Furikake: 7 Best Japanese Rice Seasonings
Have you ever heard of “Furikake (ふりかけ)”? which is a traditional Japanese rice seasoning mainly consisting of dry mini flakes made from various food materials, such as meat, seafood including fish and seaweed, and eggs.
In addition to the main ingredients, the majority of Furikake rice seasonings available in Japan also contain shredded nori seaweed and sesame seeds.
As rice is an essential part of Japanese cuisine, we like to eat a hot bowl of white rice with Furikake as a condiment sprinkled to make the plain rice tastier.
In recent years, new types of Furikake has come out one after another in the market, some of which even use freeze-dried ingredients that are richer in flavor and taste than average Furikake flakes.
7 Best Furikake in Modern Times
Today, for those of you who are not much familiar with Furikake, with the history of the Japanese rice seasoning, let me briefly introduce 7 best-selling Furikake in modern times.
The First Modern Furikake
The rice seasoning that is known as the first modern Furikake, “Gohan No Tomo (御飯の友: literally Friend of Rice)” was created and put on the market in the early Taisho Period (Taisho: 1912 to 1926) in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Even now, this Furikake still exists and is sold at some supermarkets and online. The main ingredient in the Furikake Gohan no Tomo is dried small sardine called “Iriko (いりこ)” that is rich in calcium and other ingredients include kombu or kelp seaweed, Nori, and sesame seeds.
The Most Popular Furikake in the Postwar Period
The Furikake with the largest market share in the postwar period is “Marumiya Noritama (丸美屋 のりたま)“, which was introduced by Marumiya in 1959 and later gained tremendous popularity.
Although Furikake had been considered a luxurious condiment in Japan, the great popularity of Noritama made Furikake a common and familiar food.
The coined word “Noritama (のりたま)” stands for “Nori (海苔: seaweed laver) and Tamago (卵: egg)”, so this Japanese rice seasoning mainly consists of dry, sweet egg flakes and aromatic shredded Nori seaweed.
Other Best-Selling Furikake
In addition to the Marumiya Noritama series, “Yukari (ゆかり)” from Mishima and “Otona no Furikake (おとなのふりかけ)” from Nagatanien are also the best-recognized Furikake products in Japan with a large market share.
Introduced in 1970 by Mishima Foods, Yukari is the most popular and best-recognized Shiso Furikake in Japan. This Furikake consists of salted particles of shiso (perilla) leaves.
Nagatanien Otona no Furikake
Nagatanien Otona no Furikake is one of the best Furikake series in modern times which was first introduced in 1989 and today comes in various flavors.
As the name, Otona no Furikake literally means “Furikake for Adults”, originally, this product was developed based on that concept. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that children can also enjoy it.
Marumiya Noritama Series
And here are the links to my past articles on the flavors of the Marumiya Noritama Series.
Lastly, let me introduce 2 freeze-dried Furikake with a good reputation on Amazon Japan.
Freeze-Dried Sea Urchin Uni Furikake
As you know, “Uni (うに)” is the sea urchin roe known as a luxurious sushi topping. The way of eating this Furikake is like this; sprinkle one pack over a hot bowl of plain rice and ripen the freeze-dried sea urchin for a short while.
Freeze-Dried Natto Furikake
The main ingredients of this Furikake are freeze-dried Natto (納豆: fermented soybeans) and 3 different varieties of dried seaweed shreds.