Japanese cuisine is an endless source of amazing flavors and interesting stories. One of the best examples is furikake, a flavorful condiment that adds a new dimension to many Japanese dishes.
What Is Furikake?
Furikake is a Japanese seasoning made of dried fish flakes, seaweed, sesame seeds, and other dried ingredients.
The Japanese sprinkle this salty, slightly briny condiment on everything from rice to salad and noodles. This comes as no surprise if you consider that “furikake” means “to sprinkle over” in Japanese. The composition of furikake varies from region to region, and ingredients may include shiso herb, sake, dried wasabi, and cane sugar. Despite its widespread use in Japan, furikake was invented only in the 20th century, as we’ll see below.
Who Invented Furikake?
Unlike other Japanese culinary products whose origins stretch back centuries, furikake is a relatively recent invention.
According to a popular version, in the early 20th century Suekichi Yoshimaru a pharmacist from the Kukamoto prefecture, wanted to find a convenient way of adding calcium to the diet of the Japanese.
The result was furikake, whose earliest form included ground fish bones for their high levels of calcium.
The use of furikake spread slowly throughout the Kukamoto prefecture and then all over Japan. After the Second World War, the condiment began being mass-produced, solidifying its position as one of the country’s most popular condiments.
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