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Furikake

Posted May 28 2009 12:23am
... a better title for this post is "How to Get Your Kids to Eat Seaweed."

Furikake is a Japanese condiment used as a seasoning for rice. It is made from ingredients such as seaweed, sesame seeds, dried bonito flakes, salt and sugar. Sprinkled on top of a bowl of rice or added to rice balls, furikake adds color, flavor and nutrition to plain rice.

Here I've made a gluten free version using nori seaweed, white sesame seeds and celtic sea salt. I've toasted the nori and the sesame seeds to intensify the flavor. My kids love it, in part because it's so silly to say 'furikake,' in part because it's fun to shake it out of the container onto their rice, and in part because it just tastes great.

Here's the recipe:

1/3 cup nori
1/8 cup white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Place nori and sesame seeds on a baking tray for 5 minutes or until the nori is crispy and sesame seeds are toasted. Take out the nori before it starts to brown. It may be necessary to toast the sesame seeds longer than the nori.

Add sea salt to a suribachi, a Japanese mortar and pestle, or to your food processor. Grind the sea salt slightly, then add half the sesame seeds. Grind until the sesame seeds are smashed and mixed with the salt. Crumble the nori into the mixture. Mix in the remaining sesame seeds.

Sprinkle on rice as desired. Or use instead of salt to season potatoes, vegetables, fish or chicken.

You can find furikake at Japanese supermarkets and on the internet. Please be sure to read the labels carefully if you have allergies or are on a gluten free diet. Many of the commercial brands contain soy sauce as a seasoning, which can contain wheat. Some brands also contain allergens such as dried egg, fish and shrimp. And some contain monosodium glutamate.
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