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Foodstuff: Furikake

Furikake 1

If you have never encountered Furikake before, the easiest way to think of them is as ‘Japanese Savory Sprinkles.’ Essentially, the name refers to a wide range of seasonings that can be sprinkled on to food, not just as an attractive garnish, but to pack an additional flavor punch. The labels on the two jars pictured above both identify the contents as ‘Rice Seasoning’ but, though the condiment is especially favored for enhancing the taste of bland items, like rice, or noodles, Furikake sprinkles are often used on cooked vegetables, and, increasingly more commonly, on fish and fried snacks.

Apparently, the forerunner of today’s Furikake arose about a century ago as a combination of ground fish bones, roast sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and seaweed that was intended to be a dietary supplement during a period of widespread calcium deficiency. Modern blends commonly include seaweed, sesame seeds, and some sort of dried fish or shell-fish product, but the number of additions, and the possible permutations in both commercial and home-made varieties, is just about endless. Today, will take a closer look at two fairly straightforward mixtures… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Furikake”