Furikake is a Japanese condiment typically sprinkled over or mixed into rice. There are dozens of varieties on the market – most contain seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. Other ingredients may include MSG and dried fish, shrimp, roe, egg, and vegetables. Although I love looking at the rows of colorful furikake jars at the Japanese grocery store, I recently decided to conserve money and packaging by making my own. As a vegetarian, this also makes sense as many store-bought varieties include fish. It's also a good way to control the amount of sugar, salt, or other additives.
Here is a very basic recipe for homemade furikake. If you've experimented with other ingredients – or are inspired to after this post – let us know in the comments!
You can just use whole sesame seeds, but I like to include both whole and ground for added texture.
Vegetarian Furikake Rice Seasoning
2 sheets toasted nori seaweed
1/4 cup toasted white and/or black sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Toast the nori over a low flame or burner, waving each sheet over the burner until it crisps and the color changes. Using scissors, cut into small pieces.
With a mortar and pestle
or coffee grinder, combine 1/8 cup sesame seeds, salt, and sugar.
Combine nori with ground sesame seed mixture and remaining 1/8 cup whole sesame seeds. Store in an airtight container.
To serve, sprinkle over or mix into rice or noodles.
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(Image: Emily Ho)