Make this yourself, or find furikake in Asian supermarkets or some better-stocked grocery stores.
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons bonito flakes (available at most Asian groceries or health food stores)
- 1 sheet toasted nori, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt, divided
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently and remove when pale golden, about 1 and ½ minutes. Let cool.
In a small food processor, spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the nori, bonito, plus half the salt into a fine powder. Stir together with the cooled toasted seeds and remaining salt.
Store in an airtight container.
Furikake is a traditional Japanese condiment and rice topping made from seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. In Japan, there are dozens of variations of furikake. However, here in the U.S., when someone says furikake (pron. Foo-dee-kah-ke), this basic sesame-seaweed combination is usually what they’re talking about.
Nori, or the dried sheets of seaweed your California roll gets wrapped in, happens to be the main seaweed in this furikake. Unlike some types of edible seaweed, it doesn’t contain an über-high amount of iodine* (see note).
I could eat furikake by the spoonful, but I especially like it sprinkled atop a Japanese-style breakfast bowl. In the one pictured below, I used some leftover short-grain brown rice, an over-easy egg, peas, chives, and a drizzle of chili oil. A few slices of avocado would be nice, a slash or two of sriracha, maybe slivers of smoked salmon, or a handful of wilted chard. Whatever floats your boat. It’s always nice to have another warm and satisfying, gluten-free breakfast idea.
Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:
- Dried seaweed is one of the best natural food sources of iodine* (see note). Nori, or the dried sheets of seaweed used in furikake, provides approximately 24 mcg of iodine per sheet. It is considered a low-calorie, high-fiber, cheap superfood with a 6-month shelf life. * (see note) is a crucial element to the production of thyroid hormone, and since our bodies do not make it naturally, we depend on dietary sources.
* A note on iodine: According to our team nutritionist, Adrienne Klein, thyroid patients should not be on an iodine supplement unless directed and supervised by a qualified physician. She adds that supplementing with iodine is a different beast than dietary iodine, since most of the iodine we get from food that is not utilized by the thyroid gets excreted through urine. The recommended daily allowance for iodine in an adult is 150 mcg, with an upper limit of 1100 mcg iodine consumption through food.
What is Nori Komi Furikake?
Furikake (ふりかけ – pronounced “foo-ri-ka-keh”) means ‘sprinkle’ and is traditionally used a rice seasoning or “all purpose” seasoning in Japan. As popular as salt and pepper in the West, it’s savoury with a hint of sweetness, and is a great way to add crunch and a delicious umami flavour to your finished meal.
There are lots of varieties of furikake seasoning originating from different regions across Japan.
Nori komi furikake is a basic blend made from a base of crushed or sliced nori seaweed blended with sesame seeds, sugar and salt. It’s naturally vegan / vegetarian friendly, too!
Other varieties of furikake can include extra seasonings such as bonito flakes, dried salmon, powdered fried egg, miso powder, or shiitake mushroom powder for extra flavour. Some will even have a zing of spice from chilli flakes or shichimi togarashi spice blend.
Smoked Trout Onigiri
Onigiri is a Japanese on-the-go food: rice balls, typically filled with something savory—salty and/or sour. Here, I use some of the rainbow trout filet I recently smoked over an apple-pecan blend this piece had a miso-mirin glaze. Onigiri is easy to make and make a good lunch or picnic snack. Your onigiri will only be as good as your rice, so it’s critical to select the right type of rice (japonica varieties jasmine, long grain, enriched, etc. rice will not work), then rinse it until the water in the rice cooker dish or pot is clear, and soak for at least 15 minutes before cooking. I like to add rice vinegar to mine, too.
Plastic wrap (microwave-safe)
Sharp knife and cutting board
Small cup, bowl, or ramekin: ½ to ¾ cup volume
Two regular-sized bowls
Rice paddle or large spoon
2 cups cooked short or medium grain japonica rice, such as Calrose (kept warm)
½ cup smoked trout, skin removed, and flaked
Fine salt, in a shaker
Bowl of lukewarm water
Optional: 3 tbsp furikake (dry rice seasoning) or black sesame seeds
Optional: 1 nori seaweed sheet
Alternate fillings: umeboshi [pickled plum], chicken or upland bird teriyaki pulled pork or mountain lion with a soy-based sauce salmon or tuna with kewpie mayonnaise, or roasted garlic & amp chili oil—really, anything salty or sour with a somewhat soft texture
1. Remove a square of plastic wrap from the roll, and place it in the small cup, bowl, or ramekin. It doesn’t have to perfectly line the inside of the dish, but the closer you can get, the better.
2. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water, and sprinkle it on the portion of plastic wrap inside the dish.
3. Use the salt shaker to add some salt to the water on the plastic wrap. Use your fingers to disperse it evenly throughout the inside. If any excess is pooling up at the bottom, flip the wrap and dish over together over the sink and shake gently or pour it out.
