Furikake seasoning is a popular Japanese condiment that is sprinkled on top of rice dishes to add flavor. It is made from a combination of ingredients such as seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and monosodium glutamate (MSG), and has become a staple in Asian cuisine.
However, with the growing concern over high salt and MSG content in food, many people are searching for alternative seasonings to use in their cooking.
In this article, we will explore the 7 best substitutes for furikake seasoning, so that you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of Asian cuisine without the added health concerns.
What Is Furikake?
Seasonings like furikake may save you time and effort in the kitchen. Adding only a few tablespoons to the top of your meal can immediately improve its taste, texture, and presentation.
Furikake is often a salty mixture of sesame seeds, seaweed, and other seasonings that is sprinkled over food as a garnish. Dry herbs like shiso leaves, bonito flakes, and kombu may also be added to the mix.
Furikake is a savory, nut-based spice mix that gets its name from the Japanese term for sprinkles. Furikake may be used to enhance the taste and texture of numerous other foods, including rice, stir-fries, grain bowls, and more.
The herbs and seaweed up the umami factor, while the toasted sesame seeds provide a delightful crunch. As a bonus, the vibrant colors in this blend will make your dish seem as appetizing as it tastes.
Best Substitutes For Furikake Seasoning
#1 Homemade Seasoning Blend
One of the best alternatives to furikake seasoning is to make your own seasoning blend at home. This gives you complete control over the ingredients and allows you to tailor the flavor to your personal preferences.
A homemade seasoning blend can be made with a combination of ingredients such as dried seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you like. You can experiment with different ratios to find the perfect balance of flavors.
The advantage of making your own blend is that you can control the salt and MSG content, making it a healthier option.
#2 Sesame Seeds and Nori
Another simple substitute for furikake seasoning is a mixture of sesame seeds and nori. Sesame seeds are a great source of healthy fats and have a nutty flavor that complements the earthy taste of nori.
To use, simply sprinkle the mixture on top of rice dishes for added flavor and crunch. You can also add a pinch of salt for extra seasoning.
#3 Bonito Flakes and Seaweed
Bonito flakes and seaweed are other alternative to furikake seasoning. Bonito flakes are made from dried, fermented, and smoked tuna, and have a distinct savory flavor.
Seaweed is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and adds a depth of flavor to any dish. To use, simply sprinkle a small amount of bonito flakes and seaweed on top of rice dishes for added flavor and nutrition.
#4 Rice Seasoning Mixes
If you’re looking for a quick and easy alternative to furikake seasoning, you can try pre-made rice seasoning mixes. These mixes are readily available in supermarkets and come in a variety of flavors such as teriyaki, spicy, and savory.
Simply sprinkle a small amount of the mix on top of rice dishes for added flavor. However, be aware that some rice seasoning mixes may contain high levels of salt and MSG, so be sure to read the labels carefully.
#5 Wasabi and Soy Sauce
For a more pungent flavor, try using wasabi and soy sauce as a substitute for furikake seasoning. Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish that is known for its sharp and spicy flavor, while soy sauce adds a salty, umami flavor.
To use, mix a small amount of wasabi and soy sauce together and drizzle over rice dishes or meats. This combination adds a unique and delicious flavor to any dish.
#6 Dried Herbs and Spices
Another alternative to furikake seasoning is a blend of dried herbs and spices. Commonly used herbs include basil, oregano, and thyme, while spices such as cumin and paprika add a bold flavor.
To use, simply sprinkle a small amount of the herb and spice blend on top of rice dishes for added flavor. You can also mix the herbs and spices into soups, stews, and marinades for added depth of flavor.
#7 Mixed Nuts and Seeds
Finally, a mixture of nuts and seeds can be used as a substitute for furikake seasoning. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts have a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with rice dishes, while seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, and chia add a crunchy texture.
To use, simply sprinkle a small amount of the mixture on top of rice dishes for added flavor and crunch. You can also mix the nuts and seeds into baked goods, granolas, and snack bars for a healthy, on-the-go snack.
In conclusion, there are many alternatives to furikake seasoning that can be used to add flavor to rice dishes. Whether you prefer to make your own seasoning blend, use sesame seeds and nori, or try pre-made rice seasoning mixes, there is an option for everyone.
The key is to experiment with different ingredients and ratios to find the perfect flavor for your tastes. By incorporating these substitutes into your cooking, you can enjoy delicious Asian cuisine without the added health concerns associated with high salt and MSG content.