Furikake Cauliflower


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(Note: this post was originally published on March 26, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

Cauliflower is Bar Food!

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 Cauliflower, shown with furikake seasoning

Flavor-Packed (But Easy)

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.

Furikake Cauliflower with a dipping sauce

Let's Talk Ingredients

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.

  • Cauliflower. I've based this recipe on two heads, which (in our house!) is a meal for two people or robust snacks for four. You can easily halve or double the recipe as needed.
  • Oil of choice. For roasting.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted sesame oil. If you don't have this in your pantry, I recommend it so highly. It's a super flavor powerhouse.
  • Seaweed. I've done this a couple ways and both work great. You can either use nori (i.e. the big seaweed sheets for sushi) or some of those new, trendy seaweed snacks. If the latter, make sure you get seaweed snacks that are unflavored.
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fleur de sel. Or other flaky, flavorful sea salt. The salt is really key here, so use something special!
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Honey. Or use agave for a vegan version.

Homemade furikake seasoning

Closing Thoughts

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!

Furikake Cauliflower on a serving platter

Share It!

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.

Suggested Pairings

Planter's Punch

Tropical Guacamole

Fruit Salsa Guide I recommend a mango salsa!

Kaua'i Hummus

Tropical Pineapple Tostadas

Furikake Cauliflower

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!



For the Cauliflower

  • Two large heads of cauliflower
  • Oil of choice for roasting
  • Generous salt and pepper
  • 0.5-1 tsp toasted sesame oil

For the Furikake

  • Four sheets of nori, or a package of seaweed snacks
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel or other flaky, flavorful sea salt

For the Dipping Sauce

  • Ripe avocado
  • Juice of a lime
  • Inch or two of ginger root
  • 1 tsp honey or agave


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly oil a large sheet tray.
  2. Cut the cauliflower heads into florets. For the bigger florets, cut them in halves or thirds for even cooking.
  3. Lay the cauliflower florets on the sheet tray in a single layer; they won't brown if they're overlapping.
  4. Roast for about 30-45 minutes until tender and browned.
  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, cut the seaweed into very small pieces. Keep chopping at a big pile of it until the seaweed is as small as you can get it. This will be much easier if you keep your knife and cutting board completely dry, since the seaweed will be brittle.
  6. Place the seaweed in a small bowl and add the sesame seeds and salt. Give it all a good toss.
  7. Also while the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the sauce. Grate the ginger on a microplane, then combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until you have a luscious, smooth consistency.
  8. Once the cauliflower is done roasting, remove the sheet tray from the oven and drizzle it very lightly with sesame oil. Give it a toss to make sure the florets are evenly coated.
  9. Take HALF of the furikake seasoning and toss it with the cauliflower.
  10. Put the cauliflower on a serving platter, set your dipping sauce on the side, and sprinkle both with the remaining furikake seasoning.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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April 12, 2022
This is so clever! I bet my kids would even eat cauliflower if it was cooked like this. Haha they might need ketchup tho!
March 18, 2022
Amy- Hmm, furikake broccoli... I need to try that! I think that would work great. We're actually huge fans of furikake popcorn; just sprinkle it all over as soon as you take the popcorn out of the pot. And it's awesome on roasted potatoes too, especially sweet potatoes. And finally, I love sprinkling it on top of a salad, and specifically on top of sliced avocado in a salad. Haha can you tell this is a go-to in our house???
March 17, 2022
I've never used furikake before, but this cauliflower sounds like the perfect introduction for me! I bet it would be great added on top of a salad too! Do you think broccoli could be substituted for the cauliflower?