4. Use the rice paddle or large spoon to add your cooked, warm (not hot!) rice to the dish until it reaches the top. Do not press down.
5. Use your thumb to hollow out a space in the middle of the rice. Your thumb should only go about halfway in. Widen it until you have a diameter of about ¾”.
6. Add your smoked fish (or another filling) to the pocket. Cover it gently with an additional clump of rice.
7. Pull the loose edges of the plastic wrap together to meet over the center of the rice in the dish, and lift up the rice in the plastic wrap from the dish. Holding the top of the plastic wrap in one hand, use the other to spin the rice around. The goal is to remove the air and compress the rice together. You may have to adjust the top slightly to ensure all the air is out.
8. When the top is firmly sealed and the rice ball has compacted well, use your thumb and two forefingers to press the ball into a triangular shape. As you work on shaping the sides, you’ll occasionally have to use your palms to pat the faces (front and back) back down.
9. Gently remove the rice from the plastic wrap, and set it aside. If you’re not using seasonings or seaweed, you’re done! If you’re using seaweed: use a sharp knife to cut a rectangular strip of nori about 3” long. Set aside.
10. If you’re using furikake or black sesame seeds, sprinkle them in a line on your plastic wrap. Gently press one side of the onigiri to it if your rice is cooked properly, it will stick easily. Repeat this for another side.
11. Apply the nori to the front of the onigiri, using two fingers to gently press it onto the rice, with the edge sitting just below the vertical halfway point of the triangle. If the nori’s not sticking well, you can use a finger to gently brush it down with a small amount of water. Continue to press it along the bottom side, then to the back of the onigiri.
How do I enjoy Furikake?
Of course, you can use Furikake to season rice, but it has much more to offer. Try Furikake as a seasoning on noodles, white fish and Asian-inspired dishes, or transform greens like broccoli or cabbage by sprinkling on a punch of this fiery flavour enhancer.
Furikake is also great at brunch, as a garnish on scrambled eggs or used to give avocado on toast a kick. Why not top smoked salmon with Furikake or stir it into cream cheese, for a welcome twist on a classic dish?
Recently, I spent a few days on the iconic North Shore of Oahu chasing sunsets and recharging my batteries. I polled my audience on where to go and had an overwhelming response for checking out the food truck scene.
Everyone had a favorite and was anxious to chime in.
Not wanting to disappoint anyone (and, honestly, being on the hunt to try just about everything I could while there), I made it a mission to hit several of the most popular food truck spots. My favorite was the tuna sandwich and Hurricane french-fried potatoes at a little truck parked at Sharks Cove.
The name of the place was the Cove and I haven’t been able to find an Instagram or website for them to tag, but they were in with a killer shrimp truck and taco stand right next to a snorkel rental shop. If you are sitting at Sharks Cove, you will find them.
The days ticked on and I tried several other food trucks, all with their own signature spin on fries. Always fried to a crisp and slathered in a spicy sauce and sprinkled with furikake. A simple thing, but one that altered my french fry condiment choices forever.
I brought the idea back to the Mainland, grabbing and testing a few furikake blends in the GirlCarnivore Meat Labs. I sliced up huge russet potatoes as thin as I could and even added extra crunch by coating the fries in beef tallow.
All in all, they are food truck approved, even if you are a layover or two away from a proper island view.
I dare you to give them a try and tell me you’ll ever go back to just plain ketchup again. Actually, check out these rosemary duck fat fries while you’re at it and let’s really expand on your fry menu.
What is Furikake?
Furikake is a dried mix of finely minced seaweed, salt, and other herbs. You can sprinkle the furikake mixture over things like rice and veggies. and is a great way to really amp up the flavor just like any spice blend. There are a variety of furikake blends in any given international market and they are always fun to play with.
Click here to see the Furikake blend I used in this recipe.
How to make Furikake Fries
Start by preheating your oven to 450º F and dividing your beef tallow into two rimmed baking sheets. Then place it in the oven to melt.
Cut your potatoes into thin matchsticks and dry them with a kitchen towel.
Once the tallow has melted, remove carefully (it’s hot!) from the oven and place the potatoes evenly, in a single layer, on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Then carefully remove again the potatoes from the oven and flip on the other side for an additional 10 minutes or so, until golden and crispy all over. Drain the fries onto some kitchen paper-lined plate to get rid of the excess fat.
Now whisk the sriracha and mayo together in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve your french fries on a large serving dish. While they are still hot and moist from the beef tallow, sprinkle them generously with the furikake mixture. Drizzle the sriracha sauce over them and serve piping hot!
Tips & Variations
- You can slice your potatoes in thick or thin rounds and cook the same way, until crispy and golden.
- Instead of baking the potatoes, you can fry them on the stove for half the time.
