not before.

Look for packets in Asian supermarkets or Japanese shops such as Japan Mart in Newmarket. The Japanese-run shops tend to provide an English translation of each product, which is helpful when you’ve got no idea what flavour is what from the pictures on the packets! The staff are usually friendly and will answer any questions as best they can.

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2 Responses to "Furikake: Japanese rice seasoning"

  1. Marie says:

    B or D? Hmmm, if it was G it could have been “goma” which is sesame seed, but I can’t think of any B or D things. It could also have been the brand name. OK, next time you go do some sneaky pics with your fancy pants phone and put them on Flickr. Now I want to know!

    Irony point of the day: I used to buy up Western stuff in Japan to “encourage the trend” but things constantly appeared long enough for me to get addicted and then disappeared. I am but a pawn in the game that is Japanese marketing.

  2. Carrie Anne says:

    I totally just bought some furikake last night! Our grocery store just started carrying it so of course I immediately scooped it up. Our grocery store has really amped up its selection of Asian prodocuts–Japanese particularly–and I couldn’t be more happy. I’m buying stuff at every chance I get to support and encourage this trend.

    The grocery store had nori furikake and another type that I didn’t recognize. I think it started with a B or D. Anyway, I went with the nori version because I know nori is seaweed. Do you have any idea what the other type might have been?

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