Furikake — Japanese Rice Seasoning (Whole 30)

One more recipe for 2020 and, according to some of my friends, it is the weirdest recipe I have ever posted. I don’t know about the weirdest, but is unusual. If you have never heard of Furikake, that is okay. I hadn’t heard of it until a few months ago when I bought a copy of Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian recipes.

Furikake is a Japanese spice blend, originally, used over rice. Now used to season pretty much everything. There are many different kinds of Furikake, all are based on sesame seeds, some kind of seaweed, salt and some kind of dried, flaked fish. It tastes a little nutty, briny but it doesn’t taste like fish.

So what do you use Furikake on? You can use it on rice, of course, but don’t limit yourself. I have used it on eggs, popcorn, and vegetables so far. I am going to try it on salads and some sauces I am working on. Rather than adding a lot of flavor to the dish, Furikake enhances the flavor that is already there. You can also Google Furikake recipes and come up with a load more ideas on how to use the stuff.

Some notes on sourcing ingredients for this recipe. Don’t buy a large amount of sesame seeds at once because they go rancid quickly. I found the sesame seeds and nori seaweed at my local grocery store and at Natural Grocers. There is a spectacular Asian market in my home town where I found the Bonito (dried tuna) flakes that I used but you can also order them on line.


From Feasting At Home

Basic recipe:

1/2 cup white sesame seeds

2-3 nori sheets

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Add Ins , optional but nice

2 tsp shitake powder, toasted with the sesame seeds

1 TBS Dulse powder, toasted with the sesame seeds

1 TBS black sesame seeds

1-3 TBS Bonito flakes

1/2 tsp wasabi powder

1 tsp kelp powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp miso powder

2 tsp dried shiso leaves

Put the seeds in a pan over low heat, stirring every minute or so until they become fragrant and lightly toasted, 7-8 minutes.

While the sesame seeds are toasting, crumble the Nori with you hands until you have crumbles the size you want.

Combine the sesame seeds, Nori, salt, and any add ins you want. Mix well. Store in an airtight container for 6 months.

Christmas Treats #2– Spritz Cookies

Every year, I plan a massive list of cookies and treats I want to make for Christmas. The list is so big that if I started baking for Christmas in June, I wouldn’t get them done. So every year I have par down the list to something a bit more realistic. Every year, Spritz cookies get cut because they require a bit of special equipment in the form of a cookie press.

This year I decided to keep them on them list and buy a cookie press. I bought a Wilton cookie press for about $15. I have had several people tell me that the cookie press is hard to use. I found that there is a bit of a learning curve, its not hard. Here are a few things I learned about making spritz cookies. 1. Don’t grease or line your pans. It makes your cookies spread. 2. If you are tooling a long pressing cookies and all of a sudden the cookies won’t release from the press, its because your dough is too warm. Put the press and baking sheet in the fridge for 5 minutes and try again. 3. Don’t let the cookies cool more then the recommended 2 minutes. Once cooled the cookies will break more easily when removing them. 4. I discovered I like these cookies with out decorations but you can sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar before baking if you like a more festive cookies

Spritz Cookies

Adapted From Wilton.com

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1 TBS Milk

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, milk, almond extract and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture; beat until well combined. DO NOT CHILL.

Put your chosen disk into the cookie press and fill it with dough. Press the cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and cool completely on the cooling rack.

Spicy Cold Celery

What do you do with the huge bunch of celery you have leftover after you chop a stalk or two for your recipe? If you are like me, a lot of the bunch just goes to waste. So inspired by a recipe I found in Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Cookbook, I am dedicated to finding 5 good recipes that use celery as a main ingredient. 

I am going to start with the celery recipe I found in Lucky Peach Presents. It is simply called Spicy cold celery. You can find sambal oelek at you local grocery store in the Asian food section. However, if you have an Asian market in your town or don’t mind ordering stuff on line, this salad is best with the spicy chili crisp. Spicy chili crisp is s combination of fried chilies, fried garlics and fried onions, spices and peanuts in oil. The resulting sauce is a pleasantly crunchy, pop of heat.

Adapted From The Lucy Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes

1TBS soy sauce

1TbS sesame oil

1 TBS rice vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp spicy chili crisp or 1 tsp Sambal oelek plus a few crushed peppercorns

4 large celery stalks, thinly sliced

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and spicy chili crisp, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the sliced celery and stir to combine. It will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. Beware it gets more spicy the longer it sits.

Christmas Treats #1 — Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas is in two weeks so let’s bake some cookies. First up in my annual Christmas treat posts are ginger bread cookies. I know that gingerbread men are traditional at Christmas time but the disadvantage of small batch cookies is there isn’t a lot of dough to cut cookies out of. You could make the log a little rounder when you wrap them for the fridge and then decorate them with royal icing when they are baked and cooled.

Personally, I like them in all their perfect imperfection dunked in a glass of milk or mug of hot chocolate.

Ginger Bread Cookies

Adapted From the How To Bake Everything Cookbook

Note: Don’t use blackstrap molasses for these cookies

4 TBS butter, softened

1/4 cup molasses

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS packed brown sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour

3/4 tsp ginger

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

In a medium bowl, Cream the butter, molasses, white sugar and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth.

In a separate small bowl, add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in three parts, mixing well after each addition. When all of the  flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a log and wrap in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the cookies as thinly as possible, about 1/8 inch thick. Put the cookie slices about 2 inches apart on an ugreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are crisp. Watch carefully because the burn easily. Let cool on the sheet for 2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. They will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

St. Paul Sandwich

When I found this recipe, it intrigued me. Probably, because I live about a 4 1/2 hour drive from St. Paul, Minnesota and wanted to know how St. Paul came up with such an unusual combination of ingredients. I was a little disappointed to find out the St. Paul sandwich was actually created in and a specialty of St. Louis, Missouri.

I bought my beans sprouts fresh from our local Asian market. The bad thing is once refrigerated fresh bean sprouts don’t have a very long life. I am going to sprout my own the next time I want to make this sandwich. Sprouting is easy. It just takes a little time. I will post a how to soon. I would stay away from canned bean sprouts as they would have the fresh taste and crunch of fresh ones.

If you like fried egg sandwiches you will love this unusual sandwich.

St. Paul Sandwich

From The Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes

Egg Foo Yung

3 TBS oil

1 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

2 TBS minced green bell peppers

1 tsp soy sauce

pinch kosher salt

pinch pepper

1/4 cup diced cooked ham, chicken, or beef, optional

2 large eggs

1 TBS cornstarch


4 slices white bread, lightly toasted

2 TBS mayonnaise

1 tomato, slices

8 dill pickle slices

Make Egg Foo Yung:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a a medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bean sprouts, scallions and green pepper. Cook, stirring , until the vegetables are sizzling and slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Season the mixture with soy sauce and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the meat if using.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, then add the cornstarch and beat with a fork to incorporate the cornstarch and scramble the eggs. Pour the vegetable mixture into the the egg mixture and stir until everything is coated with egg.

Reheat the pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and spread around. Scoop half the batter into the pan and use a spatula to make it into a 4 inch patty, Cook until the edges are brown and set, then flip, and keep cooking until the patty is slightly puffed and cooked through, about 6 minutes, total. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat to make second patty.

Assemble the sandwiches:

Spread the lightly toasted bread with the mayonnaise. Add the lettuce, tomato, and dill pickles and serve.