Furikake (振り掛け / ふりかけ) is a dry Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on top of rice. It typically consists of a mixture of dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt, and monosodium glutamate.
Other flavourful ingredients such as katsuobushi (sometimes indicated on the package as bonito), or okaka (bonito flakes moistened with soy sauce and dried again), freeze-dried salmon particles, shiso, egg, powdered miso, vegetables, etc., are often added to the mix.
Furikake is often brightly coloured and flaky. It can have a slight fish or seafood flavouring, and is sometimes spicy. It can be used in Japanese cooking for pickling foods and for rice balls (onigiri.)
Outside Japan, furikake can be found in most Asian grocery stores or in the ethnic food aisle of some major supermarkets.
Substitutes for Furikake
- Crumbled nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, or togarashi (has red pepper so don’t over season).
- Depending on the recipe you may want to just leave it out.
- ½ cup raw sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sea salt, to taste
- 3 sheets nori
- 3 heaping tablespoons bonito flakes
- ½ teaspoon sugar, optional
- Heat a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium high burner.
- Pour in the sesame seeds and shake to distribute evenly over the surface of the skillet.
- Toast, shaking occasionally, until the seeds are fragrant and begin making little popping sounds.
- Immediately pour the seeds into a dry, clean bowl to cool and stir in the sea salt. Allow to cool completely before proceeding.
- Use kitchen shears or clean, dry scissors to cut the nori into 2 cm strips. Stack the strips and cut cross-wise into very thin strips over the bowl of sesame seeds.
- Use the kitchen shears again to roughly cut up the bonito flakes.
- Add the sugar (if using) and stir all ingredients together, then transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid.
- This is ready to use immediately but can be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for up to two months.