All of your bento-makers out there know the convenience and fun that furikake provides! I have a few store-bought varieties, but I also like to make my own. The endlessly inspiring bento website, Just Bento, was one of the first blogs to really launch me into my own bento obsession, but also remains on the top of my list for great recipes and ideas. Maki provides many homemade furikake recipes, including one made with, you guessed it, radish leaves!
Part 1 of my “Ravishing Radishes” series featured a recipe for French breakfast radishes sautéed simply in butter and served with some toasty thyme-garlic bread. In the recipe, I told you to save those greens! I think it’s such a shame when people just discard greens from root veggies… there’s so much you can do with them! This furikake is a perfect way to use those greens while adding color, flavor, and texture to your bento (or rice, in general).
What is furikake? Furikake is basically just a seasoning for rice. There are tons of varieties, and if you go to a Japanese market, you’ll find shelves and shelves full of this useful condiment. Like I said, I do have some store-bought types, but making homemade furikake is not only fun, but typically results in a healthier product. The stuff you find at stores tends to have a lot of salt, and sometimes MSG, and sometimes other artificials. Making it at home means you control what goes into it. While it doesn’t last as long, I personally think it’s worth it!
Radish Leaf Furikake
—adapted from Just Bento—
- 1 cup radish leaves (I used leaves from French breakfast radishes)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 dried red chili pepper (Thai or Japanese), seeds and stems removed (unless you want it really spicy, then leave some seeds in)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1. Wash radish leaves well and drain. Fill a medium to large pot with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the leaves for a minute or two, until wilted. Once wilted, drain the leaves, shock with cold water, and then squeeze them until you get out as much moisture as possible.
2. Finely chop the blanched radish leaves. Shred or finely chop the dried pepper (use gloves if possible).
3. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shredded pepper to the pan, and then add the radish leaves. Stir together and sauté until the leaves start to dry out, but make sure they are still green in color.
4. Push the leaves and pepper mix all to one side of the pan. On the other side, add the soy sauce and wait until it starts to pop and sizzle. Then mix everything all together. Remove from heat.
5. Let the furikake cool before using or storing. You can keep in in the fridge for about a week. Serve over rice.
Nice and easy, and a great way to use up those tasty greens!
Stay tuned for the final installment of my radish recipe series, a recipe for quick radish pickles (also perfect for bentos!)