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Spice Advice: Furikake

Spice Advice: Furikake

Modern Furikake, while varied, is a family of dry, savory condiments that most folks like to shake onto rice as a quick meal. In fact, the Japanese word “furikake” originates from the verb “furikakeru”, which in English translates to “to sprinkle.” You can take credit for that little factoid at your next dinner party. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody. Most commercially available furikake options we see in grocery stores now are typically made up of different ratios of certain dehydrated fish flakes (or sometimes another source of protein), nori seaweed, salt, sugar, and toasted sesame seeds. The idea of Furikake is not a new one, however. Far from it, flavour friends!


Blends and flavorings similar to Furikake have actually been traced back all the way to 13th century Japan. The earliest historical blend experts have recorded had a unique combo that included dried and shredded shark meat as a listed ingredient. Fast forward to the early twentieth century, culinary historians say a pharmacist named Suekichi Yoshimaru created a nutritionally boosted condiment for folks who weren’t getting enough minerals like calcium in their diet. He called this delicious little helper “ohan no tomo”, or “companion to rice.” Later on, other families, restaurants, and businesses created their own “house versions”, so no two are exactly alike. 


Which brings us to the star of this little Spice Advice show: Spicewalla’s Furikake! Our crunchy, crispy, oh-so-texturally interesting version is really simple, but it makes such a huge flavour impact. You’ll see! The ultimate ratio of white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, kosher salt, nori flakes, and pure cane sugar. Kinda salty, a tad sweet, and beautifully briny. The gentle umami and well-balanced earthy nuttiness easily makes this Spicewalla signature one of our favorites of all time.


An instant classic that pumps instant ramen up perfectly. Please don’t stop there, though. Keep going with a satisfying tamari and ginger salmon bowl, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, or mixed into the rice for your picture-perfect lunchbox onigiri! It’s one of those blends that looks truly impressive on whatever you decide to top. Elegant, aromatic, and welcome at our dinner table any ol’ time!

 

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