From medicinal roots to culinary routes
It’s easy to forget that seasoning has the power to transform a dish’s identity in seconds. If you’re looking to set up your next bowl of rice with a flavorful new friend, furikake might just be the perfect candidate.
What is furikake?
Furikake is a beautiful, colorful blend of sesame seeds, seaweed flakes, and salt, and in some traditional forms even fish flakes, that adorn your palette with a burst of savory complexity and texture. The name is derived from “furi kakeru,” which is a Japanese verb that means “to sprinkle over.”
These rich and diverse profiles that immediately spice up our bowl of rice are just the tip of the iceberg, my flavor loving friend. Let’s take a deeper look into its surprisingly young life as a spice, its vitality in Japanese history and the ways we can use it to improve our lives.
What is the History of furikake?
After World War II, Japan faced food shortages and malnutrition. Pharmacist Suekichi Yoshimaru created the blend out of the need to aid rampant mineral, fiber, and protein deficiencies during this time. He ground fish bones into powder and mixed it with other tasty ingredients to make it more palatable for children. White rice was the primary food consumed, so furikake was a nutrient-dense and resourceful solution and eventually stuck as a delicious everyday seasoning for the masses.
Yoshimaru called this mix Gohan no Tomo, or “A Friend for Rice,” and named his brand Kore wa Umai: This is Good. It wasn’t until 1959 that this seasoning blend was referred to as furikake. In order to formally name this genre of food, Japan’s government created the National Furikake Association and honored Suekichi Yoshimaru for his invention.
How Do I Use Furikake?
Furikake is most commonly sprinkled on top of cooked white rice, infusing it with an all-in-one flavor elevator. Other fun infusions include using it on pasta, vegetables, pizza, or dips. Furikake a great topping for poke and onigiri.
Here at Daybreak, we love adding our furikake to a delicious but quick and easy rice bowl. Just sprinkle it on top for a jolt of nutrient-packed flavor.