Sunday, December 16, 2007

Furikake Snack Mix: You've Been Warned

Many weeks ago, I promised to pass along the recipe for one of my favorite food things: Furikake Snack Mix. As previously outlined: this is a snack mix courtesy of our family living in Hawaii, an island whose people are accomplished in the art of combining fat, salt, sugar, and pantry staples into superlative junk food. This recipe is basically Chex party mix smothered in a sweet-salty, buttery syrup, slow-baked, and sprinkled with furikake rice seasoning.

What is furikake?
, you may ask. Good question, you! It's a Japanese condiment for rice, usually containing sesame seeds, chopped dried nori, sugar, salt, and, sometimes, MSG. (Or PCP, I'm not sure.) Furikake is readily available at any Asian grocer and some larger grocery stores, though not on the Asian food aisle at Fred Meyer's in Idaho. Surprising, I know. I should have made a special furikake trip for these photos but I was saddled with two small, be-snotted, sick children, and I'm only one woman, people.

Perhaps you live in rural North Dakota, or are easily repelled by seaweed, or just want to keep things simple. Never fear: instead of furikake, just use a few heaping tablespoons of sesame seeds and a little sea salt. Or don't. It's your show.

The syrup for the mix contains butter, oil, corn syrup, sugar, and soy sauce. I know. Ellie highly recommends this brand of butter:

Why? Because it has A BAMBI! on the label. What more do you need to know?

Here is a photo of the Karo, The Evil Lord Light Corn Syrup. I keep this bottle on hand for the sole purpose of making this snack mix. All hail Karo, The Evil Lord Light Corn Syrup!

And don't forget the soy sauce. It's the secret ingredient.

As your fats and sugars and salts are melting together (in a medium saucepan) into a golden, ass-widening syrup, assemble your dry ingredients in a roasting pan. (Use either a non-stick roaster or one coated with cooking spray or you will live to regret it.)

The original recipe calls for Honeycomb cereal, Crispix, and white popcorn, but here I've mixed it up with some pretzels and this:

Wheat Chex. For health. This is also great with a few handfuls of peanuts or cashews, whose protein and essential vitamins will be neatly negated by what's about to come.

Oh, yeaaaaah.

Pour it over, give it a stir, and place in a warm oven (250 degrees) for an hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Dump in your furikake (or plain sesame seeds) after the first 10 minutes and stir well. When stirring, it's important to sneak several pieces for sampling. Rigorous quality control is imperative.

The result is toasty, golden, salty, nutty, caramel-y junk food nirvana. You may love me for this, you may curse me this.

The photo above depicts a pretty, delicate, reasonably-sized portion. This is not how the Beanpaste Household ate their holiday furikake. A more realistic photo would look something like this:

This snack mix is ideal for holiday parties, gift-giving, smuggling into movie theaters, and insulating one's rump against a bitterly chilly winter. Hey, it gets cold in rural North Dakota, right?

Here's the official recipe:
Furikake Snack Mix
(compliments of one Christine Parker, Pearl City, HI)

1 stick Butter
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 cup Karo corn syrup
1/2 cup oil
2 T of shoyu (soy sauce to most of us mainlanders)
1 bottle of Furikake
1 box of Honeycomb cereal
1 box of Crispix
1 batch of popcorn

Heat first 5 ingredients in a pan. Pour cereal and popcorn in a large roasting pan. Pour butter mixture over cereal and mix. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, pour Furikake over cereal and mix again. After removing from oven, allow to cool and then place in air-tight containers.

Enjoy, suckas.


Mrs. G. said...

This sounds so good. I was thinking of making snickerdoodles for my last classes tomorrow but now I'm thinking this is the ticket. I find PCP really mellows the children.

Caitie was laying on me while I was reading this post, and we both laughed out loud at that last butt-in-the-bag shot. Too cute. We understand the challenge of portion control.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Looks yummy. I LOVE that last picture.

Melanie said...

G.: It would be a lot less work than snickerdoodles, I think. And their greedy, junky little hearts will be yours forever.

You might want to use just sesame seeds unless you want a chorus of "GROSS! WHAT'S THIS BLACK STUFF?"

And, yes, that really is my child in a bag of horse feed. And, yes, she tries to eat it.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Oh! Yum! And that final picture is priceless!

Nora Bee said...

This looks amazing. Even better because on our recent Hawaiian holiday I lived largely on those Japanese salty yumyum rice snacks. Oh my. And you have empowered me to make it myself! Roar!

Nguyen Family Circus said...

how much is 1 batch of popcorn? are we using plain popcorn without any butter or salt? mirowave or airpopped? sorry so many questions...can't wait to make it. also is the honeycomb very sweet in there?

Lisa Milton said...

How did I miss this before?

I've tasted it, of course, but now I have the secret recipe.

(That last shot is too funny.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Sista, Thanks for the recipe. I cook it befor, but for got the recipe. Mahalo.:)Kapolei,Hi

keriena said...

Had this mix at a birthday party and yes, i ate more than all the kids did- i kept sneaking over getting more whenever the kids weren't looking...

anyways, I LOVE your photos and i have to know what kind of camera do you use?

i esp. love the last pic- too cute! you writing style is very witty and funny!

keriena said...


1. What kind of camera do you use?
2. Are your pics photoshopped?


Anonymous said...

Hey sassy wahine...I love this stuff and love ur site..the last pix was too cute!!! Aloha from Anchorage.... love lani P.S. anything that increases blubber to keep us warm in these subzero alright with me!!

Dawn in CA said...

Furikake? In a snack mix? I am soooo on board with this concept. Been hooked on furikake since the first time I tried it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thanks to David Lebovitz
for directing me to your site! I've just poked around for the first time - it's lovey-funny-charming-tasty all at once. I'll be back. :)

Anonymous said...

Mahalo for the recipe! Awesome Christmas baking. :)

The Magnificent Seven said...

Thanks for the recipe. Your pictures are priceless. Mele Kalikima ..... from San Diego.

The Magnificent Seven said...

Thanks for the recipe. Your pictures are priceless. Mele Kalikima ..... from San Diego.

The Magnificent Seven said...

Thanks for the recipe. Your pictures are priceless. Mele Kalikima ..... from San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. I ended up using a variation on this... I like to use Kix cereal so I used that with my Chex and- believe it or not- some puffed millet and puffed kalmut (organic grains on sale at Whole Foods... no salt or sugar or anything else added!). The different grains gave different textures and levels of crunchiness! I did use 2 jars of furikake (one with sesame seeds and the other with the tiny puffed rice balls). I only had pepitas so I added these pumpkin seeds in lieu of other nuts. When I actually serve this at my son's graduation party I may mix it with some plain popcorn and a bit of some sweet cereal mixed in. I didn't want it sweet but I think the kids will like a bit more sweetness. Regardless, it is delicious and I will have to try really hard not to eat it all before the party. For anyone who loves the taste of this concoction I HIGHLY recommend Hurricane Popcorn. My family is absolutely addicted!!! The one that you pop yourself is much better than the pre-popped. Aloha from Kaneohe