Seedy Furikake Crackers

I’ve been out and about, here and there, but one thing that seems to follow me around is furikake. “What? A Japanese seaweed-based condiment?” you might say. While I do tend to tote French salted butter, fleur de sel, and Dijon mustard along with me on my travels, I’ve always loved furikake as well, and find myself craving it more and more these days. In all honestly, I get a little antsy when I don’t have some around, which happened last time I tried to restock in Paris and couldn’t find any.

There are different types of furikake. Some contain bonito (fish flakes) or dried shrimp, and others have bits of desiccated egg. Some are relatively mellow and others have a pleasant funk to them. In the last few years, “funky” has been a dicey word to describe certain foods, but to me, at the risk of cancellation, funky isn’t a bad thing. Some of my favorite foods, like fish sauce, kimchi, and Camembert could be described as “funky” (just as songs like Funky Nassau, Uptown Funk, and Play That Funky Music use “funky” to complement, and compliment, their respective subjects) so I’m fine with having a funky-friendly blog.

While chili crisp, Duke’s mayo, and miso paste have been causing most of the condiment commotion these days, I continue to shake furikake over everything I can. Another bonus? It’s a good source of iodine, and since an iodine deficiency has been linked to hair loss, weight gain, depression, and fatigue, it’s good to know that seaweed is one of the best sources of iodine out there. (This isn’t medical advice so be sure to consult a doctor or medical professional if you have any health issues.)

Yes, there are some good Asian ingredient stores in Paris, including a few large supermarchés asiatiques. But even at them, furikake can be elusive, as well as other ingredients; at the largest Asian supermarket in Belleville, they don’t carry furikake. (They were once out of fresh ginger, which is even odder.) Although they always seem to have furikake at the Korean food shop Ace Mart. To make sure I never run out, I often bring it back from the States, where it’s easier to get and there are more varieties, and I give the Japanese condiment precious space in my luggage.

Another thing I’ve always enjoyed is seeds. Lots of seeds. For me, there’s no reason to eat a bagel unless it’s an Everything Bagel (although I will do sesame or poppyseed), and the same goes for crackers. The more seeds in them, the better. I’d bookmarked a few seedy cracker recipes, not the traditional kind, but the ones that are basically seeds glued together by some magical force. Most recipes I came across have a long list of ingredients that required additional hoofing around town. So I was happy to find one in Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Healthy by Gregory Gourdet with J J Goode that has less than ten ingredients and requires minimal work.

Gregory Gourdet’s story is recounted in the introduction to the book. He was a two-time Top Chef contender in the U.S., and then a judge on the show. In his prior life as a pre-med student, though, he’d discovered drugs. Eventually, he turned his energy and drive into cooking, enrolling in culinary school and fell hard for restaurant work, which satisfied his anxiety. His life centered around working hard and partying hard. Eventually it all caught up with him and he landed in rehab. When he emerged, he made major life changes, taking a step back from the stressful restaurant world, and began working out and changing his diet, which he says is based on paleo principles, but he’s not strict about it, although he avoids dairy and gluten.

Doing a little searching around the web, I found out that Gregory was lauded as one of the 4 fittest chefs in America by Men’s Health magazine. I don’t read the magazine because I get depressed when I realize my abs will forever be hidden under a layer of French butter and chocolate. But his story is indeed inspiring, and he tapped J J Goode to tell his story and write his book with him, who is one of my favorite people. Every time I suggest JJ write one of my books with me, he manages to change the subject. In spite of his reluctance to work with me (hrrmph!), he’s a lot of fun and handed me their book when we had a meet-up on a recent trip to New York.

The book has a lot of creative recipes in it, including a fermented pine nut Caesar Salad, which sounds intriguing and I would be happy waking up in the morning to slow-cooked eggs with cauliflower congee and crispy shiitake mushrooms. (Especially if one of the 4 fittest chefs in America was serving it to me…) Tamarind bbq spare ribs with smoky greens, crispy fried chicken with smoky sea salt, and icy fermented pineapple all sound good to me too.

These Seedy Furikake Crackers hit the spot with the various dips and spreads I’ve been serving with them. They’re on the thinner side, so the operative word may be “spreads” as you might lose some of the cracker if you’re dipping it into something thick and rich. They’re super easy to make; you just mix the ingredients together and wait a few minutes, then roll the mixture between two sheets of parchment paper and bake them for 45 minutes, then – voilà! – you’ll have a batch of crackly, crunchy, freshly-made seedy crackers for your next apéro hour.

