furikake

Homemade furikake no. 8: Hijiki and chirimenjako (tiny tiny fish)

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I’m cheating a bit here since this recipe has been featured already on Just Hungry. But it did get rather buried in a general article about seaweed, so here it is again in the Homemade Furikake series.

This combines hijiki, which is full of fiber and minerals, with chirimenjako, tiny little whole salted fish. You can find both at Japanese grocery stores, and Chinese grocery stores carry something similar. Since they are whole fish, they are full of calcium, and also pack a lot of umami. Many Japanese people are lactose intolerant, so they get their calcium by eating things like chirimenjako. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 7: Salmon furikake (or Sake flakes)

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Is this salmon (sake) furikake? Or is it salmon (sake) flakes? Or maybe it’s even salmon soboro. Whatever you call it, it’s finely flaked salmon that you can sprinkle onto plain rice, use as an onigiri filling, or on ochazuke. You could fold it into egg for a salmon omelette, on boiled vegetables…whatever your imagination can come up with.

Salmon flakes are often sold in jars that cost around $8 for about 150g. You can make it yourself for less than $3, depending on how expensive the salmon is. You can be even more frugal and use the little bits that are stuck on the bones when you filet a whole salmon. This is probably how fish soboro or flakes or furikake was invented in the first place. continue reading...

Iri tamago or tamago soboro, another standard Japanese egg recipe

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There are three very commonly used Japanese egg recipes. One is tamagoyaki or atsuyaki tamago (and its variant, dashimaki tamago), a rolled omelette. Another is usuyaki tamago, a very thin omelette which is used as a wrapper or shredded and used as a topping. Ther third is iri tamago, finely scrambled eggs that are used quite a lot as a topping. It’s here because it’s such a handy ingredient for bento. If you think you need a bit of color and protein, there’s no faster egg dish you can make. continue reading...

Basic meat soboro, a great bento staple

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A soboro is rather like furikake, except that it’s moister. It’s used like furikake in many situations - sprinkled onto rice, folded into other things like eggs, and more. Soboro can be made of ground meat, flaked fish (though fish soboro is often called oboro instead), or egg (egg soboro is often called iri tamago, just to keep you confused!) Meat soboro (niku soboro) keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, and freezes beautifully, making it a great bento johbisai or staple for the omnivore. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 5: Sweet bacon

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I’ve neglected the furikake series for a while, but it’s back!

And what better way to return, than with bacon.

I have bacon on the mind recently for some reason. I’m not overindulging in it, but it’s fun trying to figure out different ways of incorporating bacon in one’s life.

Bacon goes with everything, including rice. It’s salty and bacon-y. I’ve souped it up by adding some Japanese flavors sweet-salty flavors. The result is almost like bacon candy. A little goes a long way.

It’s great sprinkled on just about everything. Besides rice, you could sprinkle it on eggs, vegetables, your tongue… continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 4: Spicy curry peanut

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Warning: This furikake is very dangerous. It is so more-ish that you might find yourself putting spoonfuls of it directly in your mouth. To prevent this, I recommend making it a tad spicier than you might be comfortable with eating it on its own, so it will not disappear before you can use it on your rice. The spicy-salty-sweet taste, coupled with the interesting textures of the peanuts and the seeds, is quite hard to resist.

It’s the least Japanese-tasting furikake so far perhaps, but it fits plain white or brown rice very well. It is not exactly low-calorie, but a tablespoon or so goes quite a long way to spice up things. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

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Noritama is one of the most popular flavors of furikake available commercially. Nori means the seaweed that’s used as a sushi roll or onigiri wrapper, and tama is short for tamago, or egg. The base, which gives the most flavor to the furikake, is bonito flakes or katsuobushi.

Surprisingly perhaps, noritama is one of the more fiddly furikake to make at home, though it’s by no means difficult. But I like to make it occasionally anyway becase I find commercial noritama to be a bit too salty. This version is lower on salt, so you can pile it on your rice if you want to. Naturally it’s free of any preservatives, MSG, or what have you. It’s also a lot cheaper than the commercial versions, even if you have to pay premium prices for the bonito flakes and nori as I do. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 2: Carrot and sesame seeds

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Carrots are a staple of just about everyone’s fridge I think. They are really good for you, but it can be rather hard to find different ways of eating them. This sweet, savory and spicy furikake uses up whole carrots as well as bits of carrot left over from other uses. Plenty of sesame seeds are added for flavor and texture - and they’re not bad for you either. The warm, brown-orange color perks up a dull looking bento, especially on white rice. continue reading...