Move aside seaweed, and make way for a new seasoned wrapping!
Furikake is one of those things that’s been around for years without anybody thinking to question it or tweak it for modern-day means. It’s simply a flaky seasoning that comes in all sorts of flavours from salmon to egg, and it’s sprinkled on top of rice to give it a boost of deliciously salty flavour.
▼ Here, for example, is some sukiyaki-flavoured furikake.
We’ve always taken furikake for granted, but that all changed this week, when we found out about a company in Japan that’s now making rollable furikake. This new product totally makes us rethink furikake as we know it, by selling it as flat, rollable sheets.
Sold by Tanaka Foods, which produces a variety of famous furikake, this new take on the seasoning is sold in bags containing five sheets, with a three-bag set retailing for 1,620 yen (US$11.39).
There are currently three flavours to choose from — radish, red shiso, and salmon — and we bought the salmon pack, which contained bright orange sheets.
Having furikake as sheets instead of flakes opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the seasoning, and according to the company behind its creation, this is a patented product that took over 20 years to develop.
The flat furikake feels like nori seaweed in terms of smoothness and thinness, but thankfully it’s not as sticky. Despite the thinness of the sheets, they’re really well made, as they don’t break easily when you handle them.
This handleability makes them well-suited for morsels like sushi and rice balls, which are usually wrapped in seaweed. Keen to find out what a furikake-wrapped onigiri would taste like, we wrapped up a ball of rice, and wouldn’t you know it — it looked like a regular onigiri you’d buy at a convenience store!
▼ Although, obviously, orange instead of green.
Taking a bite out of this was a mind-boggling experience — it tasted like salmon furikake, but it wasn’t flaky or granular at all. It made the mind think it was seaweed, but it was smoother and entirely different in flavour. The furikake sheet was the first thing to touch the tongue, creating a wonderfully flavoursome base for the rice that followed.
▼ Just the right balance between rice and seasoning.
Wrapping them lengthwise, like sushi rolls, had the same effect. It was like enjoying a bowl of furikake-topped rice in a convenient sushi roll!
Of course, if you prefer your furikake in the traditional style atop a bowl of rice, you can do that too — simply tear a sheet into small shreds and you have a nouveau topping that fills your mouth with bucketfuls of sweet and salty salmon flavour.
▼ Personally, though, we preferred to wrap it around rice like a sushi roll.
Who knew that turning furikake sprinkles into a sheet would have such fantastic results? Come to think about it, it’s surprising nobody thought to create this before, but now we know it exists we’ll definitely be ordering more in future!