Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

fukake3_noritama450.jpg

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.

Noritama (nori and egg) furikake

Makes about 2 cups.

  • 1 1/2 cups of bonito flakes if you have very fine flakes; or 4 to 5 large handfuls of bonito flakes if you have large flakes
  • 3 to 4 large sheets of nori
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 hardboiled eggs
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • pinch of sea salt

Equipment needed:

  • a large bowl
  • oven
  • non-stick baking sheet or baking sheet with lining paper
  • non-stick frying pan
  • sieve or mesh tea strainer
  • food processor (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C.

Crumple up the bonito flakes if they are large, into the bowl. Crumple up the nori sheets into the bowl. Make sure your hands are dry or the flakes will stick all over them. Mix well with the soy sauce and mirin.

On a non-stick baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with kitchen parchment paper or non-stick pad, spread the mixture out thinly. Put in the oven and let ‘bake’ (you’re really drying it out) for 10-15 minutes. Watch and smell - if it starts to smell in the least bit like burned soy sauce, take it out.

In the meantime, take out the yolks of the hardboiled eggs - use the whites for a salad or something. Pass the yolks through a fine-meshed sieve, or a tea strainer if you don’t have a sieve, directly into the non-stick frying pan. You want fine grains of yolk.

Put the pan over a low heat with a pinch of sea salt, and let the yolks dry out slowly. After a few minutes, gently toss the pan to loosen up the yolk particles. As the bits start to dry out, you’ll be able to hear them making a rustling dry sound in the pan. Let them dry out like this, shaking occasionally, until the bits are quite dry. This may take 15-20 minutes. Don’t let them brown. This is the fiddly part of this furikake. (The yolks are in this furikake mainly for color, so you can omit them if you don’t want to bother with them, though then the furikake won’t be noritama, but just nori…I guess.)

Don’t forget to check on the oven in the meantime! When the bonito flake-nori mixture is done it should be quite dry. If it has moist spots, stir around a bit with a spatula and return to the oven for a few minutes.

When done, let cool. In the meantime, toast the tablespoon of sesame seeds in a dry pan until a couple of seeds ‘pop’. Let this cool also.

When the bonito-nori mixture is cooled, crumble it up with your hands as fine as possible. Or, put it in a food processor and pulse-mix until it’s fairly fine (but not a fine powder).

Mix in the cooled dried out egg yolk and toasted sesame seeds with the bonito-nori mixture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week or so (It may last longer, but in our house it rarely makes it over a few days.) Sprinkle on rice, on soup…or, as someone in our house does, just eat it by the spoonful as a snack.

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14 comments

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Wasabi?

Maki,

I tried this and it turned out lovely, thank you. I really enjoy furikake, and I agree that commercially it is too salty. Do you have any suggestion on how to dry out wasabi to add to the mix? I don’t think wasabi powder is really the answer, maybe dry out the paste similar to the way you do the tamago?

Thanks

wasabi

Jeff, if you can get fresh wasabi root, try grating it and then drying it out over a very low heat, similar to the egg yolk - you should end up with granules of wasabi. If you just have powder, I’d reconstitute it with water to make a paste, then dry it out so that you get granules instead of powder. I haven’t tried this out yet myself but I will eventually - let me know how it goes if you do try it!

I’m really interested in

I’m really interested in trying this now! :) The noritama available where I live doesn’t taste very good…it’s got a sort of sickeningly sweet taste.

egg whites

This is a very late comment, but I have a question: is there any possible way to use only egg whites? I’m trying to stay away from the yolks, but I want to try this recipe so bad @_@.

The yolk bits are really

The yolk bits are really just there for the color, so you can omit them entirely. Egg whites won’t really add anything to this recipe.

Wow! These recipes are great!

Thank you sooo very much for posting these homemade furikake recipes. I recently got really into making bento, primarily as lunch for my toddler who goes to daycare everyday. Not being there for her, I want to make sure that she eats a healthy lunch everyday. I love the idea of making mini-origiri (she eats mostly finger food these days) but I hesitate to add commercial furikake (as suggested in many recipes) out of the concern of MSG, salt and other flavorings. Finding your site and, especially these furikake recipes, makes me REALLY excited. Thanks so much for sharing.

This Noritama one sounds the most delicious and I will try making this one first. On a side note, some Chinese dishes use dried shreded pork or beef as snack or mix with rice. I think it is similar idea. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to make them but they are usually available in Chinese grocery stores.

furikake

maki! I have started the bento thing and it is so cool that I get to have some good food for lunch. Question on the furikake though. Wen do you sprinkle it on the rice? When it is hot or cooled down?

Re: Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

Hello,
I came across your lovely blog while searching for homemade furikake.

I tried this noritama furikake (without egg york). It turns out very well. A small problem I have is the nori looks dull after baking with bonito in soy sauce & mirin. The nori flakes in the store bought furikake look very shiny. Did I do anything wrong?

Is the commercial Surakani Gassen-Nori furikake very closed to this recipe?

Re: Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

It could be the commercial furikake you bought is using another kind of nori, or is lightly coating the nori with oil.

Noritama is a pretty standard furikake flavor, so it's not exclusive to the brand you mentioned - just about every furikake maker makes a version. Mine is just my take on noritama. (Sarukani Gassen means 'monkey-crab fight' by the way^_^ It comes from a Japanese folktale. Funny thing to call furikake!)

Re: Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

Thanks for the explanations

I did not know there're many versions/flavors for Nori. I was scouting a Korean/Japanese grocer store and found roasted Nori with Teriyaki flavor. It's so good that my 6 year old eat it raw. May be I will try this one instead of the plain nori and add it to furikake at the very end. What do you think?

Re: Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

Hey, I was just wondering how long will the furikake keep for????

Re: Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

This is delicious! I'm having trouble making it, though - no matter what I do, the nori clumps up when I add the liquid ingredients, and the clumps take so much longer to dry out that if I leave it in the oven until the nori is dry, the rest is burned. Do you have any advice?

Freezing?

I am delighted to have found this recipe! I am a big noritama fan, but really don't like the idea of using something so artificial in my bento too often.
I was wondering, is it at all possible to freeze this recipe, or would the egg and nori make it unsuitable?

Re: Freezing?

You should be able to freeze it. If it gets rather limp or soggy in there just dry it out for a couple of minutes in a dry (no oil etc) frying pan.

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