Today’s word: furikake
Furikake is a mixture, often of bits of nori (seaweed), dried fish, dried vegetables, and sesame seeds. It is meant to be sprinkled onto hot, cooked rice as a condiment.
Furikake to me is like what madeleines were to Proust– one taste of rice with furikake brings me instantly back to childhood. When I was younger, it was often used as a last resort to get me to eat the bowl of rice we almost always had at dinner. I had not yet realized that a rice was meant to be eaten with dinner, taking a bite of dinner with a bite of rice. I would leave the bowl for last, and couldn’t stand eating boring, bland rice. Sometimes my mom would offer instant ochazuke to help me finish it, sometimes she would give me small rectangles of roasted nori that I would dip into soy sauce and scoop up the rice with. And sometimes I would sprinkle furikake and eat up the bowl of rice.
I have a couple bottles of different flavors in my pantry, although I don’t think to use them often– I usually end up making savory dishes that need unadulterated rice, which I’ve come to recognize as good complement to entrees.