In cooking, sometimes convenience is key. I now focus about 25 per cent of my time in the kitchen on building a larder of fermented, dried and smoked goods that add depth of flavour in varying forms of acid and salt. The result yields a benefit not only in flavour but also in time and nutrition. The addition of indirect salt through preserved goods – think anchovies – instead of direct salt, or acid through fermented goods, will lift the most humble of base ingredients.
So many cultures use examples of this style of cooking, but for me the No.1 in this department has to be Japan with the hero use of furikake. Furikake varies in its content but most are based on dried and roasted seaweed, sesame, dried fish of some form and often the addition of chilli.
Furikake tends to be a store-bought item, but it is simple to make. Wakame sea vegetable has become prevalent in Tasmania and into parts of Victoria, so it is available commercially and can be gathered from high tide lines for non-commercial use. (Legality varies on location so stay informed.) Simply wash it in fresh water to remove sand and pests, then hang it over the clothes line for a few days until it dries out.
Furikake can be used as seasoning on grilled vegetables or fish, but my go-to is to have it on steamed
• rice with pickles and raw egg.