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.
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.