Homemade Furikake

Homemade Furikake + Rice

I’m a condiment person. Dips, salsas, sauces…you name it, I probably love it. When I was a kid, it was not difficult to find me at parties because I was most likely lurking near the chips and dip. OK, let’s be honest…that’s usually where you’ll find me as a grown-up, too. Chips and fries are just vehicles for salsa and ketchup, right?

When we lived in Japan, I got hooked on furikake, a combination of sesame seeds, nori, and other seasonings that is sprinkled on rice and other foods for added flavor. For the first 3 years of life in Tokyo, I used furikake liberally. Then, I got pregnant with Riley and like many first-time mothers I obsessively read every ingredient label on everything I put into my body. When I saw MSG as one of the main ingredients in furikake, it immediately exited my list of pregnancy-friendly foods.

Recipe for Homemade Furikake

This was difficult. Mostly because I was craving Japanese sticky rice like no one’s business and all I wanted to do was put some salty, crunchy, umami-flavored furikake on top. The thought of making my own crossed my mind, but I was pretty busy growing a human being and didn’t have the energy to think about making something that I was sure would be equally as difficult. I had visions in my mind of drying salmon skin in the oven and other “complicated” steps that must go into making such a flavorful mixture. Turns out, furikake is not at all difficult to make.

Homemade Furikake

Here’s the basic recipe that I’ve found to work quite well (no MSG included). If you’re not a fan of fish flakes, you can omit them, although I highly recommend you at least try it with the flakes before tossing them out the window. They add such a lovely, smokey note that can only be found in these immensely flavorful flakes can lend. Once you have the basic recipe down, experiment with other flavor combinations. I’m working on a wasabi version right now, but you can do almost anything from classic sesame to matcha (think of a dish with a flavor profile like toasted rice in matcha broth) to a simple sesame salt, or gomashio.

Homemade Furikake Recipe

I love using furikake on popcorn, hard boiled eggs, in salads, and of course sprinkled over steaming hot rice. You could even keep a little ziploc bag of the stuff in your office drawer to spice up some noodles or other bland workday lunch that needs a pick-me-up.

No MSG. No hard work. Big rewards. Can’t get much better than that, can it?

Homemade Furikake

Homemade Furikake


  • 1/3 cup nori sheets, broken up into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup white or black sesame seeds
  • 1 cup loosely packed bonito flakes (fish flakes), broken up into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 2 or 3 drops toasted sesame oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds and bonito flakes.
  3. Add the soy sauce and mirin and stir to evenly coat the sesame seed mixture. Add the nori and stir to combine.
  4. Spread the mixture in and even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the mixture is dry and slightly toasted. Keep an eye on it while it cooks to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  6. Let the furikake cool for about 2 hours before transferring to an air-tight container.
  7. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks. (If it lasts that long.)


17. June 2013 by Rachael White
Categories: Cocktails & Appetizers, Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian | 14 comments

  • sippitysup

    There are so many interesting condiments and “spice blends” in Japanese cooking. I’m pleased to find one that looks like it would make a great all purpose flavor boost. GREG

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Yes, there are quite a few. Some can be so specific to a dish that it is difficult to use with anything else. I tried to make this one as “all-purpose” as possible. Glad you like it!

  • http://www.jamjnr.com/ Nancy

    I love the idea of furikake popcorn I’m going to try that one.

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Nancy, you’ll have to try it for sure! That’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy furikake. Delicious!

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  • Tim Osmond

    A quick and easy Furikake is Hondashi, brown sugar, minced Nori and sesame seeds. It contains the same salty, sweet, richness as store bought for 1/10 the price. Be careful with the Hondashi, it is an instant dehydrated broth used to make Miso and can be powerful. I dont measure anything, it is all to taste. This is a recipe my mother passed to me, she was a Japanese immigrant and developed the recipe because, quite frankly, we were too poor to afford the glass jar pre-made versions.

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  • Suchitra Edussuriya-Essl

    Thanks for this MSG free recipe. I didn’t have all the correct ingredients, so I just made it with sesame seeds, nori, soy sauce, dry marsala and some sesame oil and it still came out great. I used it to season the rice for Spam Musubi and the Musubi was Delish!

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Your version sounds delicious- I love the addition of dry marsala. You’re making my mouth water!

      • Suchitra Edussuriya-Essl

        Thanks Rachael :-)

  • Ashley

    I don’t know why I never thought to make my own before tonight. (late night Insomnia/Google session at 1am)
    They used to sell this everywhere when I lived in Vancouver and I was completely addicted to it. It is absolutely amazing mixed with yogurt and rice.

    I moved back to Toronto some years ago and have never been able to find it anywhere, which is really strange!

    Can’t wait to try this recipe, and Tims looks great too!

  • BB

    Hi, I followed your instruction and baked the prepared firukake mix in the pre-heated oven. The top layer started to dry out very quickly after 9 mins. I wasn’t burnt but a bit over dried already. I doubt it will survive 15-20 mins in there.
    Temperature was 275F ( 135 C)….
    What have I done wrong here? your advise will be very much appreciated.

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Hi BB,

      I’m sorry that you had trouble with this recipe! Unfortunately, ovens vary greatly in temperature sometimes and my guess is that may be the culprit. I would recommend reducing the temperature to 250F, keeping in mind that furikake is extremely dry. Not burned, of course, but very dry.

      Also, stirring occasionally during cooking will help keep the furikake from burning.

      Please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!


      • BB

        Thank you for your reply, Rachael.
        I gave another try, this time with lower temperature and thinner layer of furikake mix. It was much better.
        Besides this, do you think it’s a good idea to add the nori after the mixture is baked? It’s got crumpled after baking…
        btw, I added some “finely cut-up” japanese dried anchovy to it, I liked it.