Furikake Seedy Crackers

Furikake comes in a variety of flavors. A dried seaweed-based condiment, various brands and types contain a melange of ingredients, which range from bonito flakes, dried egg, and wasabi. I always go for the one with wasabi but feel free to use another one. Furikake sometimes comes in shaker bottles or little packets, and can be found in food shops that sell items for Asian cooking, or online. In Paris, it can be found at Ace Mart. There are also recipes online to make your own. The original recipe called for 3 sheets of nori cut into little 1/2-inch (2cm) strips if you'd rather use that.
The original recipe also used raw sunflower seeds but I used ones that were roasted and unsalted and the crackers came out just fine. I found 2 teaspoons of flaky sea salt just right sprinkled on top, but if you are using another type of salt, such as kosher salt, you may want to use less as it's saltier.
If you have an unrimmed baking sheet, that'll make it easy to slide the rolled cracker paste onto it. If using a rimmed baking sheet, often referred to as a "jelly roll pan," you may need to be a bit more careful. But don't worry, if the paste falls apart a little after you transfer it from the counter to the baking sheet, use the metal spatula to smooth out the cracker paste once it's on the baking sheet and the crackers will turn out just fine.
Course Appetizer
Servings 6 servings
  • 1/4 cup (35g) sunflower seeds, toasted or untoasted
  • 1/4 cup (40g) flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup (42g) chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (13g) Furikake
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup/50g), or 2 medium shallots, minced (50g)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) cold water
  • 1-2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon
  • Preheat the oven to 300ºF (160ºC.) Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Prepare two sheets of parchment paper 12 x 17-inches (30 x 43cm.)
  • In a medium bowl, mix the seeds, furikake, scallions, garlic, chile flakes, then add the water and stir until everything is well-incorporated, Let sit 3 to 5 minutes for the mixture to jell.
  • Place one sheet of parchment paper on a countertop. Scrape the cracker mixture over the sheet of parchment paper. (It'll seem a little liquidy, but that's okay.) Spread the mixture relatively evenly over the parchment paper with a thin metal icing spatula (best), or the back of the soup spoon (fine to use.) Place the second sheet of parchment over the cracker mixture and use a rolling pin to smooth and even out the cracker mixture. It should reach almost to the edges of the paper but not quite.
  • Carefully slide the two layers of parchment paper with the cracker mixture between it onto the baking sheet. Peel off the top layer, smooth out any cracks or boo-boos, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and bake the cracker mixture until it's no longer wet in the center, about 45 minutes. If it still feels damp in the center, you can flip the entire sheet of crackers over, carefully peel off the parchment paper, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet, then break into shards.

Notes

Storage: The crackers can be stores in an airtight container for up to one week.
Serving: Serve as an appetizer with a favorite dip, such as Hummus, Eggplant Caviar, Baba Ganoush, White Bean Spread, Tarama, or Labneh. It can also be served with a cheese board or alongside soup or salad.

Seedy Furikake Crackers

42 comments

  • Aimee M
    May 28, 2021 12:23pm

    hello! is the flax seed here somehow the magical binding agent? Wondering too if I removed the garlic + spring onion (FODMAP issues alas) whether it would still have enough moisture to come together. Lovely inspiration on a Friday, thank you! Reply

    • May 28, 2021 12:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Aimee, The chia is the binder. Don’t think the flax seeds (unground) release any of that binding magic but not 100% sure. I think the garlic and onion can be omitted but you may need to compensate by adding some more seeds. I gave the recipe in weights so you can use that a guide if you want to swap out. If you do, let us know how they turn out! Reply

  • Pam
    May 28, 2021 1:23pm

    David does it again. I want to make the recipe, buy the book and find the right Furikake for me. Reply

  • Charlie
    May 28, 2021 1:53pm

    Genius! I’ve been looking for a gluten-free cracker and I too am a furikake fan. I have all of the ingredients in stock; heading to the kitchen now. There should be a word for when the perfect recipe comes to you at the perfect time. Thanks again David for knowing what I want before I do. This also looks like a fun one to play with…sesame seeds, pepitas, finely chopped nuts… Reply

  • Kate McG
    May 28, 2021 2:02pm

    I’ll be baking these this weekend! Think I’ll use the Kimchi Furikake first. Sounds like these crackers will be delicious as salad crumbles too! Ginger, cassava and garlic have had crop issues. Throw in packaging shortages. Shipping issues with poor weather and port bottlenecks and things go missing on shelves for months. Waiting patiently for my favorite brand of Japanese Black Rice Vinegar to reappear. Reply

  • Brandie Herbst
    May 28, 2021 2:20pm

    Interesting that you don’t add even a tablespoon of flour or arrowroot or whatever thickener/binder. I will have to try this as I have furikake and am always looking for more uses! Love seed crackers!!! Reply

