One producer proudly describes it as “crunchy powder rice topping,” as delicious as that sounds. At its base, it’s usually a mix of little nori strips and sesame seeds. The two are augmented by anything from dried Japanese mustard to carrot pellets to shaved bonito to any number of various vegetables, sea creatures and flavorants.
I’m rather partial to the crispy yolk bits and the salmon myself. The stuff is really good for spicing up stirfrys and leftovers. It’s kind of salty, kind of sweet, full of umami and bursting with different texture combinations. Sometimes I steam rice just as an excuse to eat it.
Oddly enough, we were introduced to furikake in Tuscany- a land almost completely devoid of any hint of the Orient. You could find sushi but it cost as much as a new Vespa and tasted only slightly better. Luckily for us, an adorable Japanese girl in Rachel’s language class smuggled some over from the homeland.
She must have liked us because she would bring over packets and we’d sit around our loft with the lights dimmed passing a bowl of rice and umeboshi plums, trying not to let the floorboards squeak lest we alert the pasta police.
Back in the states it’s much easier to come by. Any asian grocery around stocks at least a few varieties. Do check the ingredients though as some companies tend to get a little gung ho with the additives. At about 4 bucks a jar, I highly recommend adding it to your pantry collection. Or buying me some.