A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Furikake is a savory and sweet rice seasoning made with sesame seeds, katsuobushi, green seaweed flakes, and nori seaweed. While this quintessential Japanese condiment is fabulous on steamed rice, it’s also delicious as a sprinkle on onigiri, udon noodles, soup, salad, popcorn, and more! Bonus: My homemade recipe is a great way to repurpose leftover bonito flakes and kombu from making dashi.

A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Furikake (ふりかけ) is a nutty, crunchy, umami-packed Japanese blend used to season rice. Although it’s referred to as a rice seasoning, furikake is literally the salt and pepper of the Japanese kitchen. It is so versatile that you can use the seasoning to instantly perk up any bland dishes.

A white round ceramic bowl containing Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning).

What is Furikake?

Furikake (literally “sprinkle”) is a flaky or powered Japanese seasoning consisting of sesame seeds, seaweed, and dried seafood, meat, or vegetable. You may be familiar with the commercial variety in bottles or individual packets for kids and adults. Even Trader Joe’s has their own version of Nori Komi Furikake Seasoning!

The commercial variety contains a mixture of bonito flakes, toasted sesame seeds, nori seaweed, sugar, and salt. Some include salmon flakes, dried baby shrimp, shiso, egg, wasabi, and vegetables.

Japanese Furikake (Rice Seasoning)

Furikake History

It goes back to the 12th century when there are records of making a salty powdered condiment consisting of dried sea bream, salmon, and shark. The current iteration was invented in the early 20th century as a nutritional supplement. It contained ground fish bones and poppy seeds to address the calcium and nutrient deficiency among the population.

A ceramic container containing furikake.

How to Make Homemade Furikake

Ingredients You’ll Need

💡 Tip: If you have reserved kombu and katsuobushi from making dashi or mentsuyu noodle soup base, you can repurpose them in this recipe! Read the details below.

Overview: Cooking Steps

This homemade furikake is really easy to make!

  1. Cook all the ingredients and seasonings in a frying pan until they are dry and separated.
  2. Let cool completely.
  3. Add nori seaweed and transfer to an airtight container.
A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Repurposing Spent Katsuobushi and Kombu

Whenever you make dashi (Japanese soup stock) from scratch, you are always left with spent kombu or katsuobushi, or usually both if you make Awase Dashi (a combination of kombu and katsuo dashi).

Furikake Spent Kombu and Katsuobushi
Spent kombu (60 g) and katsuobushi (15 g) after making one batch of my Awase Dashi recipe.

The best way to repurpose these spent ingredients is to make homemade furikake.

Another bonus is that you don’t have to use them right away. You can reserve spent kombu and katsuobushi in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to a month, until you’re ready to make furikake.

Spent Kombu for Furikake

Take out the portion you need and cut them into small pieces and cook in the pan with the rest of ingredients.

A white round ceramic bowl

FAQs

Why do we need to cook the ingredients? Can we just mix everything?

There are two reasons why we cook all the ingredients and season them in a frying pan.

  1. Dry ingredients absorb all the delicious wet seasonings (soy sauce and mirin), and then become dry. So the ingredients will be flavored.
  2. If you don’t cook the mixture, loose dry seasonings such as sugar and salt will sink at the bottom of the container and you will end up with a flavorless furikake.

How long does it last?

If you include a Food Safe Silica Gel Desiccant Packet in your airtight container, you can keep the homemade furikake for 1-2 months at room temperature!

Silica Gel Desiccant

Without it, the nori and katsuobushi will start to get stale, so consume the homemade furikake within 2 weeks.

A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Furikake

Rich in calcium, iodine, and iron, this homemade furikake is a healthy way to season your Japanese dishes!

Furikake is absolutely wonderful on just a simple bowl of rice, porridge, or udon noodles. It’s also perfect for seasoning onigiri (Japanese rice balls), soba noodle salad, grilled salmon, or rice crackers. But don’t stop there, furikake is so versatile that I love to get creative and sprinkle it on these as well:

  • Avocado – this is my favorite. Keep it simple and halve the avocado and season it with furikake as an afternoon snack. For a savory breakfast, smear your toasted bread with mashed avocado before you give it a good sprinkle of furikake. It’s a Japanese-twist on avocado toast.
  • Egg – you can totally replace salt and pepper with furikake on a fried egg or soft-boiled egg when you want something more punchy. 
  • Popcorn – planning on binge-watching Japanese shows on Netflix or a Japanese movie night? Flavor your homemade popcorn with furikake to keep to the theme. 
  • Pasta – oh yes, you can top furikake on Mentaiko Pasta, cacio e pepe pasta, or any simple creamy pasta.
  • Furikake Chex Mix – This is one of our family’s holiday edible treats!
A mason jar containing Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning).

A Great Holiday Gift

If you make a big batch, you can even freeze the seasoning for a month. Furikake makes a great holiday gift. Just pack the Japanese seasoning in a cute little glass jar to surprise your foodie friends and family!

Silica Gel Desiccant

Make sure to add a Food Safe Silica Gel Desiccant Packet for each jar, so your friends and family can enjoy it for 1-2 months!

A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Wish to learn more about Japanese cooking? Sign up for our free newsletter to receive cooking tips & recipe updates! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram.

A rice bowl containing steamed rice sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning)

Furikake is a savory and sweet rice seasoning made with sesame seeds, katsuobushi, green seaweed flakes, and nori seaweed. While this quintessential Japanese condiment is fabulous on steamed rice, it’s also delicious as a sprinkle on onigiri, udon noodles, soup, salad, popcorn, and more! Bonus: My homemade recipe is a great way to repurpose leftover bonito flakes and kombu from making dashi.

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 15 mins

Ingredients 

 

Add-On Ingredients (after cooling)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

Instructions 

To Prepare the Spent Katsuobushi and Kombu (if using)

  • Make sure the spent katsuobushi is well drained. Cut it into small pieces with a knife.

  • Slice the spent kombu (optional) into thin strips, and then cut the strips into small pieces.

To Cook the Furikake

  • In an ungreased frying pan, add the katsuobushi (or spent katsuobushi), aonori, and spent kombu (optional). Don’t add the sesame seeds yet! Then, add all the seasonings and mix it all together.

  • Turn on the stove’s heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly, until the katsuobushi becomes dry and flaky.

  • Now, lower the heat and add the white and black sesame seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, on low heat until the sesame seeds are nicely roasted and fragrant.

  • Transfer the furikake to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it out and let it cool completely.

  • Once it’s cooled, cut the nori sheet into thin strips, and then small pieces ⅛ inch (3 mm) square.

  • Add the nori pieces to the cooled furikake and mix everything together.

  • Taste the furikake and adjust the seasonings by adding more salt or sugar at this step. I decided to add additional aonori for enhanced color and taste (optional).

  • In an airtight glass jar, add one Food Safe Silica Gel Desiccant Packet on the bottom, add the furikake, and close the lid tightly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup · Calories: 270 kcal · Carbohydrates: 13 g · Protein: 14 g · Fat: 18 g · Saturated Fat: 3 g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 8 g · Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g · Sodium: 922 mg · Potassium: 190 mg · Fiber: 4 g · Sugar: 6 g · Vitamin A: 584 IU · Vitamin C: 4 mg · Calcium: 320 mg · Iron: 5 mg

Author: Namiko Chen

Course: Condiments, How to

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: furikake, rice seasoning

©JustOneCookbook.com Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any website or social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2013. It has been republished on November 27, 2022, with the revised recipe, new images, and updated content with more information.

Leave a Reply