  • Brandie Herbst
    May 28, 2021 2:22pm

    Just read above… you said chia was the binder:)
    Thanks again! Reply

  • Deloros
    May 28, 2021 3:10pm

    I love getting your emails. During these past months on lock-down, they gave me a lift and ideas of what to make. Thank you David Reply

  • Carolyn
    May 28, 2021 3:18pm

    >when I realize my abs will forever be hidden under a layer of French butter and chocolate

    LOVE YOU FOR THIS! Reply

  • Meryl
    May 28, 2021 4:45pm

    I will defs be making this. Also love furikake. Thanks for sharing Reply

  • Nancy
    May 28, 2021 5:11pm

    This looks like a source of furikake in France https://www.kioko.fr/fr/151-furikake. With your love for seeds, look for these 2 products from Taiwan: Foreway Roasted Black Sesame Seeds and Foreway Flavored Sesame Seeds (Wasabi). I have purchased them in the USA and in the Netherlands in delicacy shops and Asian food stores. Reply

    • May 28, 2021 5:58pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks. They have a shop near the Rue Sainte-Anne, which is near Ace Mart (that I mentioned in the post) but for a while we weren’t allowed to go far from where we lived, but those restrictions are lifted. Still, I have 4 jars I brought back from the U.S. so I’m good for the moment :) Reply

  • Alice
    May 28, 2021 7:23pm

    I was wondering how to use up my jar of furikake.These crackers look amazing! A weekend project-Thanks David! Reply

  • Anne
    May 28, 2021 9:07pm

    I love a good seeded cracker and what a perfect use for furikake! Looks like another trip to HMart here in the states is in order to replenish the furikake supply. Thanks for the inspiration David. Reply

  • May 28, 2021 9:23pm

    Hi David
    These look great. I’ve always been curious about furikake and this looks like a great reason to buy some. Any brands you’d recommend in the US to look for? I’m in NYC so anywhere to go other Trader Joe’s where I’ve been eyeing it for months would be great.

    Thanks so much! Reply

    • May 29, 2021 10:32am
      David Lebovitz

      I like the one shown in the photo, in the round glass jar; Nori Komi. I get it at Sunrise Mart when I’m in NYC. Reply

  • May 28, 2021 10:36pm

    Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful recipe. Everything is so nicely described that really helped. Looking forward for more such delicious recipes in future too. Reply

  • Franko
    May 29, 2021 12:20am

    These look amazing, and only chia and flax as the binding agent! I can’t wait to make these — a quick check of the pantry finds that i’m only missing sunflower seeds. Do you i could use finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts (by weight) instead, and have it work? otherwise i need to wait, and add sunflower seeds to the next shopping list, sigh. Reply

  • Richard Allan
    May 29, 2021 1:19am

    Planning trip to Paris in September how much room in my suitcase and what shall I buy to put in it that I can’t get in NYC? Thanks..
    Richard. Reply

  • May 29, 2021 2:39am

    Embarrassed to admit I never heard of furikake before :(( Just what I need in my life to spark things up a bit. There is a new upscale Japanese shop in the 6th near eglise saint-Sulpice on rue des cannettes. I will try there tomorrow. These cracker are the perfect snack. Thanks David Reply

  • Veronica Glattauer
    May 29, 2021 6:05am

    I just made a batch, really easy and yummy! Thanks David :) we are back in lockdown here in Melbourne, Australia, this has brightened my day :) Reply

  • Carol Roedel
    May 29, 2021 12:14pm

    You have done it again! Just what I was craving! I always have Decidedly Not-Sweet Granola on hand that I make from Alison Roman’s recipe. I have all the ingredients for the crackers and will be making them today. I also bought the cookbook. Can’t wait to try some new recipes. Thank you so much! I always look forward to your blogs. You always brighten my day! Reply

  • May 29, 2021 1:38pm

    Looks good! I’m a big fan of furikake and try to always have some in the cupboard. Although my favourite was one I had on a plane journey to Tokyo, and I’ve never found one exactly like it. Reply

    • May 29, 2021 4:17pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s usually shaken over rice but in Hawaii it’s used in Chex Mix! Reply

  • Amy
    May 30, 2021 4:08am

    Well…the crackers sounds fantastic and I look forward to making them. But my favorite part of the post was your description of your abs….too funny. And very endearing. Reply

  • Kaori
    May 30, 2021 9:49am

    Looks very tempting. I had no furikake or chia seeds and replaced them with salted dried black beans (chopped) and basil seeds, and added Sichuan peppercorns. Binding worked well. Basil seeds swell a lot quicker than chia seeds. Reply

