Posts tagged ‘furikake’

Crackers + Rice = Crazy Delicious

We all know just how decadent a Japanese meal can be. Think $200 plates of raw fugu, and kaiseki ryouri packed with seasonal vegetables and well-marbled meat. But what’s on the other end of the spectrum?

I saw a Japanese TV show a while back featuring meals people cook when they’re in the poorhouse. My favorite was a guy who crushed soy-flavored rice crackers (“kaki-pi,” to be exact) and sprinkled it over his rice. It sounds like a joke, but it’s actually tasty! If you dare to try it, Takara Tomy has a cool product that takes the work out of making this unlikely topping:

It’s called “Okashina Furikake,” which is a double-entendre meaning “snack-like condiment” and “rice-topping oddity.” It’s a simple device: Just pour in your snack of choice, then push and turn the handle. You can use just about anything: potato chips, pretzels, even cookies.

Speaking of furikake, I did some sleuthing and found it was invented in the early 1900s by a pharmacist who wanted to add more calcium into people’s diet. So he started crushing fish bones and mixed it with sesame seeds and dried seaweed to cover the fishy flavor. The bones have since been replaced by dried egg, vegetables, bonito flakes, and dozens of other yummy ingredients but my people’s love for rice topping has gone unwavered.

Well, it’s about dinner time here and I only have $2 in my pocket. You know what that means…..RICE CRACKER DINNER! \(^o^)/

Himawari

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February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

Cooking with Bear

I knew a girl in college who preferred to eat dinner in her room than with everyone else. After her roommates left for the cafeteria, she’d take out a mini-rice cooker from under her bed and make a simple meal —
either rice and furikake or a steamy bowl of ochazuke. Starch was her addiction.

I know the feeling. When I’m traveling Europe, I start craving all kinds of sticky, short-grain rice (sorry, Uncle Ben’s doesn’t cut it) most Asians can’t live without. That’s why this comes in handy… the Rilakkuma Rice Cooker:

Place this cutie bear of a pot into the microwave and he’ll cook rice for you in under 10 minutes — four times faster than the conventional cooker. The cooking process is easy: Just pour in water and fill the raw grains up to the line marked on the container, then microwave. As an added bonus, you get a shamoji (rice paddle) and an extra compartment for steaming vegetables.

As I’ve mentioned before, Rilakkuma is a bear created by Sanrio. His main objective in life is to relax and enjoy life, and he hopes his carefree attitude rubs off onto his owner. Just thinking about him puts a smile on my face. (^o^)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

February 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

I’m in Carb Heaven

Rice has become a topic of conversation among my friends these days. Reason being, with the influx of trading companies to Southern California, you can now walk into any Japanese market and choose among a dozen varieties of grain.

My grandma can’t get enough of Sukoyaka Genmai, a hybrid brown rice that’s far tastier than your regular health-food fare. Although typical brown rice is packed with nutrients, it’s also pulpy and tasteless (Think brussels sprouts.). Yet, somehow the makers of Sukoyaka Genmai figured a way to make brown rice tasty. It’s like white rice only healthier!

Musenmai (no-wash rice) is a newfangled product that caters to the lazy. Normally before cooking, you’d sift the rice under cold water for 5 minutes to remove the ‘sticky bran’ coating. But now with technological advances, you can skip the arduous step. Japanese mothers have a hard time adapting; many of them take great pride in their rice-washing skills.

Speaking of lazy (that’s me!), my favorite rice product of all time is a box of seasoning that you mix with your uncooked rice. It contains slivers of unique vegetables like bamboo shoots and Matsutake mushrooms, and the broth is stirred with soy sauce and dried fish flakes (bonito), turning the rice into a golden-dark hue. Skilled chefs take hours creating rice like this, but with an instant pack of rice seasoning you’ll have yours in minutes.

cazuke_at_tempura_restaurant_in_ginza

Japanese rice is so much better than anything in the market today. At about $20 a bag, it’s far more expensive than a box of Uncle Ben’s, but it’s infinitely more tasty. In fact, sometimes I eat rice as my main meal. Scoop it into a bowl of tea, sprinkle over some furikake and voila, dinner is served! \(^o^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

April 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment


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