Furikake

published Sep 11, 2022
Furikake Recipe

While you can easily buy containers of furikake at well-stocked Japanese markets and online, making it at home means you can experiment and concoct your own blends.

Makes1 cup

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour 50 minutes

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A photo of a small clay bowl with furikake, which is a basic blend made from a base of crushed or sliced nori seaweed blended with sesame seeds, sugar and salt
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Furikake is Japanese savory sprinkles, a topping that adds flavor and crunch to rice. It’s tasty for sure, and it was originally invented in the early 20th century to address nutritional deficiencies during a time when people’s diets consisted mainly of white rice. The mixture of seafood, salt, and seaweed gave meals a dose of protein, fiber, and minerals.

Of course, today there are no limits to what you can top with furikake. Use it to punch up buttered noodles, fish, roasted vegetables, pizza, eggs, popcorn, and bread. And while you can easily buy containers of furikake at Japanese markets and online, it’s fun to experiment and make your own blends. Plus, your homemade version won’t have any artificial colors or chemical preservatives.

What does furikake mean in Japanese?

Furikake is the Japanese term for sprinkles.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

Are there different kinds of furikake?

At its most basic, furikake can consist of just two ingredients, such as sesame seeds and sea salt, while more elaborate mixes can include:

  • Nori seaweed
  • Bonito flakes
  • Dried anchovies
  • Dried roe
  • Dried egg
  • Dried shrimp
  • Dried herbs
  • Citrus rinds
  • Nuts
  • Chile peppers

This recipe falls somewhere in the middle — simple enough to find all the ingredients but packed with the kind of umami that makes humble rice a star dish.

What is the difference between furikake and togarashi?

Furikake and togarashi are both flavorful Japanese condiments made from dried and ground ingredients, but the blends are different and used for slightly different purposes. Togarashi’s base is finely ground red chili pepper, so it’s much spicier than furikake and without the fishy, sweet notes. And while furikake is used to jazz up rice and blander foods, togarashi is used to give noodles, grilled, meats, and other foods a spicy kick.

Furikake Recipe

While you can easily buy containers of furikake at well-stocked Japanese markets and online, making it at home means you can experiment and concoct your own blends.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 50 minutes

Makes 1 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons

    red, yellow, or white miso paste

  • 1 tablespoon

    nanami chili paste or yuzu koshu citrus paste

  • 1 sheet

    nori seaweed

  • 1/4 cup

    white sesame seeds

  • 1 cup

    lightly packed small bonito flakes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    mirin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 175°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place 2 1/2 tablespoons miso paste and 1 tablespoon nanami chili paste in a small bowl and stir to combine. Transfer it onto the parchment and spread into a paper-thin layer. Bake until the paste is dry and slightly cracks when bent, about 1 hour 30 minutes. If it still feels gummy, continue baking until dry, 15 to 20 minutes more.

  3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add 1 nori sheet (cut it up into smaller pieces if needed to fit) and toast until crisp but not burnt, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Add 1/4 cup white sesame seeds to the pan and toast tuntil fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup bonito flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce mirin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Stir constantly, breaking up bigger chunks, until the seeds turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

  5. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Use your fingers to break up any large pieces of the bonito, then crumble the nori with your fingers into tiny flakes over the bonito mixture.

  6. Remove the dried miso paste from the parchment. Break it up into pieces and place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment or a blender. Process it into a fine powder. Transfer to the bowl with the bonito mixture and mix well to combine.

  7. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. A humid environment might cause it to clump — just shake it or refluff it with a fork to break it into tiny bits again.