Why You Should Be Putting This Japanese Seasoning on Everything

San Francisco's chef Kathy Fang shares her secret ingredient, furikake, plus an easy breakfast recipe
October 25, 2018 Updated: October 25, 2018

Kathy Fang, executive chef and co-owner of San Francisco’s Fang Restaurant, always keeps this sweet, salty, umami-laden seasoning on hand.

Secret Ingredient: Furikake. It’s a Japanese seasoning usually made of dried fish, seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, and various other seasonings or ingredients. It’s available in Japanese markets and I grew up eating it when I was young. When I had trouble finishing my rice, my parents would let me sprinkle some furikake over it and that would instantly make me eager to finish the rest. It was like a treat.

The beauty of furikake is that it has many different versions, so it can suit anyone’s preferences. Some of them have dried plum in it, which gives it an aromatic, slightly tart flavor; some have dried egg, vegetables, or wasabi for spice. The flavor profile is more complex than other single ingredients. It usually has a little sweetness, saltiness, and earthiness.

How to Use It: I always have furikake on hand as it goes great with steamed rice, Asian soups, egg salad, popcorn, fries, mashed potatoes, etc. It’s very versatile and adds instant umami to a dish. I use it on eggs in the morning most often—scrambled, poached, hard-boiled.

Tomato Enoki Broth with Ponzu and Runny Yolks

Five-minute Japanese-inspired breakfast for the health-conscious

Makes one serving

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 3 super-thin slices ginger
  • 1.75 ounces enoki mushrooms
  • 1 whole organic tomato, cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu (you may want to add more, totally up to you)
  • Furikake, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Chili oil, for spice (optional)

Heat a small pan with avocado oil to high heat, and add your ginger to brown for 30 seconds.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes and let them cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Move the mushrooms and tomatoes aside in the pan to create a space in the middle to crack the eggs into. Let the yolks cook and start scrambling the egg whites into the mushrooms and tomatoes. Be careful not to break the yolk.

Drizzle your ponzu over it. Use a chopstick or tongs to gently stir the sauce into the egg white-mushroom-tomato mixture. Let it saute a little and then turn the heat off.

Plate in a shallow bowl with the yolks on top. Garnish with furikake, sesame oil, and chili oil. Lastly, you can season with a little more ponzu if you like. Enjoy with a spoon and fork!

Recipe by Kathy Fang