Monday, April 23, 2012

A Post on Furikake

This may be me being too much of a japanophile, but I'm going to talk about furikake.

Most flavoring of rice in the west comes when you're actually cooking the rice. Which is fine and dandy, but also takes this little thing called forethought, which I, and a lot of college students, do not have a whole lot of.

Furikake rice seasoning however, does not. You sprinkle it on rice, and bam! it actually tastes like something. That's pretty impressive for something that you just sprinkle on rice. I mean, salt can do a similar thing, but only to such an extent. Furikake is typically made up of different dry seasonings, like shredded seaweed, tiny preserved shrimps, and sesame seeds. The ones I have here are a seaweed and sesame seed mix, toasted black sesame seeds, and... I think the pink one may be plum flavored? Mostly I just bought it because it was pretty and pink, and turned out to be pretty tasty too.

Now, I know Japanese food is kind of an acquired taste. The seasonings normally used in Japanese food, especially packaged foods, have a different balance than in American food, and often taste saltier or indescribably "fishier" even if the food in question does not contain fish. If you can't stand this, I recommend at least trying out gomashio, the black one on the far left. It's just toasted black sesame seeds and salt. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's the same seasoning set on tables at Crazy Bowls and Wraps, so it meshes pretty well with American tastes. I bought my can of gomashio at an Asian grocery for about $5, but you can make it yourself pretty easily if you have a stove or oven, a la the recipes at Just Bento.

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