Furikake is Japanese rice seasoning made with kombu (edible kelp) and bonito flakes (shaved dried fish). It is typically used as a topping for rice, udon noodles or onigiri (Japanese rice balls), but it can also be a tasty addition to avocado toast, eggs or popcorn!
Furikake is a tasty way to get micronutrients into your diet! Kombu is nutritionally dense and high in iodine, which plays a crucial role in thyroid function. It also has calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth, as well as vitamins A and C which help with immune function. Kombu also contains vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins, manganese, copper, plant based omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.
Bonito (similar to Japanese katsuobushi) is dried, smoked and thinly shaved Atlantic bonito. It is commonly used as the base for dashi broth. Bonito is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids (proteins that the human body cannot make itself). It is also rich in iron (an essential element of blood production), niacin and B12 (both of which are important for metabolism). Bonito has even been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure and oxidative stress(1).
Both kombu and bonito flakes can be found at most Asian grocery stores in the dried goods aisle. Kombu and bonito can also easily be found online.
Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning)
Makes 1 cup
- 1/3 oz kombu (~4”x4” or 10g)
- 1/3 oz bonito (1 cup or 10g)
- 4 cups of water
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 3 sheets nori seaweed
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp kosher or sea salt
- Make a few slices in the kombu with a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to help release the flavor. DO NOT rinse or wipe off the white powder from the kombu (this is naturally occurring mannitol and contributes to the umami flavor).
- Cut the nori sheets into small, thin strips.
- Place water and kombu in a medium stock pot and slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the kombu from the stock pot and add the bonito. Bring to a boil for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.
- Let the bonito sit in the pot while it cools for ten minutes.
- Strain the bonito flakes and reserve the water. The water can be used as dashi or as a soup base for other dishes!
- Cut the now boiled kombu into very small pieces.
- Put diced kombu and drained bonito in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bonito is dry and starts to separate - about 15 minutes.
- Add sugar, salt and soy sauce.
- Continue to cook on medium-low until the liquid is completely evaporated and the bonito is dehydrated and crispy.
- Spread the furikake over a sheet pan or plate and let cool.
- Once cooled, mix in toasted sesame seeds and nori strips.
- Place your furikake in a mason jar or other airtight container. You can store it in an air-tight container for up to a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer.
1. Umeki Y, Hayabuchi H, Hisano M, et al. The Effect of the Dried-Bonito Broth on Blood Pressure, 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), an Oxidative Stress Marker, and Emotional States in Elderly Subjects. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008;43(3):175‐184. doi:10.3164/jcbn.2008061
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