For the Rice Lovers: Furikake!
I love Japanese white rice. Rice is an essential part of Japanese culture and is consumed by Japanese households on a daily bases. Although there are much variety to Japanese cuisine, personally, I believe that rice is always the main dish and everything else are just side dishes. Of course, having a great side dish to complement my experience of eating rice is great, and I’m always looking to try out new things to enrich my experience of eating rice.
Although I tried variety of dishes that go with rice, I can say that a simple thing can do you wonders. For that, I think one of the greatest Japanese creation is “Furikake” (especially for rice lovers). Furikake is a dry, flaky, Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on a bowl of rice. Typically, it consists of seaweed, sesame seed, dried ground fish etc. But there are many different kinds of flavors and brands of Furikake, so it’s always fun to explore. For example, I personally love “Okaka” (dried bonito) and “Noritama” (eggs and seaweed) flavors. Other popular ones are “Ume” (Japanese plum), “Yasai”(Vegetables) and “Sake” (salmon).
New flavors are produced everyday. The brand called Marumiya offers flavors like “Mentaiko” (seasoned cod roe), “Tsuna-Mayo” (Tuna and Mayonnaise), “Buta-Miso-Soboro” (Ground Pork with Miso flavor), “Chirimen-Takana” (Leaf mustard pickles), and even "Sukiyaki" and “Bibimbap” flavor. Next time you go to a Japanese supermarket, try them and you will get addicted! This can also serve as a simple but great souvenir as well.