Monday, February 10, 2014

How to make FURIKAKE, Japanese condiment to sprinkle over cooked rice

This blog post is not at all about origami, but I wanted to share this recipe of furikake.  Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment that is typically sprinkled over cooked rice.  The word "furikake" actually means "sprinkle" in Japanese.  You could purchase packets or bottles of pre-made furikake at Asian groceries, but most of them contain additives such as MSG and preservatives.  By making your own, you can avoid these additives, and it's actually very cheap and easy to make.

Recently, I made furikake as a cooking project with a group of Montessori pre-schoolers that I teach weekly, and they loved the process of making it, which involved stirring, grinding, tearing, shaking, etc.  They also loved eating what they just made.  It was so rewarding!  By sharing this recipe here, I hope that my fellow teachers, friends with children as well as blog readers will get to enjoy making and eating furikake.

So here is the recipe... The ingredients are very simple: sesame seeds, sea salt, and seasoned seaweeds.  Use the best ingredients that you can find.  I used about 2 tablespoons of organic white sesame seeds, about 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt from Okinawa, and 2 small packs of seasoned seaweeds without additives (purchased at People's Co-op).  I used white sesame seeds but black ones are good as well.  As for sea salt, there are so many varieties but use one that you like the best.  Instead of Japanese seasoned seaweeds you could use Korean ones, if you like.

First, roast sesame seeds in a frying pan.  Do not use oil.  Use high heat, for 3-4 minutes, constantly stirring the seeds.  You will start to hear the seeds pop, and that is when you turn off the heat.

Next, put the roasted sesame seeds in a mortar.  Grind up the seeds using a pestle.  My students loved the movement of hand-griding seeds.  If you don't have a mortar and a pestle, you could grind them in a food processor.  

Tear up seaweeds to small pieces (about the size of a thumb nail) and put in a food processor.  If you don't have a food processor you could tear the seaweeds to tiny pieces by hand or by a pair of scissors instead.

Grind up the seaweed in a food processor.  Press the "Grind" button, one second at a time, for 10-20 times until the seaweeds are in tiny pieces.

Put all the processed ingredients into a container with a lid.

Once all the ingredients are in the container, put the lid on and shake!

Now furikake is done!  Sprinkle a small amount on top of rice.  Itadakimasu!

You can also modify this recipe and add more ingredients, such as dried bonito shavings, dehydrated umeboshi (picked plum), dehydrated shiso (Japanese mint), dried salmon flakes, chili flakes, nutritional yeast, etc.  Instead of sprinkling it over rice, you can season popcorns and other things, too.  Enjoy!