Furikake is a rice seasoning that you can buy in lots of different flavors. Kenji says that homemade is just as good, but different like homemade mac-and-cheese is good but different from Kraft mac-and-cheese. Basically home cooks just don’t have the industrial drying equipment for all the various crunchies in store-bought furikake. So homemade is both crispy and chewy.
The base recipe is leftover katsuobushi from making dashi, soy sauce, sugar, miring, and toasted sesame seeds. Optional extras include: dried small shrimp, dried small anchovies, ao-nori, freeze-dried shiso, togarashi, and finely crumbled nori.
Kenji advises starting with the basic recipe and expriement with other ingredients after some experience, which is just as well for me because it made the whole process simpler.
The spent katsuobushi is cooked in a wok over low heat until they dry out again. Then the soy sauce, suguar, and mirin are added and the katsuobushi is cooked again until the sugars start caramelizing. The mixture is left to cool and then crumbled and tossed with sesame seeds.
I don’t think my wife has tried it yet, but I found it delicious on leftover rice as well as eating pinches of it on its own. It has a good salty-sweetness. Mine had only a little bit of crunch; it’s mostly chewy, so I wonder if I should’ve let it cook a bit longer.
I am cooking my way through J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Wok cookbook. Read more about it.