  • Dabney
    May 31, 2021 5:11am

    Psyched to try this recipe. I LOVE Norwegian crispbread (aka Knekkebrød – super seedy crackers) and this looks very similar except maybe minus the oat flour and with the Furikake twist. I just love some thinly sliced avocado and some scallions and a fried egg with the yolk just almost set on a piece of Knekkebrød. It’s just so nutty and rich and wholesome tasting. Looking forward to making this, thanks. Reply

  • Jessie
    June 1, 2021 1:33pm

    I very much agree with Charlie (comment above) that there should be a word for that moment when you find the perfect recipe, at the right time (and you have all the ingredients!). Recipe serendipity? Serendicipe? Recipendipity? :)
    In any case, I’ll be making this! Thanks David!!! Reply

    • Jessie
      June 22, 2021 11:59pm

      Made these for the second time with more salt and furikake. Love!!! Reply

  • Margaret
    June 2, 2021 3:12pm

    These crackers looks really good — I’ve been crazy about furikake ever since I saw you use it in the sardine dish in your Paris market video :) Reply

  • Jessica
    June 3, 2021 2:02am

    Hi David – thank you from the recipe. The drink in the photo also looks so refreshing. Would you please confirm – is that your Negroni Sbagliato Spritz?
    Thank you! Reply

  • Susan B.
    June 4, 2021 12:24am

    These look fantastic and I will try. I eat keto and have a similar cracker recipe that uses chia, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pepitas, so you get little green flecks in the crackers. Reply

  • KF
    June 8, 2021 1:18am

    Just made these and they’re phenomenal. Shatteringly crispy, the crackers are a single seed in thickness. The moist chia holds the whole thing together. Just a couple of notes: I do things by weight. 3 spring onions equals 1/2 cup by volume but only 32 grams by weight, not 50 gm as noted in the recipe. I also used 2 teaspoons of Maldon salt and found them incredibly salty, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE salt. I can guarantee you’d make them twice. So go easy on the salt the first time you try the recipe. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! Reply

  • Mary E Carroll
    June 12, 2021 8:49pm

    Beginning cracker-maker’s bad luck: the parchment stuck to the crackers AND the pan(!), and I’ll need to reduce the salt further next time. But we love the flavor, and meeting furikake. Reply

    • June 13, 2021 10:18am
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you liked the flavor enough to try them again. Wax paper is definitely different than parchment so I don’t use it for things like this as it’s not really non-stick. I did make these a few times, once using regular parchment and once using “natural” parchment and the crackers didn’t stick to either paper but you could try spraying it with nonstick spray first next time you try them, but using just parchment paper should work fine. Reply

  • Mary E Carroll
    June 12, 2021 9:52pm

    Following up my post of a few moments back- I see my error. I used waxed paper instead of parchment! The health food store varieties have identical box designs and paper color. Plus I under cooked, though did so longer than the recipe and for a double recipe. Need to find my bigger sheet pan. Thanks! Reply

    • KF
      June 13, 2021 5:05pm

      Mary, it’s a bit late now, but you could try putting the undercooked crackers back in the oven for a spell. Mine got a bit soggy sitting out on a high humidity day. I popped them back on the baking sheet and they crisped up nicely again. Now they’re in a tight container. I’m guessing the chia absorbs humidity like a sponge or the scallions possess their own moisture. That must have been so annoying to get cooked-on waxed paper off your pan! Reply

  • Mary Carroll
    June 13, 2021 5:27pm

    David you are such a thoughtful guide! Yes it was a high humidity day. I did cook them some more and put in a tin. The scallions are still moist somewhat so we’ll use quickly as crackers and crumble. Will succeed next time w a very thin layer and plenty of baking. Thanks a lot David. Have a sweet solstice and early summer. Reply

  • Roberta Smith
    June 19, 2021 10:41pm

    Hi David, What are the little green bits in the photo? I found Furikake at Amazon and the wasabi mixture didn’t have such. Thank you for this very easy recipe, but my first try wasn’t ready for prime time. I missed the part about sprinkling the Malden over the top and added it to the mixture. I think that was the mistake because they turned out very salty. My other problem was that the parchment was hard to remove from the bottom. Should I have waited for the cracker to cool more? Also, I will try using a non-stick spray next time. Other than that, they were very easy to make. Will try again. Reply

    • June 23, 2021 9:36am
      David Lebovitz

      The green bits are scallions. Yes, it’s best to let the crackers cool completely before removing them from the parchment but if they break off in pieces, they’re still fine : ) Reply

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