Kitchn Love Letters

The Brown Butter Furikake Chex Mix I Can’t Stop Making

published Feb 19, 2023
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Two bowls of furikake chex mix.
Credit: Christine Gallary

I love a good party mix — especially one that straddles the line between sweet and savory. Right around the holidays, I spied one on Lisa Lin’s Healthy Nibbles blog that immediately caught my eye: brown butter furikake Chex mix. I immediately picked up Chex cereal and some other ingredients, baked up a batch, and then proceeded to devour it within days. It was not-too-sweet, crunchy, a little savory, and had so much buttery flavor accented by the sesame seeds and seaweed. I’ve had other furikake Chex mixes before, but this version is my favorite. Here’s some proof that it’s the best: My friend’s toddler ate mine up and ignored his mom’s version!

Why I Love Brown Butter Furikake Chex Mix 

Traditional Chex mix is a very savory combination of Worcestershire sauce and garlic and onion powders. This brown butter furikake version gets savory, nutty notes from the browned butter which get balanced by maple syrup. It also has Japanese furikake, which is one of my favorite seasonings because it’s crunchy and has lots of umami flavor. I usually sprinkle it onto rice or sushi, but it’s also great in snacks like this.

I also love this Chex mix because it’s so versatile. The original recipe calls for popcorn and nuts, but I’ve swapped them out for things like honeycomb cereal, plain Cheerios, Bugles, and Fritos with great success. In fact, I highly encourage using something salty like Fritos in the mix, as that was quite a hit with my daughter!

This Chex mix also makes a great gift, as it lasts over a week if kept in an airtight container. I’ve packed it into Mason jars or zip-top bags to become holiday gifts as well as road-trip snacks. 

Credit: Christine Gallary

How to Make Brown Butter Furikake Chex Mix 

When comparing the process to traditional Chex mix, the one extra step in this recipe is browning the butter. Brown a stick of butter until nutty and fragrant, then stir in maple syrup, soy sauce, and salt off the heat. Drizzle this mixture over your cereal combination, then toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with furikake and toss again before spreading onto two parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake for one hour total, tossing the mixture and switching the baking sheets between racks halfway through. You’ll know it’s ready when the moisture has evaporated and everything is crisp. Toss again with a little more furikake if you want and let cool before serving (although warm Chex mix is also quite delightful).

If You’re Making Brown Butter Furikake Chex Mix, a Few Tips 

  • Make your own combination. I’m not a huge fan of nuts in Chex mix, and many times I’m serving this to kids where nuts aren’t allowed, so I swap them out for whatever I feel like at the moment. Another kind of cereal or Fritos are my go-tos.
  • Measure by volume, not weight. This is the one time where you want to go with volume rather than weights, as things like nuts are denser and weigh more than honeycomb cereal. Aim for about 20 cups total of cereal and other mix-ins.
  • Don’t mix in one giant bowl. The recipe is wise to tell you to measure out the cereal and mix-ins in different bowls before you coat with the seasoning. Doing so means it’s easier to mix evenly, and also guarantees that I can just dump the contents of each bowl onto a different baking sheet and know that they hold the same amount that will bake in the same amount of time.
  • Check the furikake ingredients. There’s a huge array of ingredients that can go into furikake, from bonito flakes to wasabi. Read the ingredient list carefully to make sure you don’t use one with an ingredient you don’t like. I prefer to use a seafood-free, non-spicy furikake (like ones labeled nori fumi or yasai fumi) for Chex mix, but you do you.