Saturday, October 25, 2014

Want to Dress Up Your Food? Try Furikake!

Hello everyone!

There may be a day when you are eating plain rice, plain vegetables, or plain anything, and you may wonder "How can I dress this up?"

The answer: Furikake!

What is Furikake? It sounds weird.

Furikake is a Japanese word, and it refers to a variety of things you can sprinkle on top of your food.  They add flavor and make the food look pretty.  To my knowledge you can kinda use anything (I have even seen bacon furikake) but I decided to try a traditional one- Gomashio.

Goma (sesame seed) shio (salt) is basically sesame seeds covered in salt.  They do sell the stuff at Asian markets but I decided to take the plunge and *shock* make my own.

I already had the ingredients needed- black sesame seeds (the tan kind are fine too but the black ones are pretty) and sea salt.  Here's how you make your own on the stove.  

What you need:

100 grams of sesame seeds (toasted or untoasted, mine came pre-toasted)
10-12 grams of sea salt (depending on how salty you want it)
1/2 cup or so of water

If you have raw seeds:

Pour a layer of seeds into a skillet, no oil needed.  Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly.  You will hear popping noises and you'll start to smell the yummy aroma.  For a sparse layer, 5 minutes should do it, a thin layer would take about 10 minutes, if it's a thicker layer then it would take even longer.  You can do  your 100 grams of seeds in batches if need be, but once toasted they can all be salted at once.  If your seeds are pretoasted like mine, skip this step.

Dissolve the salt in the water until there are no grains of salt left. It's okay to add more water to properly dissolve it.

Put the seeds in the pan and then pour in the water.  The seeds will clump when wet.  Heat on medium heat, stirring.  As the water evaporates, there will be salt on the edges of the pan. Scrape this off.

How long it takes to finish depends on how much water and seeds you use. You are done when the seeds are dry, and no longer clump.  If you use black ones like I did, they will have a slightly grayish tint to them.  Evaporating the salt water directly on the seeds will evenly coat them all.

Let cool off on the pan, after you remove it from the heat.  Then, store in an airtight container.

Here's some pics of mine- in progress and the finished product!

Seeds with water

As they cook, you can see the water evaporated some and there's salt on the edges.

All finished and in the container!

Gomashio is very versatile, you can use it on anything that salt will taste good on and give a little nutty flavor. It's also very nutritious, as sesame seeds are a source of protein also. 

Have you guys ever tried any furikake or made your own? 

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