- Instead of furikake, you can use crumbled nori (seaweed), sesame seeds and if you like hot & spicy you can even use togarashi.
Want to know what to serve with this? Try some of my favorite recipes:
Oysters with General Tso's Cabbage and Furikake
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These Oysters with General Tso’s Cabbage and Furikake from chef Sam Talbot of Pretty Southern, is a fun, delicious twist on an old favorite—and on oysters, too. The crunchy deep-fried cabbage is dressed in an umami-rich sauce with sweet, sour, and spicy notes from pineapple juice, lemon juice, honey, and chili vinegar, then topped with freshly shucked oysters for a briny, minerally contrast. The furikake garnish is a traditional Japanese mix of sesame seeds, seaweed, salt, and sugar, as well as some sort of dried fish, often bonito, which is sprinkled over rice, vegetables, and other dishes for an extra boost of sweet-savory flavor. If you can find a version made with shrimp (which may be labeled “ebi” furikake), use that in this recipe. Also, Blue Point oysters are the chef’s choice, but you should choose the freshest oysters you can find in your area. If you’re not up for deep-frying cabbage, the oysters, sauce, and furikake make elegant appetizers on their own. Get Sam’s Pimento Mac and Cheese recipe, and read more about his Southern food philosophy.
Smoked Mackerel Rice Balls (Onigiri)
Onigiri means “hand food”, and these Japanese rice balls, inspired by a recipe from Patagonia café lead cook Melissa Bishop, are just as much fun to make as they are to eat. They’re good for snacking and can be lunch or dinner, too, with some crunchy vegetable sticks on the side.
If you really get into making these, try using a rice-ball shaper, available at Japanese grocery stores they come in all shapes and colors.
- Interactive: Serve the furikake as a dip instead of mixing it right into the rice.
- Vegan: Replace the mackerel mixture with a chunk of smoked firm tofu or a pickled Japanese plum (umeboshi). Skip the bonito (dried tuna) in the furikake.
- Wild Rice: Replace 2 tbsp. of the plain sushi rice with a wild-rice mix.
- 1 cup sushi rice, such as Nishiki brand
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¾ tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 ½ tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 recipe Lightly Salted Savory Seeds Furikake (see recipe below)
- 1 can Patagonia Provisions Smoked Mackerel, drained
- ½ tsp. tamari or soy sauce
- ½ tsp. mirin, plus more to taste
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 sheet Japanese nori, cut into 1-inch-wide strips (optional)
Putting It All Together
- Rinse rice in 2-3 changes of cool water, vigorously swishing it around with your hand, until the water is mostly clear. Drain. Bring rice and 1 1/3 cups water to a small pot and bring to a boil, covered. Turn heat down to low and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let sit 30 minutes, covered. Or use a rice cooker to cook the rice.
- Meanwhile, put sugar and salt with rice vinegar in a small bowl and stir to dissolve.
- While rice is still warm, turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet and, using a spatula, gently cut and fold vinegar seasoning into the rice. Sprinkle with furikake and fold in evenly. Let cool to room temperature.
- Make mackerel filling: With a fork, mix mackerel with the soy, mirin, and green onions, breaking fish into flakes in the process. Taste and add more soy and/or mirin if you like.
- Make rice balls: Dip your hands into a bowl of warm water as you work—this keeps the grains from sticking to your skin.
- With wet hands, divide rice into 8 portions. Working with one portion at a time, scoop half of it into your non-dominant hand, shape into a disk in your palm, and push a divot in the center. Fill divot with about 2 tsp. mackerel. Cover with the remaining half-portion of rice and firmly (very firmly!) squeeze into a ball with your other hand.
- Repeat with remaining rice balls and filling, packing them tight. Wind strips of nori around each ball if you like.
- Eat right away or chill up to 1 day without nori (add the nori right before eating to keep it from getting soggy).
- ¾ sheet Japanese nori seaweed (about 8 by 8 in.)
- 2 pouches Patagonia Provisions Simply Salted Savory Seeds
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ½ tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp. fine-cut bonito flakes (optional)
Toast the nori over a gas flame or in a hot frying pan for a few seconds. With scissors, cut the sheet into 1-in.-wide strips. Stack the strips, cut in half crosswise and stack again. Cut across the short end to make slivers. In a glass jar, shake nori with remaining ingredients to mix.
Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Makes about ½ cup (it’s good on noodles, too!).
1.5kg Mayura Signature Marble Score 9+ Rib Eye
20ml rice bran oil
25g Murray River pink salt
“This method is the one that I use at The Tasting Room at Mayura Station. It is a tried and true way to achieve the perfect steak every time. Once you have mastered this method, you can start experimenting with searing over coals and even finishing the steak in a Webber kettle for that extra bit of smokiness.”
