Chef Masaharu Morimoto
Furikake takes a leading role on the world stage of Morimoto’s cuisine
Back in the baseball-loving days of my youth, I would come home hungry to find freshly cooked rice. Waiting for the food to get ready, I would have my first bowl of rice with furikake. We weren’t rich, so when we didn’t have a lot of side dishes, I’d have another bowl of rice with furikake to finish off the meal. In fact, furikake played a key, supporting role in making freshly cooked rice seem truly delicious. Even now, it reminds me of my home country Japan, and how it satisfied my hunger and gave me a sense of comfort and security.
If we were talking movies, furikake would win for Best Supporting Actor, always making the leading star shine. Or maybe it would itself be the star. In cooking competition shows, there’s always a “theme” ingredient, and since that automatically becomes the leading role,
our job as chefs is to find the right “supporting actors” to produce the menu. The casting of those supporting actors is crucial.
For this project, I took my long-time supporting cast member, furikake, and matched it with cuisine from around the world. But please be sure to try the true, original way of eating furikake - poured on rice or mixed in onigiri (rice balls). Maybe it will comfort you, just as it does me.
Chef Roy Yamaguchi
Fusing furikake with classical French techniques and the diverse flavors of Hawaiian Cooking
I call my style of cooking “Hawaiian Fusion,” and its roots are in my childhood memories of Maui and the foods my grandfather served in his restaurant in Wailuku. My father traditionally cooked in our home and he translated his childhood memories through the dishes he prepared.
My style of cooking represents the cultural diversity of the islands, incorporating Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and many other influences that represent the population of Hawaii. My training was in classical French cuisine and my first experiences in cooking were in French restaurants, learning the traditional ways of creating sauces. My cooking evolved from the combination of my training and cultural influences. The outcome is a classical approach powered by bold Asian spices and European techniques, utilizing local ingredients with an emphasis on seafood.
I love to use furikake in my style of cooking. The diversity of furikake makes for interesting combinations of flavors and texture. I use it as a seasoning in soups and broths or as a crust for moist flavorful whitefish, but one of my favorite uses for furikake is to sprinkle it liberally on popcorn and Arare and enjoy a movie.
Chef Troy N. Thompson
Finding inspiration in furikake to make the
imagination come alive
I’m an American chef who was born in the Northwest, raised in the Midwest, and spent part of his
professional career in the South. The origin of my culinary style is that I am a classic European-trained
chef with Asian influences, which makes my food simple, fun, elegant and intellectual. My signature
style of cooking, which I call “inspirational cuisine”, is a pure moment of cooking where the ingredients on hand blend in my mind as I create a new and unique finished dish.
My introduction to furikake came when I spent three years in Japan as a chef in a restaurant and used it everyday. The best furikake I have ever had included matsutake mushrooms from the mountains of Kyoto. The flavor was so intense that it gave everything that I put it on “life”.
I purchase furikake and other items from Mishima because of the company’s commitment to provide me with high-quality products. The company is innovative and is even willing to create new products to sell to the American marketplace. I hope that people will truly look at this book as a basis of imagination for the uses of furikake, as its uses are limited only by your own imagination.
Troy N. Thompson