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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Trader Joe's Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning

Over the years on the blog, I've referred to myself as an amateur-foodie hack on occasion. If memory serves me right, Nathan's the one who coined the phrase. I'm gonna take this opportunity to rebrand it, at least for my lovely bride and I, and say that instead of being actual foodies, we're really just eaters.

What's that mean?

If it's good, we'll eat it. Even if it's not "the best" or most acclaimed or authentic or true. Sure, we'll give that consideration and all, but at the end of the day, it's taste over everything else. Is Hattie B's the best, most authentic Nashville hot chicken joint in Tennessee? Nah, probably not....but danged if I don't still dream of them on occasion. To make a musical metaphor, is Imagine Dragons the best band around? Nah, far from it, but I can enjoy at least some of their catchy fun songs - "Zero" for instance, from Wreck-It Ralph 2 soundtrack. Yeah, we'll go to depths for our guilty pleasures. 

And (un)luckily for you, if it's a TJ's item I ate and have strong enough opinion on, you'll read about it here. Coming soon: another buddy and I are soon launching an Aldi's review site, so my goal of grocery world judging domination shall ever so slightly increase, muhahaha.

Sorry for the long windup for Trader Joe's Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning. But it's a great example of this. Do I know even the slightest thing, really, about furikake? Nope. I don't even know how to pronounce it - furry cake (can rewrite some really awful Twenty One Pilots lyrics, like our Facebook caption)? Foo-ree-kah-kay? Glad we're not doing the TJ's podcast at this time so you'd hear me butcher it as our producer buddy Marvo would slap his forehead in the background. We had such a long awkward conversation about how to pronounce "sriracha

But...I bought it at Trader Joe's. Cost only a few bucks. Looked like worth the shot. So I'm gonna go home and eat it. I'm an eater.

For such a fairly simply blend, there's a few different stages to the flavor which make this Japanese-inspired seasoning interesting. I think that's the right way to describe it instead of "complex" or "multi-leveled" as, if ingested just as a lonesome pinch or two, there's at first this funky seaweed taste, like straight up "whatever I just ingested was definitely floating in the ocean" type flavor, followed closely by toasted sesame and finally a good heavy dose of salt. Not sure if "savory" or "umami" really quite apply - more salty than anything - but it's a fun little mix...

So good to eat, but on what? Whatever, just go for it. I put some on some roasted green beans last night - much milder, but delicious. Eggs? Sure thing. I don't think it'd be much of a stretch to recommend on rice or fish or most sushi variants. Chicken? Heck yeah. Sandy dumped some atop her ramen noodles the other day, just to class them up a touch, and she's been raving about that since.

That is the one point: The furikake is mild enough that food flavor can overpower it and diminish it to little more than salt. Maybe that's why the pour opening is so huge - you can fit a penny through it - and a recommended serving is so much. I don't think I've come close to using that amount over several tastings.

Regardless, we'll eat it and try it on lots of different stuff. We're eaters now, ya know. If it tastes good, which I think the furikake would be on a high number of things, we'll do it.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. This is a tough product for me. If you are not familiar with furikake, this one is 100!! but I strongly encourage you to try more traditional furikake too and use this as a gateway [furikake].

    white rice + scrambled egg + furikake + little bit of soy sauce (optional)

  2. Furikake is typically always used as a seasoning for rice. This is literally the stuff of my childhood.

  3. instead of rolled sushi, I make a sushi bowl. Rice, avocado, cucumber, fake crab, Kewpie Mayo, and Masago (roe) and sprinkle with furikake.

  4. Oh no, if you start an Aldi's review site, that means I'll have to start shopping there. Right now I refuse to. Paying for a shopping cart? Yes, I know you get your money back, it's the principal of the thing.

    1. Seriously? It's to keep costs low and not have to pay people to retrieve carts. It's a quarter. That you get back.

  5. ….patiently (not) waiting for website to the Aldi review page...


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