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and pre-heat the BBQ char-grill to full heat. Take the steak from the fridge 1 hour before grilling. Keep at room temperature covered with a tea towel. Brush the steak with rice bran oil, season all over with the pink salt and sear on the char grill for 90sec. On the same side, rotate the steak 90 degrees and sear for a further 90 seconds. This will create criss-cross bar marks. Flip the steak over and repeat. Place the steak onto a rack over a baking tray as it needs to be separated to promote even cooking. Probe the steak with a meat thermometer and roast in the oven until an internal temperature of 51°C is reached (approximately 35 minutes). Remove from the oven. Rest in a warm place covered with a clean tea towel for 10 minutes. The internal temperature will have risen to 55°C which is perfect medium-rare. Ensure all of the other dish components are ready then carve at the table!
SMOKED POTATO PURÉE
500g potatoes, peeled, cut into medium sized chunks
25g Murray River pink salt
80g cherry wood smoking pellets
150g unsalted butter
“This humble but delicious mashed potato goes to new heights – an all-time favourite. There are a few extra steps compared to regular mash, and there will be extra washing up, but it’s all worth it!”
In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and simmer on a medium heat until soft and tender – until they slip off a knife when stabbed. Strain off in a colander, allowing them to steam dry for a couple of minutes to remove excess water. Place potato chunks into a stainless-steel steamer. Using a cast iron pan that will accommodate the steamer, place the smoking pellets into the pan. Heat the pan on high heat until the pellets start to smoke. Place the stainless-steel steamer with lid onto the smoking pan and smoke for 20 minutes. Place the potatoes back into the saucepan and hand mash while adding the cold diced butter and pink salt. Optional – I use a Kitchen Aid, with the paddle attachment on medium speed, to whip the potatoes). Using a spatula, pass the potatoes through a drum sieve or a regular sieve which will result in a silky-smooth purée.
2 king oyster mushrooms, cut into halves lengthways
4 shiitake mushrooms
80g shimeji mushrooms
100g black fungi
50ml Pendleton lemon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
10g Murray River pink salt
40g enoki mushrooms
40g flat oyster mushrooms
15ml Pendleton garlic EVOO
“Mushrooms are a classic combo with steak, and for good reason. Their earthiness and nuttiness are a great match to the rich sweet flavours of Mayura Full Blood Wagyu. The crisp enoki mushrooms create an amazing transformation in flavour.”
Put the king oyster, shiitake, shimeji and black fungi into a baking dish. Drizzle with lemon oil, season with salt, cover with foil and roast in the oven at 180°C for 45 minutes. On a flat tray lined with baking paper, lay out the enoki and flat oyster mushrooms. Drizzle with garlic oil, season with salt and roast, uncovered, at 180°C for 30 minutes.
80g green beans, top stem removed
15ml Pendleton garlic EVOO
pinch Murray River pink salt
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil then cook the beans for 3 minutes, drain, drizzle with garlic oil and season with salt. (Simple, but effective!)
150g mixed cherry tomatoes
pinch Murray river pink salt
15ml Pendleton lemon EVOO
“I love the sweetness and acidity that the cherry tomatoes bring to this dish. It is important to have that bit of acidity to offset the high marbling and intense richness of Mayura Full Blood Wagyu.”
Cut the tomatoes in half and lay out on a flat baking tray. Season with salt and drizzle with lemon oil. Roast uncovered in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
60g sesame seeds
10g turmeric powder
5g Murray River pink salt
80g wasabi peas
45g hemp seeds
40g mixed black and white chia seeds
10g bonito flakes, chopped into small pieces
10g dried shiso powder
1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into ½ cm squares
“Furikake is essentially a crunchy mix that’s traditionally sprinkled on rice. I enjoy the texture and the little additional pops of flavour that it adds to dishes. This recipe is one that I’ve been serving at Mayura’s Tasting Room for a while now. Any leftover furikake can be utilised by sprinkling onto finished stir-fries or to lift steamed veggies. Let your imagination go wild, and it’s great as a dukkah substitute. Enjoy!”
Toast off the sesame seeds, turmeric and salt in a hot pan until a little bit of smoke releases from the turmeric. Be careful not to burn the spice or seeds. Crush most of the wasabi peas in mortar and pestle to the size of sesame seeds, leaving a few pieces slightly bigger for texture. In a stainless-steel bowl, mix the crushed peas, sesame seed mix, hemp seed, chia seeds, bonito flakes, shiso powder and nori squares. Store in an airtight container.
for Rib Eye – serve on the side as dipping sauce.
50ml Tosa Shoyu – quality bonito and kelp infused soy sauce.
For a shared table, place the mushrooms and beans into a bowl then sprinkle with furikake. The remaining components can be plated separately and the wagyu placed onto a chopping board, ready to be carved at the table. Place the Tosa Shoyu in a small bowl or individual bowls for dipping the rib eye.