What is Furikake?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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Furikake is a Japanese condiment that is used to season rice in a number of Japanese dishes. It is a dry condiment that is made up of salt, sugar, dried and chopped seaweed, sesame seeds, and very small pieces of dried fish. The most predominant flavors in furikake are usually the fish and the seaweed. There are a number of variations on this recipe that bring in other ingredients from the sea to boost the fish flavor in the condiment. For example, some furikake mixtures incorporate katsuobushi, which is a kind of dried tuna that is shaved into flakes.

This condiment has been described as the salt and pepper of Japan. It is common to find furikake in Japanese domestic kitchens as well as on the tables in Japanese restaurants. It is less common in the West, but it can be found in Asian grocery stores and in some grocery stores that have a well-stocked ethnic foods section. For those who are interested in using furikake in their home cooking, but can't find a nearby retailer that sells it, the condiment can be ordered from various online retailers. Furikake is safe to ship because it is a dry condiment with a relatively long shelf life.


There are many uses for furkikake in Japanese cooking, but one of the most common is as a topping for onigiri, which are rice balls that are stuffed with savory or pickled fillings and then wrapped in seaweed. It is also common for furikake to be used in chirashi, which is a dish of raw fish layered on top of sushi rice. The furikake is often sprinkled on top of the rice before the fish is added. The condiment is also frequently used to season rice that is simply served as a side dish.

Furikake can be kept in a dish that closely resembles a salt cellar in size and shape. When it is kept in this form, the vessel that holds it usually has a lid to keep the condiment fresh and to protect it from humidity. In order to serve the condiment from this kind of container, a very small spoon or spatula is used. This utensil is very similar to the salt spoons that are used to scoop salt from a salt cellar.


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