FOOD: Fu­rikake.

The Saturday Paper - - Contents | The Week - David Moyle

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.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Earl Carter

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