Having grown up in Hawaii (where there's a huge Japanese population) furikake was something I grew up eating on a regular basis. The salty topping was on my dinner table more often than salt and pepper, so imagine my surprise when I found out that hardly anyone on the Mainland USA knew what it was. As one of my favorite seasonings, a life without furikake sounds like torture. So, allow me to introduce you to the majestic ingredient that is Japanese furikake (thank me later).

What is furikake?

Traditionally used as a rice seasoning, furikake is a combination of dried ingredients that are used as a topping in Japan. Often including dried seaweed, variations of furikake also include wasabi, sesame seeds, dried fish and even powdered egg. Besides adding a crunchy texture to whatever you put it on, furikake is also loaded with savory and salty notes (aka: "umami"), making it a great garnish. 

Where can you find it?

Your local asian grocery store is probably your best bet if you're on the hunt for furikake. However, if you can't find any there (which would be quite surprising) you can always head online to buy some. I recommend buying it in bulk, cus trust me, once you start using furikake you won't be able to stop. Depending on the brand or flavor of furikake you wind up getting the price can vary, but it's roughly the same price as any sort of seasoning.

How do you use it?

The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to using furikake. Because there are so many different varieties you'll have dozens of options just in that regard. I have a soft spot for the classic seaweed-sesame seed combo, but I've discovered a recent fondness for the wasabi variety as well. Try different ones to see what works for you!

An easy way to use furikake is on rice or with ramen, but I also like it on my eggs or sprinkled on top of salads. I've also seen it added to fried chicken, spaghetti and even popcorn! If you're a fan of avocado toast you could try adding a dash of furikake, it'll blow you away. Honestly, get creative with it, you'll find it's more versatile than you'd think!