I love the Japanese culture and it’s attention to craft and living an intentional life. One of my favorite books demonstrating how even just the Japanese art of intentional walks in the forest can heal your body, soul and mind is Forest Bathing by Qing Li. I also love a good cookbook. So here is the love child of both of these points of focus in my heart.
While we were at the bookstore the other day I found Mastering the Art of Japanese Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto. I have followed his art for many years now and this cookbook is a beautiful compilation of his love of his cultural foods.
Side note: Buy all of your books from small or used bookstores not from the deforestation company that puts these smaller businesses out of business.
One of the first recipes that I made was futikake because I an always intrigued by new seasonings and condiments. I was also fascinated by the use of toasted shrimp shells in a seasoning, which is something I had never used before. I changed it up a little bit because I’m fully incapable of following a recipe or pretty much rules of any kind.
I use it on my breakfast fried rice and on anything else that needs a pop of umami. Umami is one of the five basic tastes. It translates to a ‘pleasant savory taste’ . Foods such as seaweed, tomatoes, cured fish, aged cheeses, ferments, mushrooms and soy convey this pleasantness to your palate.
As soon as I saw a condiment that had all my favorite things together I knew I had to make it.
- 1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp shells (wild caught only)
- 1 c loosely packed bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
- 1/2 ( or more) coarsely crushed salted potato chips (organic ideally avocado oil)
- 1 sheet nori
- 1 T black and white toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp Redmond Real salt or Himalayan salt
Toast shrimp shells at 250° for 45 minutes tossing occasionally until dry and crumbly. I saved my shells in the freezer after making shrimp fried rice a few weeks before and toasted them on the day I was ready to make furikake. Crush shells. (This is oddly satisfying) Use spice mill or food processor to grind remaining ingredients to uniform pieces that will shake from a spice shaker. I found the chips did best with a rolling pin.
Place in a glass Ball jar with a shaker top and enjoy on everything. Prepare to be impressed by that umami goodness.
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