“Furikake” (pronounced fu-ri-kah-keh)
Translated literally, the term means shake (furi) and put on something (kake). A staple in Japanese food culture, this is usually a dry seasoning condiment that is made with almost any assortment of ingredients. Typical contents are dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and bonito flakes but really anything goes. Pictured is dried salmon and egg flakes with other seasoning. Wasabi, ramen, curry - you name it, there probably is a flavour for it.
Furikake is usually sprinkled on rice and of course can be used in bentos! Sometimes people like to use it on onigiri (rice balls). It can even be mixed through rice rather than sprinkled on top. Furikake can be bought in almost any food store in Japan, and different regions in Japan even have their own speciality of furikake that is only purchasable there. We mentioned they are usually dry, but there are also 'nama' furikake, which are made from fresh ingredients and are not dried, so are much more perishable.
People in Japan typically buy this item at the shops because of the convenience, but yes you can also make it at home. Actually cooking it isn't difficult - you add all the ingredients in a pan and cook until dry, or just mix without heating, or somewhere in between! It's precuring some of the ingredients (especially if you are outside of Japan) and figuring out the ratios so that it actually tastes good, is the challenge.
What kind of furikake do you like? Never tried it? Hopefully you can find it in your local Asian supermarket. Highly recommended!