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Furikake

Furikake is a dried seasoning of crumbled, chopped, and powdered ingredients used as a topping for pretty much endless foods.

Furikake is a dried seasoning of crumbled, chopped, and powdered ingredients used as a topping for pretty much endless foods. At its most basic, it’s a common topping for a bowl of white rice — but you’ll find it seasoning almost anything.

While there’s no single list of ingredients in furikake, it generally includes salt, sugar, dried crumbled seaweed, dried fish shavings, sesame seeds, and other ingredients. Different varieties may include other chopped or shaved dried seafood, vegetables, seeds, and so on. This includes the leftover flavoring agents of dashikombu seaweed and katsuobushi fish shavings.

Just like so much of Japanese cuisine, furikake is umami-rich and adds a savory depth of flavor to dishes.

The specifics of its origins aren’t completely certain, but a common story is that the first version of early modern furikake was invented in the early 1900s as a condiment to add supplementary nutrition — especially calcium — to dishes during a time when many Japanese people struggled with malnutrition. Otherwise, precursors to furikake have existed for centuries. It became especially popular in post-war Japan, when nutrient deficits were prevalent in the population.

As you can see from its origin story, furikake is high in many vital nutrients. As previously mentioned, that includes calcium, but it’s also high in protein, iodine, iron, and other minerals. Considering the combination of health benefits and depth of flavor, it’s easy to see why furikake is so popular!

Uwajimaya carries many different versions of furikake seasoning. Check them all out in our grocery department and see for yourself which are your favorite!