(Note: this post was originally published on March 26, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Welcome to post #3 in my "Cauliflower is Bar Food" series, during which I'm reinventing classic bar fare using one of my favorite veggies! So far I've done Margarita Cauliflower and Cauliflower Poutine. Up for today: Furikake Cauliflower!
Many of you are probably wondering what the heck furikake is. If you haven't experienced this Japanese seasoning blend yet, be prepared to fall in love! Furikake is a mixture of dried seaweed and sesame seeds. It's savory, salty, nutty, and indescribably addictive. Note that, although some furikake blends contain dried fish, this one is totally plant-based and free of weird additives (e.g. MSG). It's just dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and salt. Simple, but perfect. Some blends also include sugar, but I prefer to keep mine on the savory side.
My first exposure to furikake was sitting at one of my favorite bars: The Bistro in Kilauea, Hawaii, on the island of Kaua'i. They make the most amazing furikake fries, and Dave and I have returned repeatedly to get them (or, let's be honest, sometimes two orders... alongside a couple Mai Tais...).
Furikake is the perfect bar food because of its deep savory notes. Nothing is better alongside some cocktails! Reinventing it with roasted cauliflower instead of fries really lightens things up, without sacrificing any flavor. In fact, I'd argue that the gorgeous, browned cauliflower is actually more flavorful than potatoes.
And oh how I love this dipping sauce! While it definitely isn't traditional, it's super creamy and indulgent. The base of the sauce is avocado, but it becomes exciting with ginger and lime. Every bar nibble needs a creamy, indulgent sauce, right?? While definitely a typical pairing with furikake, the dipping sauce is (in my opinion!) a very important component of this dish.
This nibble comes together in a snap. Just roast a bunch of cauliflower, put together the seasoning and dipping sauce while the cauliflower roasts, toss the roasted cauliflower in a dash of sesame oil, then assemble. It's easy enough for a quick happy hour, yet is sure to please a crowd, and you can double or triple the recipe as needed.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
One final thought. We always pair furikake with Mai Tais, and it's a perfect match. Furikake is Japanese, Mai Tais are Pacific (the exact origin is debated, but may be on Kaua'i or Tahiti??), and the cuisine of the more southern Hawaiian islands is heavily Japanese-influenced. This dish really excels alongside a cocktail of the Tiki persuasion.
Happy snacking! Cauliflower is bar food!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Fruit Salsa Guide I recommend a mango salsa!
The ultimate finger food! Cauliflower gets roasted to perfection and then topped with homemade furikake seasoning, which is a delightful Japanese condiment featuring seaweed and sesame seeds. Satisfying salty perfection!
Have a look around at some of my favorite recipes! I can't wait to see what you create.