Substitutes For Furikake Seasoning With Umami Flavor

Furikake seasoning is an all-around seasoning blend that is strongly embedded in Japanese gourmet culture. Often, it’s used as a flavorful topping for rice and noodles.

Previously, this table condiment was unheard of outside of Japan, but currently, it’s gaining a lot of interest and popularity across the globe. However, furikake is still not easily available in many parts of the world.

If you can’t get it, there are other alternatives that produce a similar umami flavor as this one. This article looks at the best substitutes for furikake that you may consider.

What Is Furikake?

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning that is made of granulated fish and vegetable extracts. Also, it can include other ingredients like sesame seeds, nori seaweed, sugar, chili, orange peel, and Sichuan pepper.

The traditional version has a savory, umami-loaded flavor. Now, it is available in a wide variety of flavors and in different versions with varying ingredients.

It has a coarse texture and adds a characteristic purple color, rich aroma, and crunch to any dish – just sprinkle it on anything you’d add salt and pepper to. In Japan, this mixture is commonly eaten with hot boiled rice or as a traditional ingredient in onigiri (rice balls). It’s often used in sushi bake as well.

To buy furikake, look for it in the international aisle of supermarkets, Asian food specialty stores, or online.

Best Substitute For Furikake Seasoning 

You won’t easily find furikake in most places where Japanese foods aren’t popular. Finding a replacement for this condiment may become a necessity when you don’t find it. Here are some simple and easy furikake substitutes you can use in a pinch.

Shichimi Togarashi

Togarashi is the Japanese word for red chili peppers. Shichimi Togarashi literally means “seven-flavor chili pepper.” It is also known as Japanese seven-spice powder and is used in Japanese cuisine just like furikake. It’s a commonly used topping for rice dishes, noodles, and vegetables.

Besides the crucial ingredient of ground sansho pepper, shichimi togarashi also includes toasted sesame seeds and nori sheets, which are used in furikake seasoning as well.

In fact, most people are comfortable using shichimi togarashi and furikake interchangeably as they have a somewhat similar flavor profile.

You can make the Japanese seven spices blend on your own or buy the pre-mixed blend. Use shichimi togarashi as a 1:1 swap for furikake seasoning.

Nanami Togarashi

Nanami Togarashi is a spicy powdered assortment of dried chili peppers. The other ingredients in Nanami are such as orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, seaweed, and ginger. This flavorful seasoning is frequently used in noodle soups or to spice up any other dish.

Nanami togarashi and shichimi togarashi are a lot similar in ingredients and taste except for the orange peel included in the former. The ingredients in Nanami Togarashi, like sesame seeds, nori, and chili pepper, make this spice blend a wonderful replacement for furikake.

Other Simple Alternatives

A combination of two or more ingredients similar to the constituents in furikake can be used as a quick and easy swap for furikake in an emergency.

White and black sesame seeds and unseasoned nori seaweed sheets can impart a nutty, umami flavor to the Japanese furikake seasoning. Roasted nori gives an extra savoriness to using it raw. If you don’t have nori at your disposal, a blend of simple ingredients like roasted sesame seeds and salt flakes can provide the same nutty and crunchy characteristics of furikake seasoning.

Homemade Furikake Seasoning

Instead of the pre-mixed furikake seasoning, you can easily make it on your own. Homemade furikake seasoning blend gives you the freedom to use the ingredients according to your taste preferences. For example, you may not like too much nori or do not enjoy the fishy aspect of bonito flake. You are free to experiment and find an ideal version of customized furikake that suits your taste.

Most ingredients in this Japanese rice seasoning are easy to find, as most supermarkets have them on sale. Note that the essence of this condiment is sesame seeds, nori, and salt, therefore, you should include them.

How do you make furikake? (Furikake seasoning recipe)

Use lightly ground sesame seeds and then toast them until fragrant and golden. Mix the roasted sesame seeds with shredded nori and salt and sugar to the mixture in proportion. Additional ingredients that you can add to this mixture are bonito, dried shiso, chili flakes, miso powder, or shiitake powder. You can store the homemade furikake seasoning in an air-tight container for up to 6 months. Honestly, there is no better alternative to this Japanese seasoning than making your own blend.

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